At Give Back, we hold events to engage the community around us to be a part of the change that we are making with scholars and within Give Back.  

Illinois Give Back began a new tradition, an Annual Community Engagement Luncheon. This event was held at Ashbury’s in Boilingbrook, IL.  At the event, introductions were made to those in attendance. Shameco Moore, the Coordinator of Community & Student Engagement served as the host of this wonderful event, and there were also presentations from Lydia Matlock, the Chief of Program Operations and Kelsey Novak, the Program Director. The attendees came from various backgrounds within the community, including law enforcement, businesses, and education. 

During the event, a Community Excellence Award was presented to Dr. Algenia, a local doctor from a pediatric practice. A few months ago, Dr. Algenia reached out to Give Back and voluntarily hosted drives to collect winter clothing and school supplies for the students who may not have access to such items. Dr. Algenia was pleasantly surprised to receive this award, and it was an honor for Give Back to present it to him.

After the event, Give Back was offered an opportunity for more businesses in Illinois to come together to help Give Back. Cristina, a local restaurant owner called Shameco to express how touched she was by the event and the experience of watching Dr.Algenia receive the Community Excellence Award a The conversation continued with an offer for her and some other businesses in the area to collaborate on an event for Give Back, her restaurant would cater the event for free, one of the other owners would host the event at their place of business, and everything would be covered.  All the proceeds would go to Give Back. Shameco and Shannon Labus, a student coach in Illinois, attended the event. It was greatly organized. Shameco described it as “When I arrived, there was a dunk tank on the side of the building, there were vendor tables lining the entry to the business. It was quite a scene” we were glad to hear about such an outcome. Shameco was able to network with others at the event to speak about Give Back and set up an area to set up founder Bob Carr’s books and t-shirt. There were so many people engaged and glad to support.  

At the event, Shameco had the opportunity to meet a pleasant lady who later reached out to Shameco about the new initiative in the school called Workplace Readiness. Intrigued by the idea of providing $250 for each of the four schools, she and a few others expressed interest in becoming business sponsors for professional attire in two or possibly three of the schools. 

In a pleasant surprise, an owner from the area who attended the event learned that the goal for the day was initially set at $300. Impressed with the cause, he wrote a check to Give Back for that amount and encouraged them to raise the goal. By the end of the day, the event had raised $2,255, exceeding the initial goal by nearly $2,000.

Give Back is incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support and generosity shown by these individuals, business owners, and community members who have wholeheartedly contributed to our foundation in any way they can. Together, we are making a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve.