The Giving Back Exchange provides CFE members with opportunities to volunteer their time and financial expertise, with a primary focus to help women and girls in our local communities. CFE partners with various community-based organizations to promote financial acumen, leadership, and career-building skills, as well as to assist hardworking families gain access to financial resources.
In addition to helping others, our goals are to build closer relationships among our CFE members and to enhance CFE's reputation in the community. Want to recommend a partner organization to the Giving Back Exchange? Submit a Philanthropy Partner Recommendation Form .
Giving Back Exchange Leaders:
Interested in learning more about the Giving Back Exchange? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
2020 Ladder Up Tax Return Volunteer Days: February 8, 15 & 22. Click here to learn more.
Recent Events and Volunteer Outreach
Annual Toy Drive to Benefit New Moms
CFE members and guests generously donated new toys to support the Giving Back Exchange's Annual Toy Drive. The toys were donated to New Moms, an organization that supports young moms (aged 13-24) and their children, who are experiencing poverty and homelessness, with the personal and workforce development tools they need to permanently change their life stories from chronic dependence on society, to economic independence and family stability.
Bright Endeavors Candle Making Event
On October 11 CFE members Janna Sampson, Deb Armstrong, Dorothy Kalinowski, Mary Lee Corrigan & Judy Andringa spent the morning volunteering at Bright Endeavors, an innovative social enterprise that transforms the lives of young moms by teaching them to craft premium soy candles in a supportive, professional environment. Through their paid job training program, they provide guidance & job skills young moms need to secure quality employment & begin working toward professional success. Click here to learn more about Bright Endeavors and their collection of soy candles.
Clothing Drive to Benefit Cara
The Giving Back Exchange held their 6th Annual Clothing Drive to support women (and men) who are training to enter the workforce and build a life of self-sustainment. The Cara Program prepares and inspires motivated individuals to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, transform their lives, strengthen our communities, and forge paths to real and lasting success. Thank you to all CFE members for their generous donations.
New Moms Office Visit at Redbox
As an extension of the Giving Back Exchange's support of the New Moms organization, Redbox hosted ten young ladies and two New Moms career coaches on March 11th for an office tour, mock interviews and roundtable discussions.
The day began with an introduction about Redbox and the various jobs each department performs in order to get a disc from a studio all the way out to the kiosk for rental. Participants engaged in 1:1 mock interviews and resume critique, followed by a tour of the technology and marketing floors. The morning wrapped-up with lunch and table conversations between the New Moms participants and Redbox staff.
It was a rewarding experience for everyone involved. Special thanks to member Mina Fumagalli for coordinating the visit on behalf of CFE and the Giving Back Exchange.
The Giving Back Exchange closed out another successful volunteer season at Ladder Up with impressive results. Over four Saturdays, CFE volunteers completed 112 returns totaling $362,126 in refunds! In addition, many CFE members volunteered time at other locations, and their results are in addition to those listed above. Special thanks to all CFE members, family and friends to volunteered, and in some cases, continue to volunteer on their own time.
Through the efforts of the Giving Back Exchange, CFE has partnered with the New Moms organization on volunteer events, toy drives, and candle sales. CFE was recently acknowledged as an in-kind donor for this partnership. Click here to view the Annual Report.
Giving Back Exchange Hosts Candle Making Volunteer Event at Bright Endeavors
On October 18, 2018, CFE members Janna Sampson, Janice Lucchesi, Mary Lee Corrigan, Karen Latham, Jo Jackson & Judy Andringa spent the morning volunteering with 12 young ladies from the Bright Endeavors program. Bright Endeavors is an innovative social enterprise that transforms the lives of young moms by teaching them to craft premium soy candles in a supportive, professional environment. Through their paid job training program, they provide guidance & job skills young moms need to secure quality employment & begin working toward professional success.
We assisted the team during their busy, upcoming holiday season in creating premium soy candles and bath salts for distribution to companies like: CB2, Whole Foods, Ben & Jerry’s and Teak & Twine. With strong support & direction from the BE women, management team Kathy, Sam & Logan, we created and poured over 260 Pumpkin Chai and Lavender Sprig candles; and measured and mixed salt & fragrance that will become hundreds of bath salt decanters (after it dries). We also labored to BE’s exacting standard for labeling on several dozen jars previously bottled. Afterwards, the CFE volunteers enjoyed lunch at nearby “Inspiration Kitchen”, where low income & homeless Chicagoans are trained for careers in the food service industry, giving people an opportunity to exit poverty