Founded in 1999, the Midwest regional office of Friends of the Orphans is located in Chicago, Illinois. It encompasses the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. Annual events include a Pequeño Tour featuring a dance and music troupe from one of the NPH homes and a Gala in the Fall.
Locally, Midwesterners have answered the call to help children in need. Our donors have been key in sending over 20 containers of medical supplies and earthquake relief items to Haiti since 2010, hosting a pequeño from El Salvador for a series of oral and facial operations at Shriners Children’s Hospital in Chicago, sending pequeños to university, and rescuing thousands of children from poverty.
We welcome everyone who would like to volunteer, join our Young Professional Board, host a Friends Meet Friends event, or attend our special events. Register online today to get involved!
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Faces of Hope Dinner Midwest Region
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Kemper Lakes Golf Club
2400 North Old McHenry Road
Kildeer, IL 60047
Join us for a free event that includes a wonderful meal and a heartfelt presentation on the work of Friends of the Orphans. It is an ideal event for newcomers to receive information about our organization. Attendees are under no obligation to give at this event, although they will be asked for their voluntary charitable support.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Cheers for Children Midwest Region
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Square One Lounge
1400 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605
Join us for an after work Happy Hour at one of Chicago’s newest bars as we give cheers for the children of NPH! Bring a friend, a co-worker, anyone who you think would like to learn more about Friends and NPH.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Bar Crawl Midwest Region
12:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Old Town Pour House
1419 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Friends of the Orphans Young Professionals Board invites you to raise funds while having fun! All proceeds benefit the children of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Football Legends Classic Midwest Region 10:00 a.m.
28846 North Thorngate Drive
Mundelein, IL 60060
Join us for a magnificent day of golf featuring Pro Football Hall of Famers, former members of the Chicago Bears and more! This will be a unique and special event for any corporate sponsor or individual.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Friends of the Orphans Gala Midwest Region The Standard Club
320 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604
Join us for a wonderful evening benefitting the children of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH).
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Bank of America Chicago Marathon Midwest Region Sunday, October 13, 2013
Columbus Drive and Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60601
Friends of the Orphans invites you to take the first step towards completing two life-changing events: running the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and helping transform the lives of children through fundraising for Friends of the Orphans!
Friday, August 02, 2013
• August 2 - 9, 2013
Whether you are new to Friends of the Orphans or a longtime supporter or sponsor, visiting a Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”) home is the best way to see what we do in action. You will meet the amazing children, staff and volunteers of NPH and learn about their daily lives. Join us – your life may never be the same!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
NPH El Salvador
• November 20 - 24, 2013
Travel with us to visit NPH El Salvador in Texistepeque, near the border of Guatemala. Casa Sagrada Familia (Holy Family), located in Texistepeque near the border of Guatemala, was constructed in 2004. There is a school, chapel, peace garden, dining room and kitchen, clinic, houses for boys, girls and babies, vocational workshops and an “open classroom” that serves youth with no previous education.
Friday, February 14, 2014
International Family Weekend
• February 14 - 16, 2014
We invite you to save the date to experience and meet our NPH Family, where children not only have a second chance at life but a lifetime of family. Our NPH family of donors, godparents, staff and children will gather for an International Family Weekend, February 14-16th, 2014 in Cuernavaca, Mexico. We hope you can join us as we celebrate 60 years of family!Read More...
To see travel opportunities coordinated by other regions, click here
Notes & News
Faces of Hope
Our recent Faces of Hope dinner in Kildeer, IL was a wonderful evening of catching up with old friends, meeting new friends, and hearing more about Friends of the Orphans and NPH. Guest speakers for the evening included Billy Jean (NPFS Haiti, current law student), Samy Coreas (NPH El Salvador, current student at DePaul University), and Fr. Ron Hicks (former Director of NPH Central America). The program for the evening focused on our Child Sponsorship program.
Visitors to NPH Guatemala
This past April, 20 high school girls from two separate Dominican faith based high schools in Chicago, IL traveled to NPH Guatemala! The girls were there for one week, and they spent their visit getting to know both the children of NPH and the Guatemalan culture. They did two side trips – one day was spent in Antigua, and the day ended with a zip lining activity through the mountains just outside of the city. Another day included a visit to Lake Atitlan and various towns along the lake, including the town of Santiago.
Each girl was a new sponsor, so they had the opportunity of meeting their pequeños – it was a great bonding experience for the girls and the pequeños! Throughout the week, the girls helped in the garden, on the farm, in the classrooms, and they also pitched in on the construction of the new visitor’s house. The girls led activities with various sections – the babies, the special needs pequeños, the 10 year old girls, and the 8 year old boys.
On the last day of the trip, the pequeños put on a show for the girls, and in return, the girls put on their own dance for the pequeños. A farewell dinner of meat, salad, rice and soda was enjoyed by all, followed by a bonfire celebration!
The trip was a wonderful experience for all, and the girls were very happy to have had the opportunities of meeting their pequeños and immersing themselves into NPH Guatemala.
Meet Team Friends of the Orphans running in the 2013 Chicago Marathon!
Congratulations to all runners participating in 2013 Team Friends of the Orphans! Our runners have taken the first steps towards completing two life-changing events: running the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and helping transform the lives of children through fundraising for Friends of the Orphans. Now you can “Meet the Team” and find out what inspires them to run 26.2 miles for Friends of the Orphans!
Name: Beth Ashton Hometown: Downtown Chicago- I currently live a little over the 25 mile mark for the marathon, which passes right in front of my building!
Work: Dental Hygienist
Is this is your first marathon? If no, how many have you run? This is my second marathon, the first being in 2011.
Have you ever been to an NPH home? If so, which one? I have been to the NPH Dominican Republic 4 times and helped to establish the current dental clinic at the home. I also am the proud sponsor of Luis Jose Ortega at NPH DR. My dream is to provide oral health care more consistently to all of the homes in some way.
What inspired you to run for Friends of the Orphans? My first marathon was extremely difficult, but I finished. I do not expect this to be much easier, but just seeing all the children's smiles in my mind while running will surely help me to finish. It was my idea to form Team Friends of the Orphans to provide another way to raise awareness and monies for our homes. I am very excited that we currently have a small team of six wonderful courageous individuals! I hope every home will be cheering us on October 13th!!!
Name: Breanna Rodriguez
Work: Program Operations Manager at Junior Achievement of Chicago, Graduate Student at DePaul University, MS International Public Service
Is this is your first marathon? If no, how many have you run? First Marathon! Actually first race... ever!
Have you ever been to an NPH home? If so, which one? No, but I hope to go to one soon!
What inspired you to run for Friends of the Orphans? I believe it is my calling to help people. As a graduate student, I would like to focus my research on the rights of women and children. I came across Friends of the Orphans and I love the work that they do for Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos. I think that too many time, orphans are forgotten about and they are the ones that need the most support. As a student, I am financially not able to help Friends of the Orphans with a personal donation, and when the opportunity came to run a marathon to help raise money, I couldn't think of a better way to give back to the organization and accomplish one of my personal goals.
Fun facts: I just adopted a 9 year old Italian Greyhound as my first dog! His name is Gordy!
Name: Chris Ambroso
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Work: Junior High Director at Near North Montessori School
Is this is your first marathon? If no, how many have you run? This will be lucky #13!! (My 4th Chicago Marathon)
Have you ever been to an NPH home? If so, which one? I've been to NPH Honduras 4 times.
What inspired you to run for Friends of the Orphans? I want to help the organization in any way I can!
Name: John Iberle
Hometown: Winnetka, IL
Is this is your first marathon? If no, how many have you run? First marathon!
Have you ever been to an NPH home? If so, which one? I’ve been to the NPH homes in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
What inspired you to run for Friends of the Orphans? The NPH children.
Visit www.friendsoftheorphans.org/runchicago today to find out more about Team Friends of the Orphans and how you can support the team!
Click here to read a recap of the October 20 Gala from Regional Director, Chuck Allworth (pictured below with Fr. Rick of NPFS Haiti).
Basic Needs Kits Are Being Collected for Haiti
Friends of the Orphans Midwest Regional Board of Directors Vice Chair, John Shattuck, is coordinating the collection and shipment of basic needs kits. Please click here for details.
John and Maria Bell
“Please don’t forget your daughter in Mexico.” So wrote Kathya Velazquez Pena, a pequeña from NPH Mexico, to her godparents in a recent letter.”
It’s impossible to think of Kathya being forgotten by her godparents, John and Maria Bell of Chicago, since they have been exchanging monthly letters with Kathya for many years. After hundreds of letters to Kathya and thousands of prayers asking God to watch over their goddaughter, John and Maria had become accustomed to holding Kathya close to their hearts while supporting her from a distance.
In September, the nature of that relationship began to change when Melissa Hoyt, Midwest Region Sponsorship Manager, called John with the news that Kathya was coming to the Chicago area in mid-October as a member of the grupo de danza (dance troupe) from NPH Mexico. As soon as the Bells heard that Kathya was going to be “on tour” in the Chicago area, they decided that they had to meet the goddaughter they knew in their hearts, but whom they had never met.
John, Maria, and several family members drove from their Mt. Greenwood neighborhood on the far south side of Chicago to St. Benedict Catholic Church on the north side of the city to watch Kathya perform at Mass and at a fiesta immediately following. John exclaimed, “Wow, what a great event! We had the honor, privilege and pleasure of meeting our Kathya whom we sponsored when she was only five years of age. It was a most memorable, joyous, humbling, rewarding and very emotional meeting for my family and me.”
The following weekend, the Bells drove even further to be with Kathya, this time to Sts. Faith Hope and Charity Catholic Church in the northern suburb of Winnetka where the pequeños were making their final appearance before returning to NPH Mexico the following day. Said John, “I want to thank Father Phil Cleary, Father Marty O'Donovan (our former pastor at St. Christina where we first sponsored Kathya back in 2001) and the entire staff of Friends of the Orphans for allowing us to meet and visit with Kathya and some of her brothers and sisters who toured with her. My wife, Maria, is from Guadalajara, and it was such a sight to see the joy on Kathya's face when she was able to speak with Maria and our daughter Laura in their native language. Upon giving Kathya my last hug, I whispered in her ear, ‘I love you’ in Spanish and she said the same. It brought me to tears. When Kathya walked away, I felt as though a piece of my heart went with her.”
For John and Maria, the experience strengthened their relationship with Kathya. “We will continue to encourage Kathya to do her very best in all future correspondence with her, and I have a gut feeling that we will see her again,” offered John.
“It is clear to us that Kathya is a brilliant, vibrant and most capable young lady. With continued love, encouragement and support, she will achieve success and accomplish each and every goal she sets for herself in life. She told us during our visit that she would like to become a social worker when she is a little older. We firmly believe that, with her solid foundation formed at NPH, her kind heart, and her will to succeed, Kathya will be the best social worker ever.”
The Bells are newly committed to sharing the joy they receive from sponsorship with others. “We have shown the photos of our visit with Kathya and her brothers and sisters in the dance troupe to our friends and family, along with a glowing testimonial. We have also handed out pamphlets further explaining sponsoring through Friends of the Orphans,” said John. These efforts have already resulted in several new sponsorships.
John summed up his experience by saying, “There are no words to express how blessed and grateful we are for God allowing our paths to cross. The only true way for anyone to really know is to sponsor one or more of these most precious of God's gifts.”
Here at Friends of the Orphans, we are blessed and grateful to have the Bells in our corner. We know that Kathya is blessed to have such loyal and loving godparents.
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