News & events
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
But what Bridge Builders is most proud of is 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 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:
The Garage Party
Bridge Builders sponsors one of Glen Ellyn's favorite fundraising events each year: The Garage Party
The Garage Party
Held annually at the beginning of the year, The Garage Party is the "IT" party of the season. Proceeds from The Garage Party benefit Bridge Communities' Auto Donation Program. Many homeless families enter the Transitional Housing Program with no car or one that soon breaks down. Donated used cars are refurbished and given to clients in need of safe, reliable cars for commuting to work and transporting children to school and child care. The Auto Donation Program is a critical piece to getting client families back on the road to self-sufficiency.
Each February, over 400 guests enjoy The Garage Party at Gearhead European Auto Repair. Bridge Builders raise approximately $20,000 each year to support the Auto Donation Program.
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 email@example.com
- If you are interested in expanding Bridge Builders to your community, please contact Sue Lupori at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are interested in joining the Bridge Builders event mailing list, please contact Kathy Doyle at email@example.com
- If you are interested in donating to Bridge Builders, please contact Patricia Lekacz at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are interested in becoming an event sponsor, please contact Deb Ritter at email@example.com
- If you have other questions or ideas to help, please contact Carrie Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org