If there are two things nonprofits are always in need of they are volunteers and funding. That is no different for the Glen Ellyn Children’s Resource Center.
The nonprofit has recently expanded its literacy efforts in Glen Ellyn and would like to grow its program to offer even more assistance to children in need in the community. To grow the program more funding is required.
With nothing to lose, other than a chance at some grant funding, the organization is in the running for a Chase Community Giving Award. If the literacy nonprofit gets enough votes to stay in the race, it could receive anywhere between $10,000-to-$250,000. All that residents need to do is vote. Voting is ongoing through Sept. 17.
The resource center provides an after school literacy program for students who are in need of assistance with language skills and who come from low-income families, said Mary Beth Sackett, a board volunteer for the nonprofit.
A large number of the 80 students the organization is working with are refugees who were relocated to the area by the Wheaton-based World Relief. According to the the Glen Ellyn Children's Resource Center, more than half of the students it helps are refugees representing families from 14 different countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Students spend an hour a day afterschool with a volunteer who helps them with their homework. The nonprofit has been around for 10 years and has evolved over the years, Sackett said.
The organization has worked with students at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School and recently expanded to St. Petronille Catholic School, where volunteers will work with older students, she said.
“The children we’ve worked with are getting older,” Sackett said. “They are moving on, but they still need assistance.”
Volunteers are required to spend one hour, one day during the week working with a child after school between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Right now the resource center has 80 volunteers, but it would like to increase its number of volunteers to 150, she said.
“Once you get there, the kids are so cute you want to come back,” she said.
The nonprofit receives a lot of positive feedback from teachers and administrators about how helpful the program has been for students, she said.
The nonprofit is also in contract with officials at District 89. The resource center would like to start working with the district but it needs the funding to hire employees to oversee the volunteers, Sackett said.
“We don’t have a huge budget and any funding would help,” Sackett said. “We would like to get south of Roosevelt Road because there is a huge need there.”
The organization relies upon grant funding, donations and fundraisers for its funding. It also receives in-kind assistance, including the YMCA allowing it to use office space for free and District 41 also provides space for the program.
Sackett said the nonprofit is in an interesting position; it’s too large to receive some grants, too small to receive others.
To plan for growth, it has created another fund that is earmarking for a third site. There are 400 families that have been identified in Glen Ellyn who need assistance and the nonprofit would like to help those children.
“We really want to help as many kids as we can,” she said.
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