Rooting for the Home Team
For more than 30 years, the Chicago White Sox have helped Children’s Home & Aid go where the need is greatest in communities throughout Chicagoland. Their dedicated partnership and tradition of giving back to the community has helped countless children, youth, and families receive the vital care and services they need to put them on the path to a better life and keep them there.
This spring, we were thrilled to announce the Chicago White Sox as our 2020 Corporate Partner of the Year. The honor and recognition would have been celebrated at our annual Champions for Children Luncheon, where we come together as a community in celebration of doing Whatever It Takes to reach our goal of Every Child. Every Family. Thriving. Like the world around us, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and live as we transition to virtual platforms to ensure the support of our kids and families. To keep all of us safe, we canceled this year’s Champions of Children luncheon and all of our spring events.
But the celebration of the Chicago White Sox as a truly outstanding corporate partner in advancing the work of Children’s Home & Aid goes on! The White Sox have made an indelible imprint on the lives of the kids and families supported by Children’s Home & Aid over the years.
We have been honored to present multiple White Sox players and staff with our For the Love of Children award, including Ozzie Guillen, Jim Thome, and Paul Konerko. One of the many examples of this indispensable partnership is the more than $600,000 raised in 2007 and 2008 by Jim, Paul and their wives, Andrea and Jennifer, through their Bring Me Home Campaign. Throughout the campaign, which directly helped over 1,000 foster youth, the Thomes and Konerkos elevated awareness, generated support, recruited foster parents, and advocated for the needs of foster children and families in Illinois. From supporting Children’s Home & Aid’s counseling programs for children and youth on the city’s South and West sides, to their commitment to foster youth needing extra stability through our Excellence Academy, the White Sox have always stepped up to make a measurable difference in the lives of those we serve.
The White Sox have always shared the Whatever It Takes spirit, and nothing has demonstrated this more than their recent collaboration with and creation of the Chicago Sports Alliance. After our city experienced a disturbing resurgence of youth violence in 2016, the White Sox were front and center, working to answer ‘what more could they do to help address the needs of the affected communities?’
The answer was the formation of the Chicago Sports Alliance, with Jerry Reinsdorf as the driving force behind the this unique effort. The Alliance is a partnership between all five major sports teams, including the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and the Cubs. The Alliance joined forces to address community violence in Chicago and supports our Choose to Change youth violence prevention and mentorship program – serving youth who are, or are at high risk of being, perpetrators or victims of violence.
The White Sox have been intimately involved in the success of Choose to Change youth, ensuring that they have opportunities to thrive. Rick Renteria, Manager of the White Sox, along with his wife, Ilene, welcomed youth with open arms and hosted an awards dinner for program graduates at Guaranteed Rate Field through his Club 17 initiative. The White Sox organization has continued to provide many generous opportunities for youth in the Choose to Change program to attend games each season.
Beyond the clubhouse, White Sox staff and volunteers have provided an immense amount of support for the children and families we serve. For years, the White Sox have donated raffle packages, provided game tickets for our kids and families, and staff appreciation days, donated backpacks and school supplies to children headed back to school and supported the wishes of kids and families in our Holiday Gift Drive. This year, the White Sox hosted nearly 100 kids, siblings, and caregivers at a special holiday party with Santa.
“The White Sox have been a true partner to Children’s Home & Aid and to the Chicagoland community,” says Mike Shaver, President of Children’s Home & Aid. “They work tirelessly to lift up those in need and give back to help provide children and families with hope, opportunity and bright futures. Their impact on Chicago has made a remarkable difference in transforming and strengthening the lives of children and families and is felt deeply within the hearts of many.
Thank you to the White Sox for 30+ years of doing Whatever It Takes to be there for vulnerable kids and families.