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AND Provides Critical Support to Domestic Violence Clients 

By Kristin Boza 

A New Direction (AND) is the only domestic violence organization in Beverly/Morgan Park. Their mission is to provide counseling, education, support, and advocacy to those affected by domestic violence and to provide confidential counseling and advocacy services at no charge 

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, AND staff has seen nearly double the number of clients compared to the same period last year, according to Jessica McCarihan, AND Executive Director. 

“We’ve moved our services to serve our clients virtually and we’ve had to adapt to what that means for our clients,” McCarihan said. “There’s some loss of intimacy by not being able to be in the same room as them; however, our clients are still receiving a great level of service and many find it easier to ask for help when they can do so over the phone versus inperson meetings.” 

While AND does not have a crisis line, McCarihan noted that the organization has had to move to more of a 24/7 model in order to accommodate clients who may have difficulty in getting away from their abuser to make a call. With more people staying at home, both during and after shelter-in-place orders, many more people are spending more time than usual with their abusers.  

Since services are available free-of-charge to those in need, AND relies heavily on fundraising support to fulfill its mission and keep people within the Beverly/Morgan Park communities safe. Like all other big events, AND’s annual October gala will be cancelled this year; this event provided a large portion of AND’s operating budget.  

“We are looking for ways to make up the loss of our annual event, and we really need the support from the community to help us continue to fulfill our essential mission as we enter into our tenth year of supporting this community,” McCarihan said.  

People are encouraged to stay tuned to AND’s Facebook and Instagram @ANDBMP to learn how to support the organization. 

“Domestic violence during lockdown was very hard and we’re helping more people than ever. We need the community’s support, and we are extremely grateful for it,” McCarihan said. 

If you need help, reach out to AND by calling 773-253-7226 to speak to an advocate. 

To make a donation to AND’s essential services, visit ANewDirectionBMP.org. 

 

 

A New Direction Looks to Annual Benefit to Fund Growth 

A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park (AND), the community’s only domestic violence agency, will host its 2019 fundraiser Sat.Oct. 267 to 10 p.m., at Ridge Country Club, 10522 S. California.  Musical entertainmentopen bar and hors d’oeuvres highlight this annual event, along with a grand raffle and silent and live auctions.  The benefit is AND’s largest annual fundraiser and, traditionally, all proceeds help the agency sustain AND’s programs and services, including Legal Advocacy, Education and Counseling, Children’s Therapy and Teen Outreach Program.  

We are counting on this year’s benefit to generate sufficient revenue so we can help more survivors and their families by doing more than simply sustaining our current programs and services.  In 2018, the proceeds from this benefit represented 100 percent of our operating budget. While AND has earned financial support from grants, we are proud to say the community we serve is our primary source of funding. Now it’s time to build on our successes and grow as an organization.  With continued support from our community, we are confident that we can do this,” said Jessica McCarihan, AND board president. 

McCarihan and other board members are moving forward with their strategic planning process to determine new ways for AND to build awareness throughout the community and to offer life-altering guidance and support to victims of domestic abuse. Thboard and staff will participate in a retreat and develop a comprehensive plan for the next three years. McCarihan said AND is working with Executive Service Corp (ESC) to outline the plan by December.  The plan will include new goals and objectives which will improve board governance, strengthen the agency’s organizational processes and structure, and expand programs and services.  

To support the 2019 benefit, individuals and businesses can underwrite a variety of facets of the popular event.  Sponsorships range from $500 to $5,000.  AND also welcomes items for live and silent auctions.  For more informationcontact Monica Carey, monica@anewdirectionbmp.org, or  McCarihan, Jessica@anewdirectionbmp.org.  Event tickets are $75 and can be reserved beginning Sept. 1.   

The not-for-profit AND was founded in 2011 and provides legal advocacy, adult counseling services and a children’s therapy program. The AND mission is “to provide counseling, education, support, and advocacy to individuals and families affected by domestic violence.” Learn more at www.anewdirectionbmp.org. 

 

The Quilters Trunk to Receive 2017 ANDi Award

The Quilter’s Trunk, a retailer of high quality fabrics, sewing machines and sewing supplies, will receive the 2017 ANDi Partnership Award from A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park (AND) at the organization’s annual benefit on Sat., Oct. 21, 7 to 10 p.m., Ridge Country Club.

The ANDi award is given to an individual, business or agency that helps AND fulfill its mission “to provide counseling, education, support and advocacy to individuals and families affected by domestic violence.”

The award will be presented to the The Quilter’s Trunk owner, Katie Nathwani, and store manager, Lisa Wilberding, in honor of their work with AND.

Since The Quilter’s Trunk, 10352 S. Western Ave., opened in 2015, Nathwani and Wilberding recognized that giving back to the community is an important facet of their business. They became active participants in Quilting Magazine’s One Million Pillowcases program, which encourages quilt shops around the country to collect handmade pillowcases for donation to charities of their choice.

The Quilter’s Trunk expanded the scope of the program to include hosting sewing events to create pillowcases, as well as to collect quilts for donation. To support victims of domestic violence, they chose AND as one of the recipients of the donations.

The quilts and pillowcases donated to AND are given to women and children served by the agency. Through daily contact with The Quilter’s Trunk customers, word spread about Nathwani and Wilberding’s program and the response has been remarkable. In its first 18 months with the program, The Quilter’s Trunk donated more than 200 pillowcases and 50 quilts.

“Quilters quilt out of love and are very generous with their time,” said Wilberding.”

Kristy Arditti of A New Direction, views the program as a way for men and women in the community to connect with and support the agency’s survivors. “Making things by hand is a lost art and we have been witness to the tremendous comfort these quilts and pillowcases have brought our clients.” Arditti said. “The feeling that they are worthy of such beautiful and painstaking creations is not to be undervalued. They also serve as a physical reminder that our clients are not alone and that they deserve safety and comfort.”

Jessica McCarihan, AND Board president agrees. “Our agency depends on community involvement like this to be successful. We are so grateful to The Quilter’s Trunk for supporting our agency in this way.”

The Quilter’s Trunk is the sixth recipient of the ANDi award. Others are The Women of the Castle; Amy Moran, Alphagraphics; Julie Partacz, Standard Bank; Katie and Patrick Murphy, Sweet Freaks; and Jean Catania and the Morgan Park Juniors.

Information about AND’s annual benefit is available at www.anewdirectionbmp.org. Tickets are $75 per person.

 

Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence is March 18

The Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club will hold the 6th Annual Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence (WOWO) benefit day Sat., Mar. 18, with partnering businesses and agencies offering work-outs and activities between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.  The event’s objectives are to raise awareness about the serious issue of domestic violence, and to raise funds for the local domestic violence agency, A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park (AND).

As the event organizer, the Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club recruits partners among local fitness businesses and professionals to provide one or more fitness activities. Activities range from running and kick boxing to yoga and massage. Area residents are asked to participate in one or more of the activities, and make donations; the suggested amount is $25 per activity. Donations benefit A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park (AND), a not-for-profit agency that provides counseling and legal advocacy services to families affected by domestic violence.

Sponsors for the Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence benefit day are Marquette Bank, 9858 S. Western and Waddell and Reed, 9730 S. Western.

According to Jessica McCarihan, AND Board President, benefit day funds are critical to the agency. “Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence is our second largest fundraiser of the year,” McCarihan said. “Monies from this event help us maintain and increase our current level of service. In the last year, we saw a growing need for adult and children’s counseling services. We’ve been able to step up our services in this area thanks to events like this.”  AND’s services are provided at no charge to its clients and the agency relies heavily on donations and grants from community members, businesses, and organizations like the Morgan Park Juniors..

Linda Horras, a member of the Morgan Park Juniors, looks forward to participating in her third benefit day.  Along with raising funds and awareness for domestic violence prevention, she appreciates how the event showcases so many different wellness facilities in the neighborhood.

“It’s an easy way to try something new and get a guided lesson from staff,” Horras said. “Last year I went to two facilities that I probably would have never tried. I had a great experience at both places and gained confidence in myself. “

Horras recalled walking into Southside KnockOut and realizing she was the oldest person in the room. “I thought I was going to die during the first part of the class because it was really intense, but the instructor stayed with me and by the end of the class, I had done what everyone else had done. I felt so proud and happy.” Horras also took her first meditation class and it led her to explore more formal meditation training.

Participating in Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence is easy. Visit www.anewdirectionbmp.org/wowo to see the schedule of activities and locations, and register online. You can make a donation or order an event t-shirt for a $15 donation to AND at the same website. Onsite registration on the day of the event is welcome if space at the facility permits.

The GFWC IL Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club is dedicated to making a difference in the community through volunteer service. Since its inception in 1934, the Club has actively initiated service projects contributing to the quality of life in Beverly/Morgan Park. In addition to Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence, the Juniors have created service projects to support the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, Beacon Therapeutic School, and local CPS elementary schools. They also provide volunteers for the Beverly Area Planning Association, the Beverly Arts Center and Ridge Historical Society.

To learn more about membership and volunteer opportunities with the Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club, visit morganparkjrs.wordpress.com.