I love hearing stories of nonprofits that make a difference over decades. BUILD Chicago is one of those bright lights.
BUILD stands for “Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development.” They started in 1969 in one neighborhood to get kids out of gangs and stem the flow of kids susceptible to getting into gangs.
Starting with 200 youth centered in one neighborhood, they now serve thousands of young people. And they’ve expanded to 11 of Chicago’s neighborhoods!
Talking to young people. Sharing my story
BUILD has been in existence for over 40 years. That’s long enough for them to now be staffed a couple generations of people who’ve benefitted from their program. If you watch the BUILD video, you’ll hear them constantly saying they share their story with the kids. And those stories are continuing to change lives.
So often, schools are overwhelmed with simply trying to get done all the things they need to accomplish in the education process that there’s little time to hear people’s stories. BUILD provides a place for that.
One thing that strikes me about BUILD is that rather than focusing on “Don’t do what I did” stories, they focus kids on what they can do. BUILD breaks down their program into three strategic areas:
- College prep
- Career readiness
- Youth leadership development
One BUILD participant who has seen kids go through this program says:
“They start out as sluggish snails but they turn into these phoenixes.”
Invest in BUILD
You can help kids turn into phoenixes too. Your gift to BUILD will help change the future for over 3500 people from ages 6 to 27. To make a donation by credit card or PayPal go to BUILD’s Donation Page. You can make your donation go even further by choosing the monthly giving option.
If you live near Chicago, you could also support their work by volunteering in one of their strategic areas.
To learn more about BUILD, check out this inspirational video on their YouTube channel:
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