In 2020, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois will celebrate its 30th year of providing innovative, transformational care to children in foster care and at-risk families. Throughout the year, SOS Illinois will honor and celebrate three decades of accomplishments in Illinois foster care, corporate and individual giving, and community support and advocacy. Join us as we celebrate our history of breaking new ground in child welfare and beyond.
SOS Children’s Villages Illinois: A Brief History
The SOS Children’s Villages Illinois story began by recognizing the growing need to provide comprehensive foster care to sibling groups in Illinois. Built off of the SOS Children’s Villages model first developed in Europe in the 1940’s, founding SOS Illinois board members worked tirelessly to adapt the international model to the needs of the state.
From finding suitable land for the first Village, to partnering with contractors and construction companies, to raising the funds needed to bring the Village to life, SOS Illinois pioneers garnered support and enthusiasm for the project before its groundbreaking in 1990. With the construction and opening of the Lockport Village in 1993, SOS Illinois offered the innovative approach to foster care dreamed of by its founding members, and a community of love for the children it served.
In the years to following, SOS Illinois opened two other Villages in Illinois: the Chicago Village and Roosevelt Square Village, both located in Chicago. Additionally, SOS Illinois acquired Casa Tepeyac in order to provide much-needed preventative services and family strengthening to members of the Back of the Yards community. Most recently, SOS Illinois began construction on the Roosevelt Square Community Center, a 11,000+ square foot facility set to serve the Roosevelt Square Village and surrounding neighborhoods. Construction on the project is scheduled to be completed by fall 2020, with services soon to follow.
For an interactive timeline of SOS Illinois, and to read about additional details and milestones, click here.
Celebrating 30 Years of Transformation
The accomplishments and success of SOS Children’s Villages Illinois over the last three decades have been the result of working together with incredible individuals and teams. The ongoing support of board members, staff, donors, and community partners enables us to build the future of foster care in ways otherwise impossible. SOS Illinois knows that the Village is not only a place, but a mindset that brings together people around a common good. In 2020, we are celebrating the incredible individuals, partners, and moments that have shaped 30 years of transformation, 30 years of innovative, and 30 years of so much more.
Each month of the year will feature a specific theme through which we will share stories of hope, generosity, creativity, honesty, and love. Utilizing blogs, social media, videos, infographics, and more, SOS Illinois will invite our friends and followers into a time of memory, celebration, and envisioning. Whether you have been with us from the beginning or joining our cause for the first time, we are confident that our 30th year will be one worth celebrating. We are excited to share it with you!
Join Us in Celebrating
Getting involved with SOS Illinois in honor of our 30th anniversary helps ensure that our legacy of care extends far beyond these three decades of service in Illinois foster care. Whether looking to get involved as an individual, family, company, or organization, there are many ways to lend your voice in support of SOS Illinois’ anniversary. Here are three places to get started:
The 30 for 30 Campaign
Did you know that, after receiving funding from the State of Illinois, the unmet cost of supporting a child in our care for one day is $30? This gap in cost means that essential programs that boost the quality of life, educational accomplishments, and wellness initiatives for our youth in Illinois foster care are at stake if this need is not met. In honor of our anniversary, you can help us cover this cost for the next year and beyond.
Here are five giving levels inspired by this need:
- Donate $30 to support one child in our care for one day
- Donate $90 to support one sibling set of 3 for one day
- Fundraise or donate $180 to support one sibling set of 6 for one day
- Fundraise or donate $900 to support one child in our care for a month
- Join our Dream Makers Monthly Giving Program at $30/month
Beyond these giving levels, tax-deductible donations of any size make a tremendous impact on the lives of the children and families at SOS Illinois. No matter what you contribute, you can know that your gift goes directly towards life-changing programming and services for youth in foster care. Get started today, and invite your friends and networks to get involved, too!
Foster Parenting at SOS Illinois
The SOS Children’s Villages Illinois model of care is unique: we employ full-time, professional Foster Parents who care for up to six siblings in a single-family home in one of our Village communities. For SOS Illinois Foster Parents, their job is not just a full-time job—it’s a full-time vocation serving children in Illinois foster care. Because Foster Parents are the foundation of the SOS Illinois model, we are looking for passionate and dedicated candidates to create stable home lives for our youth. By creating a stable home, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois Foster Parents help children overcome devastating pasts and gain confidence about their world and their dreams for the future.
At SOS Illinois, we believe that good people know good people, and understand that our network of supporters, partners, and friends is vital in recruiting loving Foster Parents for children in foster care. In honor of our 30th anniversary, we invite you to consider if this important role is right for you or someone in your circle.
To learn more about this unique position, and to find resources to share with loved ones who may be a perfect fit, check out our Foster Parenting page.
Lend Your Voice; Share Our Story
Creating awareness about fostering in Illinois and the SOS Children’s Villages Illinois model of care is essential to our success. Every time our story is shared, you help us draw important attention to issues impacting at-risk youth and children in foster care, especially sibling groups who face additional burdens within the system.
By subscribing to our e-newsletter, following and engaging with us on our social media platforms, contributing to our “Lend Your Voice” form, and sharing our mission and impact with others, you amplify our collective voice. In doing so, more individuals across Illinois and the larger United States can be inspired by our successes and motivated to join our cause.
Thank You for Inspiring 30 Years of Service
We are incredibly grateful to every member of our community who has helped us build a legacy of love, service, and advocacy for children in Illinois foster care and at-risk families. With your ongoing support throughout the last 30 years, we have been able to build futures and transform lives. We cannot wait to celebrate this special anniversary with you, and look forward to the many ways that you will help to make the next 30 years (and beyond) even more memorable.