Friday, January 8, 2010

Thank you for your 2009 support. Now on to 2010

2009 Cabrini Connections Holiday Party from Bradley Troast on Vimeo.

Look at the smiles on the faces of the teens and volunteers at the December holiday party. Look at the diversity of adults and kids in the room. How many places in Chicago does this type of connection take place on a weekly basis?

It has happened at Cabrini Connections every year since 1993 because many people and organizations have contributed time and dollars. You can see some of our 2009 donors in these past articles.

This decade was a difficult decade. It started when we lost our original sponsor, and host, the Montgomery Ward Corporation. This was were the tutoring program started in 1965 and where Dan Bassill and many of our leaders learned how to operate a tutor/mentor program. Wards was giving free space, utilities and many services, plus $40,000 or more each year. Since we moved from their in 1999 we've had to pay over $70,000 each year for rent, utilities and building management, just to say close to our teens in Cabrini Green.

The rest of the decade only got worse, financially, that is. The bust of the Dot-com economy, the 9/11 attacks, the earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, and then the meltdown of the last two years have made it extremely difficult to find the dollars needed each year. While we were raising nearly $500,000 in 2000, we've raised an average of about $375,000 each year since, and part of that had to pay for rent and utilities.

Without the help of many volunteers who took on coordinator roles, and many others who've sought out donations, and many who sent financial support, we would not still be here going into 2010.

Yet we are, and we've many smiles and many stories that show how we've helped kids and volunteers connect at Cabrini Connections, while we've also help tutor/mentor programs grow in all parts of t he Chicago region.

We thank everyone who has pitched in to help. We hope that you'll continue to support us as we move into 2010 and the next decade.

Thank you and happy new year.

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