Since mid-March, as the initial onset of the “Stay at Home” orders were set in place by State of Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker, The Lavin Family Foundation, known for its innovative philanthropy, has committed over 2 million dollars to support impacted local charities and restaurants with the #FeedItForward Initiative. This initiative aims to provide meals to those in need, while financially helping local restaurants stay in business.
SOS Children’s Villages Illinois is one of over fifty nonprofits that is a recipient of this generous gift. The Lavin Family Foundation’s support comes at a crucial time when SOS Illinois Foster Parents, who care for up to six children, have had to assume additional roles in their children’s lives to maintain as much normalcy as possible during the current health crisis.
An important piece of this initiative is that the meals must come from independent, locally-owned restaurants. The hope is to keep small restaurants alive and people employed while helping feed people in communities across the Chicagoland area that are in crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Lavin Family Foundation recognizes the important role foster families play in caring for children placed with SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, especially in times like these,” said Carol Lavin Bernick, president of the foundation. “We wanted to provide these families with nutritious meals and hope while also helping to sustain the neighborhood ‘mom and pop’ restaurants near those homes.”
Gratitude for Meals that only Require Setting the Table
The response to the delivered meals from families at all three of our Villages has been overwhelming. Children and Foster Parents alike are grateful to for the nights when family meals are delivered through the #FeedItForward initiative, and the only work required is setting the table.
Ms. Fatina Wilson, one of our Chicago Village Foster Parents shared, “I am so thankful for the support of the Lavin Family Foundation. Having a family dinner delivered on a weeknight eases the burden that each of our families feel during this time. Since we have been at home, there is so much more being asked of each of us. We are no longer just Foster Parents, but in many ways teachers, lunch ladies and so much more.”
Ms. Jenny Wray, a Foster Parent at our Roosevelt Square Village shared, “Having these meals delivered has been the single most helpful support during this health crisis. It gives us a night off from meal prep and excessive dishes and gives us all something to look forward to during the week. The kids love delivery nights! Huge thanks to the donor and to you all (staff) for coordinating. So appreciated!”
Ms. Sandra Marbeth, a Lockport Village Foster Parent shared, “Please let the donor know how grateful we are. And that it has been so helpful to us parents😍.”
Restaurants Providing Food to SOS Illinois Villages
SOS Illinois is proud to be a part of the #FeedItForward initiative that helps local restaurants during this difficult time. Special thanks to the restaurants working especially hard during this health crisis. Below is a list of restaurants helping feed our children and families:
Conte Di Savoia
Hawkeye’s Bar and Grill
Papa Joe’s Italian Restaurant
Pop’s Italian Beef
About the Lavin Family Foundations
The Lavin Family Foundation was created over 50 years ago by the family that founded the Alberto Culver Company to fund groups working in health care, education and programs designed to better family life.
Today the Foundation, directed by the second and third family generations under the banner of “Innovative Philanthropy at Work,” has continued and deepened that focus while creating new, entrepreneurial initiatives that extend its passion and reach beyond traditional funding channels. Other examples of their innovative practices are exemplified through Enchanted Backpack, CC’s Wish List, and the CAST Water Safety Foundation.