Feb
24

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I Still Had Hopes and Dreams

Story-2-Hopes-and-Dreams-200x200pxWhen I got pregnant at the age of 17, I knew my future just got more difficult. My baby’s father wasn’t in the picture, but I still had hopes and dreams for myself.

Things got even harder when my mother was incarcerated, leaving just me, my 13-year-old sister, and my unborn baby. We were essentially homeless, until we ended up moving in with my grandparents.

I decided to enroll at Simpson Academy, the only public school for pregnant girls and teen mothers in Illinois. The school has a graduation rate of more than 90 percent, so I knew I’d get a good education and, hopefully, go on to college.  Read More

Feb
24

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Summer Camp is the Best!

Story-1-MAIN-Summer-Camp-200x200pxBefore long, summer vacation will be here. And thanks to you, that means two very important words for many Chicago-area children: SUMMER CAMP!

Just ask Brianna (11), Arianna (9), and Jayden (8), who had the time of their lives last summer at The Salvation Army’s Wonderland Camp.

As soon as they boarded the bus in their gritty Englewood neighborhood for the two-hour ride to camp, all three were giddy with excitement.

“The first night we had a campfire,” says Brianna. “I made s’mores for the first time!”  Read More

Feb
14

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Extended Help for Young Moms

Guest blog post by Susan Gillette.

Being a single mom isn’t easy. It’s even harder if you also happen to be a teenager with hopes of finishing high school and dreams of going to college one day.

The statistics are stark. Only 38% of teens who have a child before they turn 18 graduate from high school. And one in three of these very young teen mothers will be on welfare by the time their child is three years old.

Sadly, Chicago is among the 25 school districts with the highest rates of teen pregnancies.

Into this challenging landscape comes the Chicago Public School system’s Simpson Academy for Young Women, located in Chicago’s Medical District. The school serves teenage girls in grades 6 through 12 who are either pregnant or single mothers, and is the only school of its kind in Illinois. In partnership with Rush Medical Center and The Salvation Army, the Simpson Academy is creating an innovative model for giving young mothers and their children the support they need to succeed. Read More

Feb
12

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New Winter Boots Donated to Low-Income Families in Chicago

toyota

Toyota Donates Nearly 200 New Winter Boots To Low-Income Chicago Families through the “Walk in My Boots” Program

In the midst of one of Chicago’s most brutal winters on record, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, through its “Toyota Walk In My Boots” community outreach project took time out from the Chicago Auto Show to help area low-income families by providing new insulated winter boots to more than 100 families served by The Salvation Army Temple Corps Community Center on the Near West Side of Chicago.

While many programs offer winter coat giveaways, a person’s feet are often left vulnerable to freezing temperatures and even frostbite.  With this donation, many families will be shielded from the cold.  In addition, Toyota made a $15,000 donation to The Salvation Army Chicago Metropolitan Division, enabling them to continue to provide support for families in times of crisis. 

LaTasha Walker has been coming to The Salvation Army Temple Corps Community Center for the past 15 years.  She looks after seven children, ranging in age from 3 to 11, and says having boots for all of them is a blessing.  “It’s nice knowing that their feet are warm and that they won’t get wet,” said LaTasha.  “Toyota is absolutely wonderful for doing this for our families.”  Read More

Feb
4

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Hearty Meals and Friendships in Blue Island

volunteer serves judy davis cherry pie

CrossGenerations, a Salvation Army Corps Community Center located in Blue Island, Illinois, provides a full range of sports, worship and arts programs for the community, but the senior program is one of its crown jewels. The program includes exercises, classes and social opportunities for the seniors in the surrounding towns. Read More