BAPA Donor Spotlight: Deborah Chinnapillai 

By: Brian Marchetti 

 

BAPA wishes to extend its heartfelt thanks to one of the organization’s amazing donors, Deborah Chinnapillai. Her contributions to the association along with her love for Beverly help sustain our thriving community. 

Born in Mississippi, Chinnapillai’s family moved to the South Side of Chicago when she was 18 months old. Throughout her early life, she caught glimpses of the large houses that populate Beverly/Morgan Park. She attended DePaul University, where she studied accounting, and met her husband, Jacob. 

“We wanted to live in the city,” Chinnapillai said. “Jacob was from India, and he wanted to live somewhere that was integrated.” 

The Chinnapillais moved into their forever home on 108th and Longwood Drive 23 years ago. BAPA, along with their neighbors, helped the newcomers settle into the community by featuring them in a New Neighbor Profile in The Villager. 

Chinnapillai has fallen in love with the neighborhood and the activities and services that BAPA provides. Besides contributing financially, she offers her unique touch to neighborhood happenings. 

During the Ridge Run, which passes her house, she plays music for the runners. Chinnapillai and her neighbor always promise that they will participate… next year. 

“When I moved to Beverly, I enjoyed the community and all the activities and services available,” Deborah said. “Something like this doesn’t happen by mistake. I believe you have to be a contributor and you have to help.” 

Currently, Chinnapillai works as a financial advisor for LPL Financial, where she has a rewarding career helping people achieve their economic goals. In her free time, she loves to travel, read, and plans to hop on a recently purchased bicycle. 

“I’ve been to Sri Lanka, I really enjoyed that. I’ve been to India, China and Greece,” she said. 

In 2020, Deborah traveled on a river cruise in Germany that sailed the Rhine. While there, she attended the Oberammergau Passion Play, an event that takes place once every ten years that portrays the final days of Jesus’ life and resurrection. 

When Chinnapillai and her husband first moved into their home over two decades ago, the block had no trees. They decided to plant a sapling in the front yard. Some years back, Jacob passed away. The tree they planted together reminds Chinnapillai of the wonderful times she had with her husband.  

“That was the only sadness that has come,” she said. “I did get a lot of love from the neighbors, but when I look at that tree, I always think of the time we spent here. That tree started small but has grown so much.” 

Thanks to people like Chinnapillai and so many others who donate to BAPA, our community remains strong, much like the roots of that very tree. 

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