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Esperanza Community Services: COVID-19 Response

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During this time of navigating our way through the Covid-19 pandemic, Esperanza would like to express our deepest gratitude for the acts of kindness and messages of support that we have received from our donors and friends. Your outpouring of generosity means so much to us at this time.

This pandemic has had an impact on everyone; the emotional, physical, and financial repercussions of this virus affect us all in different ways. In these challenging times, we have to find creative ways to provide our services when and however possible and come together to build community.

Esperanza Community Services is resilient and despite these trying times, we continue in our commitment to meet the needs of our families, our students, and our adults with autism and other intellectual disabilities.

At the onset of the school closure, our school team worked very hard to find ways to provide materials for enrichment and prepare for remote learning. We worked with the majority of our families to develop and implement individualized remote learning plans that align with their student’s IEP goals, so learning can continue outside of the traditional classroom. As you know, Governor Pritzker announced that schools will remain closed through the end of the school year.  We miss our students and sad that we will not be together for our end year activities.  We encourage families to check our school website for updates and additional resources to assist during this time.

Our Coleridge Adult Day Program will also remain closed until further notice. While we are following the Governor’s stay at home order, our staff reaches out to our participants who live at home with their families and have regular check-in calls. They are doing well but miss their friends and Esperanza family. Many participants have also reached out to staff and have sent videos to connect and say hello.

Our residential CILA homes, located on the northwest side of Chicago, are still operating and our amazing staff continues to show up every day for our residents. As the pandemic evolved, and to further limit exposure and reduce the spread, we moved to an alternative staffing model, where staff volunteer to live in the homes with our residents. Many of our staff did not hesitate to volunteer, which again demonstrates their unwavering commitment.

We have received inquiries as to how someone may be of assistance to Esperanza at this time. Our CILA homes have immediate and critical needs that can use your help now. Catered meals, activities (like movies and games), technology (like webcams) so residents can connect to their families, face masks and other PPE, and cleaning supplies are all things which the CILA homes could use!  If you are interested in donating anything to the CILA homes during this time, please contact our Director of Development, Brittanie Wilczak, at 708-846-9295 or bwilczak@esperanzacommunity.org. Your donation of any amount is greatly appreciated!

Donate now to Esperanza as we participate in #GivingTuesdayNow! Thanks to a generous donation from the Coleman Foundation, all individual donations will be matched 3:1 up to $25,000!

Finally, we are moving our annual Celebrating Victories Gala to a virtual fundraiser in June. This event will be a great opportunity to share stories of hope and inspiration and how Esperanza continues to make a difference in people’s lives. We will send you updates in the coming weeks for more details. We are looking forward to virtually seeing you in June.

Thank you for your continued support! We appreciate all the emails, donations, and gifts over the past few weeks. Please stay safe and be well!

We are all in this together!

Joy Decker, Executive Director

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