Creating a Bridge to a Brighter Future
Bridge Builders began with a desire to help homeless families in our communities. It was founded in 2003 by a small group of Glen Ellyn friends who wanted to increase awareness about Bridge Communities, as well as sponsor entertaining, fun and educational opportunities for client families - in particular the children.
Over the years, Bridge Builders has offered several educational seminars and family-focused activities that have helped enrich client families' experiences while in the Bridge Communities Transitional Housing Program. Bridge Builders has sponsored nutrition counseling sessions, cooking workshops, relationship and dating workshops, family picnics and other family fun activities. Bridge Builders has helped underwrite costs for summer day and overnight camps, music lessons, family portraits, holiday meals and special family events, such as a basketball game to see the Harlem Globe Trotters. Bridge Builders also provides child care for client families at Bridge Communities' sponsored events and meetings.
Bridge Communities' Scholarship Fund
Bridge Builders is most proud of the scholarship program developed for the youth that are in the Transitional Housing Program. Bridge Builders' Scholarship Fund is designed to enrich the lives of teens and young adults in the Bridge Communities program through traditional education, social, health, fitness and personal development.
Funds raised for the Scholarship Fund have helped children/youth:
- attend YMCA fitness camp
- attend Bulls basketball skills camp
- attend local park district football camp
- participate in karate lessons
- participate in a class field trip to Springfield, Illinois
- attend College of DuPage education courses
- purchase an electric scooter for physically challenged high school student
- attend overnight summer camps
- attend overnight Christian faith development and leadership camps
- participate in Equine Therapy Camp for a child who had been in foster care
Most notably, the Bridge Builder's Scholarship Fund has provided SIX renewable $1,500 college scholarships to graduating high school seniors that are attending accredited universities, including:
Become a Bridge Builder
Bridge Builders continues to grow through its membership, fundraising events and geographical impact:
- If you are interested in becoming a Bridge Builder, please contact Barbara Arentsen at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are interested in expanding Bridge Builders to your community, please contact Sue Lupori at email@example.com
- If you are interested in joining the Bridge Builders event mailing list, please contact Kathy Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are interested in donating to Bridge Builders, please contact Patricia Lekacz at email@example.com
- If you are interested in becoming an event sponsor, please contact Deb Ritter at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you have other questions or ideas to help, please contact Carrie Morris at email@example.com
"As a mentor, I feel that I have received more than I have given...the goal of a mentor might be to help families find resources to further their education, get out of debt, and plan for the future, but one soon realizes that it is the social and emotional support that is most essential. Being a mentor has taught me patience, compassion, and perseverance. It has changed my definition of success and increased my gratitude toward family, friends and God."