Monday, March 07, 2011

Filling up the tank for the entire trip

Have you ever heard the story about the person who got on an airplane to fly from one city to another but the plane only had 90% of the fuel needed to get there?

This is how I feel just about every day. While we get donations of time and dollars from many different sources, none fills the tank for the entire year's operations. None provides the fuel it takes for Cabrini Connections to stay connected to a 7th grader for the six years it takes for that youth just to finish high school.

I feel like the a child who was given birth and then three years later the parent says, "I can't fund you any more. Find someone else." I wonder how many kids in Chicago neighborhoods feel the same way.

I operate in Chicago, one of the wealthiest cities in the world. The Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection office is North of the downtown area, so when I walk to the El and look at the skyline the image below is what I'm seeing.

Every building represents a network of people who could be volunteers, leaders, tech support and donors supporting the work Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection does each year to help inner city kids be part of mentor-rich programs like Cabrini Connections. All it takes is for one person to take on the leadership/facilitator role to bring people together so they learn why a tutor/mentor program is important, where they are needed, and what they can do to help them. View some of these animations to see many leaders could be taking this role.

Throughout the year people in downtown and suburban office buildings could be organizing events that encourage people to volunteer or donate money, with the goal that a growing percent of the occupants of each building were participating in big or small ways to help Cabrini Connections and similar programs have 100% of the resources needed each year to help the kids they work with. Imagine if the new Mayor were to embrace and encourage this idea or if it were part of the new plan for school reform offered by the leaders of Chicago Public Schools.

Read past articles to learn more about roles of leaders, universities, faith groups and see how maps can be used to guide a distribution of volunteers and donors into all of the high poverty neighborhoods of the Chicago region where each tutor/mentor program has the same need for 100% annual funding of their operating budget.

We'd like to help you organize on-going communications programs in your building, your faith group and/or your business. Email tutormentor2 at or join us on the Tutor/Mentor Connection forum.

Note: 11/24/2017: Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) and Cabrini Connections split into separate organizations in mid 2011. Dan Bassill, author of this blog, now leads the T/MC through Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC. The mission and the message have not changed.

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