Thursday, December 17, 2009

Network Building for Inner City Youth

This video shows the interaction on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 between teens living in inner city Chicago and volunteers who work in various industries and who live in neighborhoods beyond the inner city. Here's an album with two other videos showing our work.

This would not be happening if Cabrini Connections did not exist, and if donors and volunteers had not been willing to put time and dollars into this organization every year since 1993.

I'm one of the founders of Cabrini Connections, and the Tutor/Mentor Connection. I've been the leader since 1992. As this photo shows, I'll do almost anything to find the resources it takes to keep kids and volunteers connected to each other.

This has been a tough year. Hell, it's been a tough decade. And it wasn't much easier in the 1990s.

When you look at the maps of Chicago that Mike Trakan makes, how many neighborhoods have places where kids and volunteers have been connecting for the past 16 years? How many have managed to keep connected to many of these youth, and adults, so they are now able to help each other with adult lives and challenges?

Read the mission statement of the Tutor/Mentor Connection. What other organization in the Chicago region has as complete a strategy intended to help every poverty neighborhood have high-quality, mentor-rich programs? Look at the conference maps to see how programs throughout the region are connecting with each other because we spend time, and money, to organize these events.

We need your year-end donations and support in 2010 to continue this work, and to expand our impact. Chicago is too big a city for us to have an impact when we are struggling each month just to pay our rent.

Give me a call at 312-492-9614 if you'd like to talk about more ways to help, or that we can help you.

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