Dreams For Kids directly makes an impact in the lives of kids in need. They replace charity with opportunity in the sense that they enable children to achieve goals by providing them with the tools to do so. Several years back I started volunteering with Dreams For Kids. I have a sister with autism, and after I had done a couple of events with them, they invited her out to be a guest. We've had some amazing experiences, and done things neither of us thought possible! This is one of the most hard working, down to earth, friendly and fun groups I've ever been a part of who make a direct impact in children's lives. I feel so grateful that me and my family are a part of it and we hope to continue our involvement with them for years to come. Highly recommended on all levels.
There are a lot of ways to spend your life. Many are absorbed with self-importance. Others like Tom Tuohy and Dreams for Kids are absorbed with significance - with making a real difference in this world, one kid at a time. Tom founded Dreams for Kids in Chicago in 1989 and his vision continues to be realized every day in the lives of thousands and thousands of at-risk youth. Dreams for Kids is uniquely powerful and effective because it focuses on giving our most challenged population, those who are disadvantaged for any reason, a hand up rather than a hand out. By teaching them social entrepreneurship skills, these at-risk youth move from being victims to being solutions, active agents for positive change in their communities and in the world. While others treat the symptoms of poverty, disability, disadvantage and yes, even affluence, Tom and DFK treat the real causes. DFK is a world changer. Amid all the challenges we face in this world, none is more significant than creating hope for our at risk youth. They are everywhere, and sadly, the problem is getting worse, not better. We owe them better. They do not want our charity, they want our love, our respect and they want an opportunity for a better future. This is a noble journey - it is life giving and life changing for anyone who will join hands with us. Take a hand up, give a hand up. Make a difference. Come join us and be changed in the significance!
BE the change that you want to see in the world! I know of no other organization that better exemplifies this leadership way of life better than Tom Tuohy and Dreams for Kids. I was first exposed to Dreams for Kids through Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN), a world class organization of leaders from diverse backgrounds motivated to change the world by leading lives of significance. I witnessed first hand the power of Tom's work during an emotional presentation by some of Tom's Dream Leaders, and the experience changed my life. Dreams for Kids is about noble innovation with purpose - creating change one child at a time, one life at a time, and being transformed yourself during the process. Amid all the challenges of the world, none is more difficult or important than creating hopeful change for our "at-risk" youth. They are everywhere among us - stricken by poverty. disability, affluence (higher percentage of substance abuse anxiety depression and suicide among affluent children than their inner city peers), and yes, the children of active military personnel - 2 million and counting. It is simply unsustainable for the future of the world to have that future arrive unhealthy, unskilled, uneducated or not alive to see it. Through Dreams for Kids, I know of one answer to these challenges that really works. I have seen it. I have met it. And I have shed tears for these children. They are waiting to be the solution instead of the problem. They do not want charity. They want opportunity. The opportunity to be the change. During this crazy political season that seems to bring out the worst in us, I invite you to take an intentional excursion - spend a little time with Tom Tuohy and Dreams for Kids. Visit his website at dreamsforkids.org. Make a donation. Make a difference. You will feel better about yourself and take a step toward BEING the change we so desperately need in this world!
The Norm Van Lier Scholarship Fund is an extremely proud supporter of the Dreams for Kids' Dream Leaders program on the South Side of Chicago. The Program has a brilliant curriculum that is very effective and profoundly transformative in the lives of the participants. Dream Leaders teaches the kids that they have great value, that they are important, and that they can help others. I am so grateful that I was made aware of this organization, as it does exactly the kind of work with kids that my husband believed in so strongly.