A little-known fact is that the whole month of August is dedicated to the active pursuit of happiness.  Coincidentally, August 17 – the very day where we celebrated our preschoolers’ graduation to kindergarten – is also National Nonprofit Day commemorating and recognizing the positive impacts that nonprofits such as Children’s Place have on communities and the world.

With that in mind, we felt inspired to highlight and share this heartwarming video clip of one of our young graduates breaking out in a gleeful “happy dance” as he celebrates his triumphant rite of passage as a “kindergartner to be.”  This young boy joined us at a mere 7 months old – a premature baby who has struggled with chronic health issues and serious breathing problems from day one.

Watching him celebrate in an authentic moment of pure delight as he walks beside his peers is a true “mission moment” befitting both August’s theme of the pursuit of happiness as well as a beautiful testament to the unwavering dedication, commitment, and support of the amazing teachers, nurses, and staff at Children’s Place Association who were an integral part of his journey.

We feel humbled to serve our community every day, and thank you for making moments like this possible.


Mark Your Calendar

Check out these fun events we have coming up, and join us!


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Pickleball FUNdraiser

The 2nd Annual Pickleball FUNdraiser took place on August 28, with over 150 Pickleball enthusiasts coming together to play, eat, and support CPA. We received some great coverage from Fox News Chicago.  CLICK HERE to watch the interview.

Pickleball

CLICK HERE for more pictures.

Back to School Drive

On August 30, the outstanding senior residents of Belmont Village Senior Living gathered together along with our very own Shantal Alonso, Viviana Grasso, Porsche Snowden, and Michelle Williams to sort and stuff backpacks with school supplies for our CPA kids. Special thanks to @properties / Christie’s International and Old St. Pat’s Church for their generous support in donating school supplies and to American Solutions for Business for donating 140 backpacks.

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CLICK HERE to see more pictures.


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Smart Goals

Our clients were able to participate in SMART Goal development learning. This includes demonstrating tasks that are Specific, Measurable, Have Action Steps, Relevant to overall end goals, and Time-Bound.

Smart Goal successes: 

  • Clients are learning the various forms of money management via banking, credit unions, pre-paid spending options, and handling cash responsibly. The supportive housing program is seeking banking/financial professionals that can give presentations about credit, money, spending, and saving options.
  • A client has successfully learned how to research nursing programs at various colleges in the area to prepare herself to begin in the spring or summer term. The family case manager has reviewed the necessary life considerations with childcare, work, education, and life balance. The client has been a noted supervisor for Menards for over 5 years and is learning valuable research, budget, and life skills to understand how to safely make decisions with consideration of her personal responsibilities and desire for personal/professional growth.

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Summer Thrive 

Thrive Summer Adventure Camp
We ended our 2-week Summer Adventure Camp series with a big splash!

Special thanks to: 

  • Goldfish Swim School for helping our little Thrivers learn to swim and proper water safety.
  • McCormick YMCA for allowing Thrivers to use their newly learned swimming skills.
  • YMCA Camp Duncan for teaching our Thrivers how teamwork and communication is key!
  • JPA/WeRock for donating craft supplies for kids to color and craft and safely spray-paint our canvases right in our neighborhood at Studio W.I.P.!
  • Rodriguez Gray/Robotics taught us how to make wonderful robots and code them to move.
  • First Ascent Avondale and Chicago Adventure Therapy allowed our Thrivers to soar to new heights rock-climbing.
  • Shoreline Sightseeing for leading the campers in exploring our own downtown to learn about Chicago’s buildings’ architecture, including a visit to the Shedd Aquarium to see the enormous amounts of water-loving creatures.
  • CHEF (Community Harvest Educational Foundation) for teaching the kids how to make their own plant-based lunches.

We look forward to our next summer adventure!

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CLICK HERE to see more pictures.

Thrive Afterschool
The Afterschool program will start in mid-September, and we are looking for mentors and guest instructors to support the program. If anyone is interested, please have them email us at thrive@childrens-place.org

Sports Physicals & Pediatric Consultations
We are offering free school sports physicals and pediatric consultations to the community with our continued partnership with Rush and Dr. Margi.

Mission In Action (M.I.A)
M.I.A, a free, teen-led program for grades 9 through 12, takes place each Monday from 12:30 to 2:30 PM. We are actively looking for participants and volunteers to mentor our teens after-school in the West Humboldt Park area.

Mental Health
Our partner, JPA, continues to offer mental health counseling on-site (at WHP) every Friday from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. These services are available to everyone associated with CPA and the West Humboldt Park community.


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Celebrations and New Beginnings

On August 17, we celebrated our preschoolers graduating to kindergarten from the Center-Based Program and our Early Head Start children from our Home-Based Program. It was a wonderful event filled with dancing, tears, balloon animals, a bouncy house, and more! With a short break, we were back to school on the 22nd, and the kids are excited for the year ahead.

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CLICK HERE to see more pictures.

Firsts Taking Place
September is filled with lots of firsts. New parents will experience their first parent meetings, Parents as Teachers parenting curriculum activity, complete initial parent-teacher conferences, and generally watch their child(ren) acclimate to a new environment. So far, we plan to welcome about 25 new students to the program and hope to welcome even more!


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Well Done, Ms. Rollins! 

“Ms. Rollins — I just wanted to touch base and let you know that you really did a phenomenal job testifying yesterday. As the Judge indicated after you were done, you had an excellent recall of the facts, and it was clear that you reviewed everything and were prepared for your testimony. I’m not surprised of course because you’re such an excellent caseworker, but I didn’t want your efforts to go unrecognized.” – An attorney on one of our DCFS cases.


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Thumbnail Ee B Ee D DA Wishing Well
At Children’s Place International, we give great consideration to the needs of each family we work with. We celebrate with them during their triumphs and support them during their hardships. Many of our client families have been with our program since the very beginning! While their needs can evolve over time, one thing remains constant – our singular focus on improving their health and well-being to break the cycle of poverty and injustice.

When one of our families did not have access to clean water, we worked with our in-country partners to have a well built. As they shared upon its completion,

“The family used to walk here and there to get water. This well is one of the best gifts we could offer to them. Now they don’t depend on anyone to get water. They will never be able to thank all the donors and CPI for this realization.”

We never take for granted that our partners across borders contribute to a more equitable world. That’s what we work towards every day with every client’s family.


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Major Company & Foundation Supporters
@properties / Christie’s International, AMICUS Foundation, Denim in Motion, Guaranteed Rate, Gunderson Law

Major Individual Supporters
Amy Hoffman Accola, Chantel M. Asner, Susan Bandes, Greg Borzo, Rebecca Carlins, Lori Coffey, Lisa Cohn, Gail Cooper, John E. Dambrogio, Miki R. Debb, Yvonne M. Despinich, Gary Eisen, Vicki Frazen, Jill Goetz, Jeanine Goldstein, Maria Estela Gonzalez, Nancy Gupta, James Hankes, Alisa M. Hansen, James Johnson, Susan Johnson, Kim Kerbis, Binita Kwankin & Joseph Hmieleski, Ling Lee, Samuel L. Marconi, Maureen Mohlings, David R. Montagano, Daryl Okrzesik, Chelsey Rabalais, Halima Reyes, Matthew Roma, Michael Romano, Karen Scheck, Mark Seals, Mary Ann & James Sloand, Dennis Sonnenberg, Melinda Steffey, Phyllis Stellato, Deborah Stotts, Mary B. Szerbinski, Josephine Tobin

In-Kind Donations


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Volunteer, Donate & CPA Opportunities

Join in and be part of the solution in helping Chicago’s most vulnerable kids. We have a variety of volunteer, donation, and CPA opportunities.

Current Support Opportunities

Child & Family Services

Child Thrive

  • Mentors needed for our M.I.A program such as leading a community service project. See above for more details.
  • Mentors and guest instructors for the afterschool program. If you have a talent to share, email thrive@childrens-place.org to learn more.

Early Learning Center

  • We need volunteers to come to the Early Learning Center for a few hours to help organize the basement. Some items are heavy. Please email volunteer@childrens-place.org if you are interested in helping out.

Foster Care & Adoption

  • Gift cards for families in need or in crisis
  • Car seats and booster seats

Development

  • New Donor Engagement Committee: Volunteers needed to help champion our mission, connect us to new partners/sponsors/donors/volunteers, and build visibility for CPA in the broader community. For more details on role descriptions and/or to learn more, email volunteer@chidrens-place.org.

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Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities