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Monday 21 Apr 2014
Together We Cope

We’re getting ready for Back to School

bckpk143Boxes of pre-packed school supplies and backpacks filled the conference room at Together We Cope’s office last year as staff prepared to distribute them to children in need.Hundreds of generous people helped us revamp our annual Back to School program last year, and we’re looking for their support in the 2014 campaign that begins now.
     Donors provided funding last year for purchase of 1,300 pre-packed boxes of school supplies and new backpacks. It was a departure from the previous program format, in which we collected thousands of individual school supplies throughout the community and spent many hours bagging them by grade level, only to find we didn’t have the right number of items needed by students in each grade level. The new pre-packed boxes are ordered by grade level, ensuring children in our program get all the tools they need to have a successful school year.
     “This is a very special program at Together We Cope,” said Kathryn Straniero, executive director, “because we know how important it is for children to get a good education as they start out in their lives. So often, education is the factor that allows people to succeed in reaching their goals.”
     A donation of $20 provides one child in need with a new backpack and a box of supplies. A $500 donation sends 25 youngsters back to school ready to learn. Information on this year’s program is with Tina Kessens at tkessens@togetherwecope.org.


Two area women earn Together We Cope top volunteer honors

JoAnn Hillblom TWC VolunteerJoAnn HillblomJoAnn Hillblom of Mokena and Mary Nolan of Orland Hills have been named the 2014 recipients of Together We Cope’s annual Reimer Award for outstanding volunteers at the Tinley Park homeless prevention agency.
     The award is given annually to agency volunteers who demonstrate the care and compassion that is the spirit of Together We Cope. It is named for Theodore H. Reimer Jr., a late member of the agency’s board of directors and a longtime volunteer.
     Together We Cope assists south suburban families in crisis through its food pantry, resale shop and funding for some issues such as mortgage, rent and utility bills. It offers referrals for other assistance that can return clients to self-sufficiency.
     Hillblom has worked in TWC’s food pantry for several years, greeting clients at the door and distributing groceries as needed. She also helps coordinate two of TWC’s major client programs, Back to School and Adopt a Child. More than 1,500 children in need receive new backpacks and school supplies in the first program, and another 1,200 receive Christmas gifts donated by the community in the second program.
Mary Nolan TWC VolunteerMary Nolan     Nolan has taken a leadership role in organizing those two client programs at Together We Cope each year, collecting the needed material and setting up distribution. In addition, she serves on Together We Cope’s special events committee and works with staff to plan and implement the agency’s major fundraising events.
     “Our volunteers are vital to the operation of our agency,” said Kathryn Straniero, executive director of Together We Cope. “We rely on their expertise and their steadfast commitment to our mission. Without them, we could not be nearly as effective as we are in assisting families in crisis.”
     Nearly 200 south suburban residents volunteer in various capacities at Together We Cope.


Helping those who help others – until it hurts
Like a lot of people who support Together We Cope, Bill and Dotty felt compelled to help those in need. But for this elderly couple, having a generous heart was one of the reasons they found themselves in serious financial need last fall when they turned to TWC for help.
      Bill, 80, and his 79-year-old wife, Dotty, had managed to live on a modest fixed income in the south suburbs for years, renting an apartment not just for themselves but also a disabled granddaughter and a son with mental health issues. Last October, hoping to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary, they put down a $1,000 deposit at a banquet hall. When they realized they couldn’t afford it, they cancelled the event but lost the deposit.
Then Dotty became ill and needed to see her doctor. But his office wasn’t located on a bus line and the couple began renting a car so she could make her appointments, an expense that steadily piled up. When various scam artists targeted the couple, their financial trouble ballooned, and soon they were behind in rent by more than $1,000.


Spring cleaning?
springtime at nu2u
Think spring shopping at Nu2u Resale
As the days grow longer, our Nu2u Resale Shop is looking for the same items you’ll soon find on the racks and shelves at your favorite store: spring & summer goods.  
     Now is a great time to pass along shorts, spring jackets, capri pants, lightweight dresses, sandals and even swimsuits in good condition. When in doubt, don’t throw it out – donate it to Together We Cope!

Download the recipes from our 2013 TWC Food Pantry Challenge


 Click the image above to download or view the recipe collection.

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golfcartSave the date!
Together We Cope's annual golf outing at Odyssey Country Club is Wednesday, June 4 and is sure to be a lot of fun. We hope you will help by being an event- or hole-sponsor. The price for golf and dinner for one person is $125, or $95 for golf only - same as last year. The event is open to the public and proceeds will help area families overcome temporary crises in their lives.
     For more information contact Karen at 708-633-5040 or email her at 2014 TWC Golf Outing.

Save the Date!
Volunteer to help or
register to race in June R.A.W. Duathlon

The 14th Annual ‘Race Around the World’ Duathlon; an outstanding athletic event and synonymous with Tinley Park; is Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 8 a.m. Check-in will be at 174th Place and Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park, at the Oak Park Avenue train station. The duathlon consists of a 2-mile run and then an 11-mile bike followed by a final 2-mile run. The event is open to the public regardless of athletic ability. Registration is at tinleyparkduathlon.com. Racers may enter individually or as a team of two. Prospective volunteers should call Jen at 708-528-9278.

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    unitedway2in      Together We Cope   •   17010 South Oak Park Avenue, Tinley Park, Illinois 60477   •   708-633-5040

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