Longtime friend and supporter, Swissôtel Chicago, recently partnered with Big City Readers to provide an educational and entertaining opportunity for children and families right from the safety of their own homes. Through a Virtual Story Hour, nearly a hundred participants from around the country gathered for the free, Zoom-based event. As a give-back initiative, participants were asked to consider making a donation in support of the children in foster care served at SOS Illinois, which would be matched up to $5,000 by Swissôtel Chicago. We are grateful for this special treat for our families, as well as this creative approach towards supporting our programs and services.
On April 30, participants from across the country gathered in front of their computer and phone screens to listen to the captivating, family-friendly storytelling of Big City Readers. Though listeners were in all different homes, the energy of the reader reflected the excitement of the community.
“For years our families have been gathering together for cooking classes, garden days, family-friendly events, holiday celebrations; the list goes on! So to not be able to high-five a child or hug a Foster Parent has been sad for our team,” Swissôtel Chicago’s General Manager, Ted Selogie, shared. “We miss seeing the smiling kids around the hotel and wanted to be able to connect to our extended family from afar. My team appreciates the opportunity to be a positive influence in these children’s lives.”
SOS Illinois families were sure to join in on the fun, gathering up to six children around their computers to listen in to the reading, singing, and musical sounds of the talented reader. With laughs, songs, and silliness, this was the perfect opportunity for the little ones among us to be wowed, and for our Foster Parents to enjoy some time out of the entertainers’ seat!
Ted offered a kind welcome to participants, reminding everyone that moments like these help us feel connected even when we are apart. Ted introduced SOS Illinois CEO, Tim McCormick, who thanked our hosts for providing such a generous opportunity to support our organization and readers everywhere.
Following introductions, the event’s reader, Miss Beth, entertained nearly one hundred viewers with animated, exciting storytelling, including short songs, sign language, and commentary to support early literacy learning.
The children’s books chosen included Thank You, Omu (Oge Mora), The Giant Jumperee (Julia Donaldson), and When You Are Brave (Pat Zietlow Miller). The selections covered topics such as hope, tackling fear, and gratitude – all perfect for our current global climate, especially for children in foster care.
The thirty-minute event, closed out by final remarks from Ted, served as a wonderful reminder of the ways our corporate partners continue to provide much-needed support during this difficult time. Additionally, as SOS Illinois offers a unique model of foster care, we strive to create educational experiences for youth of all ages. These types of programs, made possible by partners like Swissôtel Chicago, are more beneficial than ever as we practice safe social distancing.
Swissôtel Chicago Provides Ongoing Support to SOS Illinois
Our friends at Swissôtel Chicago are no strangers to the transformational work happening at SOS Illinois. As one of our closest and most dedicated partners, Swissôtel Chicago has been involved hands-on with our community for the last few years, providing education and formative experiences for our children and teens while providing generous support through donation-focused programs.
On the importance of the future of our partnership, Ted Selogie shared, “We are working together to open a Community Center, where children can train with our Executive Chef, developing their cooking skills and prepare for jobs in the workplace. The future of our partnership is exciting and I look forward to the day where we can be together again!”
Additionally, Swissôtel Chicago offers a special booking rate for those looking to make a difference while enjoying the beautiful hotel’s hospitality. The Give Hope Package, which offers guests 15% off their booking rate and a $10 donation to SOS Illinois per night, has helped Swissôtel Chicago donate more than $20,000 to support our children and families. You can learn more about this booking rate today to begin planning your travel when it becomes safe.
Want to learn more about the many ways that Swissôtel Chicago is helping us build the future of foster care? Check out just a few articles on how they shine!
- Swissôtel Chicago Sponsors a Career Day for Youth in Foster Care
- Swissôtel Chicago Celebrates Harvest Day with Youth in Foster Care
- Swissôtel Chicago Gives the Gift of Summer Fun to Youth in Foster Care
About Swissôtel Chicago
Designed by renowned Chicago architect Harry Weese, Swissôtel Chicago is an award-winning luxury hotel overlooking the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, and just steps from the Magnificent Mile. The distinctive 4-diamond, all-glass hotel offers spectacular wrap-around views from Navy Pier to Millennium Park, 662 guest rooms and suites, five premier ballrooms, state-of-the-art penthouse fitness centre, and spotless European-style service.
Visit Swissôtel Chicago online at https://www.Swissôtel.com/hotels/chicago/.
About Big City Readers
Big City Readers’ storytimes combine research-based read alouds with fun songs to get your little ones wiggling! The atmosphere created by the band of experienced teachers and storytellers is fun, free, and bright, and we welcome all families to enjoy a thoughtful and educational read aloud in the comfort of your own home.
Visit Big City Readers online at https://www.bigcityreaders.com/.