Building on a Family Legacy of Serving Children and Families
Throughout 2018, we are celebrating 135 years of meeting every child, every family, where their need is greatest. Doing whatever it takes so children and families can thrive. We are proud of our legacy of meeting the changing needs of vulnerable families throughout Illinois and inspired by the children and families we serve and their stories of resilience. The stories of our staff, volunteers and supporters are building bright futures and crafting new stories for those we serve. Their passion and dedication act as a springboard to new opportunities, new connections and new successes for every child and family.
Aimee, a Quality Specialist in our Child Care Resource and Referral program, has a unique connection to Children’s Home & Aid.
Aimee’s grandparents, Ruth and Lee, were foster parents with Children’s Home & Aid on the South Side of Chicago during the 1950s and 1960s.
While Aimee grew up knowing her grandmother was helping other children, it wasn’t until after Aimee started at Children’s Home & Aid that she realized her family connection to the agency thanks to her aunt.
“Shortly after I was hired here, my aunt sent me a photo of my grandmother receiving an award from Children’s Home & Aid—sometime in the early 1960s,” Aimee explains. “My grandmother is my why…why I do what I do…why I am who I am.”
Aimee fondly remembers her grandparent’s involvement in their community growing up. “No one in the neighborhood ever missed a meal, thanks to their kindness and compassion,” she adds.
The door was always open at Ruth and Lee’s home. “Mothers from our community would share their troubles with my grandmother. She was a quiet woman, but she always managed to help women in tough situations. She never embarrassed them…never gossiped to the neighbors. I remember one woman in particular who had been abused. My grandmother offered to let her stay with us while my grandfather went to her home to help get her out of the situation,” Aimee recalls.
A framed photo of Aimee’s grandmother receiving an award from Children’s Home & Aid sits on the desk of her Granite City office. “Every time I glance at it, I’m reminded of why I fight for children and families,” Aimee offers.
“Today, I realize my grandparents were actually social workers—without the pay,” Aimee says. “My love for helping children and families comes from them. Without knowing, I truly believe my grandparents led me to Children’s Home & Aid. I’m proud to continue their legacy of serving children and families in my community.”