Last December, after being subjected to three continuous years of her shameless begging and pleading, I finally accepted Kim Delong's invitation to join the Family Matters Board of Directors.
For those of you who don't know, Kim is the Executive Director and founder of Family Matters. She created this organization over twenty years ago, and over time (or at least until the time I joined the Board) it has become one of the more highly regarded non for profits in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood.
Centering its efforts in Chicago's "North of Howard" community, Family Matters promotes cohesion and stability for local families. (See mission statement below.) Among the array of activities it offers its clients are after school programs, teen mentoring, tutoring - with all activities centered around three specific principles of leadership. All participants in Family Matters - its clients, the staff, the board - undergo the leadership training, and all participants in this unique organization strive to utilize these principles when engaging in Family Matters activities, as well as incorporating these principles in our lives.
(Frankly, this world would be a better place if everyone took the Principles classes and seriously devoted themselves to following them. A couple of years ago, my son Mitch attended the three session training - and he utilized these skills with great success, conning me into buying him a MacBook Pro 15 inch screen upon graduation - but I digress.)
Having been a board member for nearly ten months, I can attest that this is a great organization. Its staff is wonderfully motivated and passionate; the mood among its participants upbeat and positive; and the results seem clear. At this time when stressed urban neighborhoods are immersed in violence, negativity and struggle, it is heart warming to see how one organization can do so much to help families pursue a better life. During these challenging times, organization like Family Matters need to thrive!
Which explains why I am submitting this blog post and sending this text as an email to friends and family:
Family Matters is hosting its fifth annual fall fundraiser on Thursday, October 22nd, 6:00PM - 8:30PM, at the Simpson Center at Loyola University Chicago's Lake Shore Campus, 6333 No. Winthrop, Chicago. (Our thanks to Loyola University Chicago for its generosity in offering this beautiful facility to us!) The cost of admission to this event, which includes a sit down dinner, amazing silent auction, fantastic speaker, cool raffles and other goodies, is only $75/ticket.
As part of the program, we will be celebrating the Principles of Leadership that have guided participants of this organization. Come to this event to learn more about them!
This will be a great night, offering you a chance to support and learn more about a terrific organization.
Hope you can attend.
Family Matters Mission Statement:
Family Matters is a family-centered organization in the North of Howard neighborhood that seeks to be a catalyst for change - building and strengthening the community through programs that support personal growth and leadership.
Family Matters strives to be a safe, positive second home where families of diverse culture and experience come together and find equal acceptance, encouragement and challenge.
Family Matters believes the community must determine its own needs and can meet those needs through a partnership comprising neighborhood residents, staff, volunteers and donors.
Family Matters encourages respect for self and others and practices three principles of leadership: 1) utilizing peaceful conflict resolution, 2) embracing positive thinking and language, 3) understanding choices and consequences.
Family Matters supports all participants and their families in addressing self-identified issues within their communities and beyond. To that end, we utilize shared leadership within a personal-to-worldwide model of activism that begins with learning how to be an activist in one's own life.