By: Christian L, ChaCha M, Xavier D
ChildServ Will Celebrate Former Homeless Young Adult at Annual Gala
ChildServ, Chicagoland’s leading human service agency for children and young adults, has a balanced budget for the first time since October 2015 when the current CEO, Dan Kotowski, started with a $2.1M deficit. He quickly worked with his team to implement a strategy to increase corporate donations of funds, time, and services. Kotowski has grown, diversified and partnered with a very active Board of Trustees to raise more money than ever before to support the efforts of the organization. Kotowski has also attracted partnerships with large corporate companies in Chicago including locally headquartered United Airlines. His team-focused strategy has led to increased fundraising which has directly impacted the lives of every child they support.
ChildServ’s main belief is that every child deserves the same opportunity to reach their full potential, despite their background or adversities faced. Through fundraising, specifically at their annual gala, Child- Serv is able to achieve that goal. At this year’s gala, Johnny Rivers will be recognized as “Youth of the Year”. After losing his mother and facing being homeless at age 23, Rivers struggled to imagine a life where he would have a promising future, let alone a fruitful career. ChildServ helped Johnny develop necessary life skills, such as resume building, interviewing and networking. As a result, Johnny is a full-time employee at the Lyric Opera House where he is living out his dream. While no two stories at ChildServ are the same, personal success for the individual being served is the number one goal.
After hearing heartfelt stories like Johnny’s, various corporations have been drawn to ChildServ. Two examples are: Chicago law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, which stepped up last year to provide pro bono legal services, saving the organization about $70,000; while United Airlines provided more than 100 employees to volunteer on multiple projects including ChildServ’s Annual Holiday Toy Drive.
At this year’s gala on October 26th at Morgan Manufacturing, ChildServ will present this year’s Lucy Rider Meyer Humanitarian Awards for Public Service, Corporate Leadership, and Corporate Service to U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, and the United Airlines Airport Operations Safety and the Technical Operations Departments, respectively, for their ongoing support. Without the community’s continued commitment to ChildServ, the mission, vision and values of the organization would not be possible.
Established in 1894, ChildServ has long been a trusted community resource for children, families, and young adults in northern Illinois. Child- Serv currently provides early childhood learning, foster care, housing and counseling services to families, impacting 2501 children and teens in the city of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. ChildServ hosts its annual gala to honor success stories from its programs, recognize outstanding political and corporate supporters, and raise funds to support its mission to protect, heal, and educate children and families so they can build better lives. All proceeds from the gala go to support and expand ChildServ’s work in Chicago communities. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the gala are available at www.childserv.org.
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