2020 Year Review

Dear Union League Boys & Girls Clubs Community,

2020 has been a year full of challenges for all of us. Our youth have witnessed loss and overcome barriers to success, but it has also been a year of hope, inspiration, and support from the community. This year, none of the progress we’ve made would have been possible without the strength and compassion of our supporters, like you!

Your support, whether you made a gift, attended a virtual event, or even spread the word about the programs and services ULBGC has to offer, is an invaluable resource to us, allowing us to continue serving Chicago youth during one of the most difficult times in our lives. As we close out 2020 and this decade, I wanted to provide you with a year in review so you can truly see the impact you’ve made possible this year.

  • On February 27, 2020 we welcomed Tiana Jackson and Savannah Rivera, both of the Barreto Club, as the 2020 Youth of the Year and Junior Youth of the Year, respectively. Tiana Jackson went on to win the title of Illinois State Youth of the Year. Congratulations, Tiana and Savannah!
  • As we all learned to navigate the growing COVID-19 crisis, and in an effort to keep our youth, staff, and volunteers safe and healthy, ULBGC made the decision to close its sites to in-person programming on March 17, continuing to offer support our youth and families virtually.
  • At the beginning of the pandemic, our families in Englewood told us the harsh reality; they don’t have adequate internet access at home. We quickly learned more than 80% of our families lack a connection, much less a device with which to access the Internet. Through the help of our supporters, we supplied our members with Internet-enabled electronic devices so they could complete e-learning from home while the Clubs were closed.
  • Meeting another need our families expressed to us in their time of need, by June 2020, in partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, we distributed more than 150,000 meals to our communities’ families. To date, we continue providing nourishing meals and snacks to our Club members.
  • On July 6, 2020, after careful consultation and planning and in alignment with public health guidance, we safely reopened our Clubs for our youth to participate in summer day camp (6 feet apart, of course).
  • In response to Chicago Public Schools remaining closed for the first half of the 2020-21 school year, Union League Boys & Girls Clubs pivoted to in-person daytime programming, focused on providing guidance for youth as they tackle e-learning.
  • Shortly before Thanksgiving, two Club members and their families lost everything in a house fire. Jamara Hal, Englewood Area Assistant Director, supplied the family with the essentials they needed, mobilized community partners to assist, and ensured the family could lean on their Union League Boys & Girls Clubs during the holiday season. Thank you, Jamara, for your inspirational service!

Thank YOU for making such an impressive impact on Union League Boys & Girls Clubs’ youth in 2020. None of these amazing things would have happened without you and the help of your fellow supporters who believe every youth, regardless of zip code or upbringing, deserves the chance at a bright future.

With gratitude,
Mary Ann Mahon Huels
President & CEO