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Year-In-Review 2020

To say 2020 was a unique year is an understatement, but through it all, New Moms continued to meet the changing needs of our participants. We have worked hard to navigate challenging current events and remain committed to achieving our deep-held value of racial equity. We are so grateful to have such a dedicated community behind us during this time. Thank you for responding to our calls to action – donating both fiscal and in-kind donations, as well as your valuable time and energy to our mission. It is in large part due to your generosity that we can continue offering supportive services to families enrolled in our programs. The work we do at New Moms would not be possible without you – it takes a community to accomplish this. We’re moved by how you all stepped up to show your love for young families!

You helped us accomplish a lot during 2020 despite it being a tough year for everyone. Throughout the pandemic, New Moms has been providing rental assistance, job search support, emergency food, and hygiene supplies to the young families we serve. Thank you for being champions of young moms and investing in their potential as parents and leaders. You make it possible for young moms to pursue their dreams, build solid foundations for the future, and be advocates for their families.

This year at New Moms…

1. We have reimagined all our programs so they could remain open and at capacity throughout the pandemic. We’ve incorporated new technologies and adjusted our traditional in-person model to maximize safety while maintaining the integrity of services. This includes adapting to virtual work and coaching, moving all our materials to interactive online versions, training everyone on new platforms, and distributing hotspots and tablets to participants as needed.

“Now that I have to come to work at the Job Training program, I’m getting more done. I’m more focused. It was just really hard for me staying in the house with my child, so thank you for letting us come back to work!”

-Infiniti, a production assistant at Bright Endeavors

2. Our alternative, COVID-friendly fundraising events exceeded all expectations. The virtual replacement for Kitchen Walk, Kitchen Talk, was named 2020’s Best Suburban Fundraiser by Better Magazine, and our alternative gala, Together We Thrive, a community-run effort comprised of peer-t0-peer fundraising, small in-person and virtual gatherings, blew past our goal (106% of the goal reached)!

3. Since March 2020, our staff has been delivering monthly care packages to families. All of these essential items like cleaning supplies, food, diapers, wipes, and formula have been donated by members of the New Moms community. Thank you!

4. We were selected as the winner of the 2020 Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence. The award included $5,000 and is a real mark of credibility for the whole organization.

5. 97 young moms were placed into jobs, and the percentage of moms who stayed in their jobs for over a year surpassed the national benchmark for their age group despite the pandemic!

6. 76 families who lost their jobs due to the pandemic accessed direct financial relief through our partnership with the Family Independence Initiative and the #GiveTogetherNow Chicago Fund. Even more young moms set up bank accounts for the first time setting the stage for their long-term economic mobility.

“I felt relief, that there was hope. I took care of everything I needed to with the money.”

– Destiny, a Housing participant

7. Operation Santa was a huge success! We received over 1,500 gifts (the most EVER!), which allowed 93 moms and 132 children to receive Christmas presents this year. We were truly humbled by the incredible generosity from our community.

“This stuff is so nice and thoughtful and generous! And I know you didn’t do this alone, so we want to say thank you to you and the entire New Moms team and donors. We are grateful.”

– Family Support participant

8. We celebrated 10 years since we integrated our social enterprise candle-making company, Bright Endeavors, into our Job Training Program. Bright Endeavors is an integral component of our workforce development approach for parenting youth. Since 2010, over 500 young moms have worked as production assistants obtaining paid transitional job training and skill development.

9. We were designated as a West Side hub for free baby supplies as part of the city of Chicago’s COVID relief efforts and Mayor Lightfoot’s call to action this summer. New Moms staff and volunteers distributed 8,112 diapers, 900 cans of formula, and over 80 containers of wipes to families.

10. All 18 apartments in Clare Place, New Moms’ housing located in Oak Park, were filled with young families. Clare Place apartments are permanent supportive housing, so families can live there as long as they choose and easily access services.

Thank you so much to all of you for making 2020 brighter, and bringing us into 2021 with a renewed sense of hope and optimism. We would not be here without you, and are so grateful for your commitment to young moms and their children. Cheers to 2021!