Replacing Charity with Opportunity
We have but one life. We get nothing out of that life except by putting something into it. To relieve suffering, to help the unfortunate, to do kind acts and deeds is, after all, the one sure way to secure happiness or to achieve real success. Your life and mine shall be valued not by what we take… but by what we give.
Today, Holiday for Hope is the largest holiday event of its kind in the world and brings over 1,500 homeless and severely at-risk children to one location in Illinois and over 6,000 worldwide, on one day in December to share the holiday spirit.
Today’s Primary Mission, Vision, Approach, and Purpose
Dreams for Kids isn’t just another collect-and-drop-charity. Instead, this 501(c) (3) non-profit organization seeks to replace charity with opportunity for at-risk youth through service, leadership and social activities while inspiring them to go after their dreams and be change agents in their community and in the world.
To unite children of various ability, race, religion, and social-economic background and inspire them to realize their fullest potential to serve as active contributing members of their communities and citizens of the world.
Core to their programming, is the empowerment of youth who live in poverty and also those with disabilities. Each young person is reminded of their intrinsic value and their ability to give to others, and then they are given opportunities to serve and make a difference in the lives of others.
To break down the barriers of segregation, embrace the abilities and potential of an isolated population, and empower them to “pay it forward” in such a way which changes their communities and transforms their lives.
When you want to help someone, first you have to understand who they are. When you understand who they are, then you can gain acceptance. When they accept you in their life, they will trust you. When they trust you, you can truly make a difference.
— Father Wally, Spiritual Advisor and member of the original Board of Directors of Dreams for Kids
A Personal Note:
As a mother of six, and having spent a few Christmases in Shelters I want to say Thank You to all the organizations, agencies, programs, advocates, donors, sponsors, and volunteers who make a difference by giving so much of their time, energy, and personal resources to help our children through these transition times. Because of you, there really is such a thing as a Holiday for Hope.