By Kristin Boza
Kathleen and Craig McShane gratefully give back to our community as BAPA donors. The couple strongly believes in modeling a “give back” attitude for their three elementary-age children, Molly, Craig, and Conor, to follow and emulate. They also are BAPA business donors through their business, Begin Within Therapy.
“BAPA is the center of our community. Its function is to ensure that we are thriving as a neighborhood,” Kathleen said. “If you have a concern or a suggestion related to where you live, BAPA cares. The long-term success of our neighborhood is something we should all be invested in together.”
Craig grew up in the neighborhood, but Kathleen is an East Coast transplant via New Jersey and New York. They moved here as a couple in 2011 and Kathleen really fell in love with the strong sense of community here.
“There is something so special about the way people come together for a family in need or someone who is having a hard time,” she said. “I also love the old-school vibe of knowing all your neighbors; I know when my kids go out to play on our block, they have ten sets of eyes on them of people who care about them very much. Having moved around a bit before settling in Chicago, you just don’t find this strong connection in many places anymore, and we’re very grateful for that.”
The McShanes enjoy attending BAPA events, especially the Porch Concert series. “The feeling of it is so community-centered with neighbors gathering in the street, awesome music, food, and drinks, and kids running around past their bedtime,” Kathleen said. “You cannot walk away from events like that without the ‘love where you live’ feeling.”
The family also appreciates BAPA’s recent campaign to plant trees and enhance the leafy canopies that Beverly/Morgan Park is known for.
“I’m glad they recognized that need and stepped in to help,” she said. “It makes so much sense for us to support an organization so deeply invested in the success of our neighborhood. BAPA is like the heartbeat of Beverly/Morgan Park.”