...here are just a few.
Antonette is one of them
Antonette was just a teenager when she began her downward spiral into heroin and crack cocaine. She seesawed in and out of prison for a slew of crimes, all committed to support her addiction.
“I can’t describe the pain of trying to do better and being unable to,” says Antonette, looking back at those wasted years. “I did a lot of things I wasn’t proud of, including not raising my children.”
But her family didn’t give up on Antonette. And Antonette decided to stop giving up on herself. While in jail she made a decision to change her life.
“I looked around and saw all these people,” says Antonette. “I realized I wasn’t who I was supposed to be. Who I wanted to be. I had to start believing that I was worth more than I was thinking I was worth. Let go of my mistakes. The more I realized how much I messed up, the more I didn’t want to mess up again.”
For the first time in many years, Antonette felt hope. But she needed someone or something to help guide her way. She found that spark when a representative from Inspiration Corporation visited her prison.
Located in Uptown, Inspiration Corporation provides support services, employment services and more for homeless and poverty-stricken individuals and families. It is just one of the hundreds of organizations to receive grants from the McCormick Foundation through Chicago Tribune Charities.
Antonette knew it could provide the lifeline she needed. She wrote its phone number everywhere she could, so she wouldn’t forget it. She counted the days until she was released, and could begin to turn her life around. And more importantly, to be a part of her children’s lives again.
“I only saw them three or four times when I was [in jail]. It was hard,” says Antonette. “They were so loving, even though I wasn’t part of their life for so long.”
Upon her release in 2008, Antonette took part in Inspiration Corporation’s four-week employment preparation training program. “It was a very, very cold winter and I remember taking the bus and I would always have a little frost bite from waiting. But I remember telling myself I can do this,” says Antonette.
Upon graduating, Antonette found a job quickly, and today she works with Easter Seals. An inspiration to her family, she also serves on the Board of Directors of Inspiration Corporation. There, she strives to provide insights and help to those in need, and keep them from avoiding her mistakes.
Antonette is also part of her children’s lives again. She now believes in herself. And she takes comfort in knowing her family believes in her, too.
Inspiration Corporation is one of the many organizations supported through Chicago Tribune Charities, a McCormick Foundation Fund. In 1990, the Chicago Tribune and the McCormick Foundation partnered to create Chicago Tribune Charities, a McCormick Foundation Fund. Together, with our donors, we have recently reached a significant milestone: passing the $100 million mark in charitable grants. Chicago Tribune Charities is dedicated to supporting nonprofit organizations that promote child abuse prevention and treatment, adult literacy, child and youth education, and workforce development.
More reasons to celebrate!
About Chicago Tribune Charities
In 1990, the Chicago Tribune expanded its longtime commitment to Chicagoland and established Chicago Tribune
Charities as a fund of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, positively impacting the lives of thousands of disadvantaged
children, families and adults every year.
Through Chicago Tribune Charities, grants are made to local nonprofit agencies that ensure that the disadvantaged in our community have access to vital programs that focus on:
- Teaching children and adults to read
- Offering job training for the unemployed
- Providing safe havens and counseling for children and families suffering from domestic violence
- Giving youths in low-income communities a well-rounded education
With the generous support of donors and the match provided by the McCormick Foundation, more than $98 million
has been granted through Chicago Tribune Charities, providing the means for those less fortunate to improve their lives
and realize their full potential.