Our partnerships with the greater community are the foundation to our success, which is why we are excited to announce our collaborations with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Community Kitchen / Snakes and Lattes, Betsy’s Blankets, and The Children’s Planet to kick off a new year!
Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
BCG is an international consulting group that has a Chicago office. While BCG assists clients in business organization, they are also deeply committed to making a difference and “making a social impact in climate and environment, global development, global health, and education.”
BCG’s Chicago office is showing their commitment to education and making an impact on the Chicago community by hosting a virtual, silent auction for their employees, with all proceeds benefiting Esperanza. This virtual event, “Gabipalooza”, held February 10-19, is in honor of BCG’s Managing Director and Partner, Gabrielle Novacek and her partner, Nicole Montanye, Esperanza’s Board Member, who have both done significant, positive work with Esperanza and have been long time partners of our agency. We are humbled to be a recipient of this generous donation from Gabipalooza!
UIC hosts a course, “Honors Seminar: Learning Through Serving”, where students enrolled in the class collaborate with community organizations for social change. The course “focuses on reflection and understanding around service experiences, providing students with the opportunity to engage in service learning throughout the community.”
This year, Esperanza is partnering with UIC’s Honors Seminar course to provide students with the opportunity to learn more about the population we serve and to gain hands-on experience. UIC students will be creating pre-recorded videos as resources for Esperanza students and adult participants to virtually engage in art, music, life skills, and/or physical activity. We are honored to work with UIC staff and students to provide extra-curricular activities for our families!
Community Kitchen and Snakes & Lattes
The Community Kitchen is a program created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in food insecurity throughout Chicago. This project was initiated by Marz Community Brewing and the Public Media Institute to help support local restaurants, who create meals for those in need within the community.
Esperanza will receive 200 meals per week from a local restaurant, Snakes & Lattes, funded through the Community Kitchen’s COVID-19 initiative. We will be receiving meal packages per household or individual meals, depending on the needs of our families or staff. We are incredibly grateful for this generous donation from Snakes & Lattes through April.
Betsy’s Blankets was created in honor of the founder, Haley Ebling’s late mother, who used to ask those she encountered, “Are you warm enough?” She always wanted to make sure those around her were warm, and this Chicago non-profit in her name, is now ensuring city residents are warm, as well. Betsy’s Blankets reaches many people in the Chicagoland area– children, hospital patients, shelter animals, homeless, and more, “spreading warmth, one blanket at a time.”
And now at the start of 2021, Betsy’s Blankets is spreading warmth to Esperanza by providing cozy bedding packs, filled with blankets, pillows, and comforters to all of our programs. This kind gesture helps to provide the feeling of security and love, and we are incredibly grateful to Haley and the Betsy’s Blankets team for providing essential supplies to those we serve!
The Children’s Planet
The Children’s Planet is a non-profit school located in Zug, Switzerland, whose mission is to provide bilingual classes for children ages 4-6 years old. “Their intellectual, physical, and social and emotional skills are supported through daily routines and activities involving movement, nature, music, and creativity to prepare them for elementary school.”
With the support of teachers and paraprofessionals, Esperanza students and adult participants will engage in a pen pal activity with The Children’s Planet students. This opportunity will allow students across the world to socialize virtually together and learn more about each others’ traditions and cultures. We are thrilled to partner with an international organization to expand our horizons and learn more about the world around us!
Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” At Esperanza, our strength comes from our community of families, staff, and partnerships. Together, we can fulfill our mission and support those in need. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we are Esperanza Strong!