Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Did ALL Chicago Youth Organizations Fill Funding Tanks on #GivingTuesday?

Yesterday a large number of youth serving organizations in Chicago, and other cities, reached out for donations via the #GivingTuesday campaign.  Today I'm seen posts from some saying "we raised $xxx thousand dollars".  That's fantastic and I offer thanks to donors who provided support.

However, if you're flying an airplane and they only put 5% of the gas needed in your tank before taking off, you probably should be concerned.

That's what the article below is about.  I wrote this in mid 2015, but want to repeat it as we head into 2017.

If you read the local Chicago papers, the financial mess in Chicago and Illinois means there's not going to be enough money available to fund Chicago Public Schools, resulting in staff cuts and class sizes increasing. There's also going to be a cut in state funding of non-profit youth serving organizations, meaning staff cuts and lost of services. With all of this weighing us down, I'd like to try to stimulate some future thinking.

I've used this graphic often to illustrate the three time frames when youth need support from caring adults (school day, right after school, evening, weekend, summer). This also emphasizes the responsibility we have of helping kids move through school and into jobs and careers, not just high school graduation.

I led a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program in Chicago for more than 35 years. Our sessions were held from 5:15 till 8pm, when workplace volunteers were available. In the Cabrini Connections program (1993-2011) we tried to recruit kids in 7th and 8th grade and keep them coming back until they finished high school.

This means we needed to find money every year to pay the bills. That was always a challenge. The graphics below illustrate this challenge.

There's a tremendous amount of wealth in Chicago, and the US, but much of it is not yet being focused on helping build and sustain great learning and mentoring opportunities in high poverty neighborhoods, reach kids at school, and in the non-school hours.

If these graphics resonate with you then let's find places on the Internet, and in Chicago, where we can begin to connect and look for solutions.

The money raised on one day only provides a small part of the fuel a well-organized tutor/mentor program needs for a full year.  Read more articles on this blog to see ways you, your company or faith group, fraternity or social group, can help fuel the growth and operation of needed non-school tutoring, mentoring and learning programs reaching k-12 youth in poverty neighborhoods throughout the Chicago region.

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