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Year-in-Review 2021

When we look back on 2021, we see it was truly a rollercoaster with the persistent global pandemic affecting every aspect of our lives. Yet despite the disruption, life kept moving forward and young families continued to partner with New Moms as they took powerful first steps towards housing stability, economic mobility, and family well-being.

Throughout the year, New Moms not only held strong but, as an organization, we also set, pursued, and achieved ambitious goals. Every year brings its own set of unique challenges but our New Moms community rose to the occasion and accomplished some incredible things during 2021. Thank you to everyone who supported our mission and helped us take decisive steps towards our vision of the future where every family thrives!

Top Ten Accomplishments From Last Year…

In 2021, we launched our Parent Advisory Council. This group of eight moms who completed one or more of our programs within the past five years, and are now sharing their expertise, perspectives, and recommendations with New Moms. The Parent Advisors are committed to using their experience and wisdom as young moms to improve our programming for future families.

“I feel like it’s a great way to give back by being a voice for other young mothers. This opportunity will help my growth in leadership as well.” – Parent Advisor

We began our training and consulting work with peer organizations and others in our field! We continue to share what we have learned and developed in Chicagoland to improve social services nationwide. Our Research, Learning, & Innovation Team has trained over 50 practitioners from Illinois, Arizona, and Pennsylvania on the brain and behavioral science of Executive Skills. This work has the potential to impact families around the country and help them achieve their goals for economic mobility and family well-being!

“For us, [Executive Skills Coaching] was the piece that was missing from our program that I had no idea I was missing!” – James C., Program Manager, Keys to Work, Indianapolis

We navigated the safe return of staff and participants to all three of our locations during an unprecedented, global pandemic. From changing organizational policies to procuring PPE supplies, the New Moms’ HR and Operations Team worked hard to support our amazing staff and the families we serve.

New Moms completed a total building refresh of our main office, the Transformation Center, in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. This included new paint, matching furniture with clean lines, comfortable lounge spaces, new carpet tiles, and additional work space for staff. As a result, our building is now more functional and more beautiful for all visitors.

The Family Support Chicago Team is now a Parents as Teachers Blue Ribbon Affiliate! The Quality Endorsement and Improvement Process (QEIP) was a rigorous 18 months and required a full team effort. This milestone was accomplished because of the dedication and passion of New Moms’ program staff which is dedicated to the community-building work we do and the 296 moms and 414 children we served last year.

Our social enterprise candle company, Bright Endeavors, celebrated two record-breaking months of revenue! Bright Endeavors is a critical component of New Moms’ Job Training program and exists to provide on-the-job training and professional skill development for young moms. This year, we employed 67 Production Assistants and offered over 17,000 hours of job training to young moms! Thank you to everyone who supports our mission by purchasing candles or one of our new reed diffusers.

“Bright Endeavors gave me a boost of confidence. It’s like you’re working for them but they’re also working for you. They value your opinion. They make sure you’re okay, physically and mentally.” – Jylisa, a production assistant in New Moms’ Job Training Program

We began the year with five young moms enrolled in our Job Training program and finished 2021 back at pre-pandemic numbers — 21 production assistants in a cohort! We expanded the program to include certificate training in manufacturing, entrepreneurship, and customer service & sales and also partnered with Touch Gift Foundation to provide adult education onsite for moms that want to earn a GED! Last year, 79 young moms were placed into jobs after graduating from our program.

“I’m gaining all the tools I need to be successful. They teach us things we can take with us through life.” – Shutia, a production assistant in New Moms’ Job Training Program

New Moms is taking the lead to develop a national network of social service agencies interested in incorporating spiritual formation services as part of a holistic, family-centered approach to supporting families. We are growing the Chicago Formation Network to include new members from around the country.

Year after year, New Moms’ participant Christmas Celebration is our most anticipated event. For the last two years we have adapted our celebration to be COVID-friendly while still making the experience special for families in our programs. Our goal this year was to get presents under the Christmas tree for the 171 moms and 209 kids in our programs. We are so grateful to everyone who donated to the gift drive and made Operation Santa 2021 a success. Thanks to the generosity of our community, we received over 2,140 donated gifts for moms and kids — the most ever! With the help of 64 volunteers, all the items were unboxed, packed, and delivered to families in time for the holidays.

“I want to give a big ‘thank you’ to all the volunteers and everyone who donated holiday gifts for the families in our programs. The support from the community has made a huge impact in making this holiday season special for our young families. Donor support really helps us go the extra mile as we partner with parents in their journey!” – Mary Calderon, a New Moms Doula

We give our sincerest appreciation to everyone who gave to New Moms both monetary gifts and goods donations. Because of your generosity, last year alone, we provided young families in Chicagoland with 48,968 nights of shelter and 7,909 coaching sessions. Our young moms found gainful employment to support their families, accomplished savings goals to work towards financial stability, got their first apartment and had space to create lasting family memories, and built foundations for thriving futures.

“New Moms is more than just an organization. It’s a support system, helping hand, and motivator.”  – Tajuor, a participant in New Moms’ Family Support & Job Training Programs