Famous Stars Build the Path

During January and February a special group of our middle school Peacebuilders with the help of a dedicated volunteer named Debbie, committed themselves to a special project of creating products and showing their teachers at Cameron Elementary some much needed pampering. 

Debbie mentored these four girls through the process of branding and brainstorming products they could create that would be appreciated by their hard working teachers. They named themselves the "Famous Stars" and printed their logo on matching sweatshirts they wore when they presented teachers with their gifts: face scrub, homemade lotion and brownie mix in a jar.

For 6 weeks, they found so much excitement in being able to create something that would express their gratitude to their teachers, and their excitement has spilled over causing them to dream even bigger. While our mentor Debbie's time with them was limited because she has left Chicago for a bit, our youth are looking forward hoping to continue what they see they have just started and use all they have learned. 

They have had great conversations on what it looks like to welcome new girls into their special group and how they can possible earn money from creating high quality products. They are envisioning ways to show gratitude to neighborhood moms this Mother's Day and our staff is jumping right in to respond to their excitement and praying for a special female volunteer who would like to work with these young ladies in the next phase. We are so excited they have been exposed to the early work involved in entrepreneurship and are developing a dream that is drawing out their passion- and even modeling for the little ones in their schools the importance of gratitude for all those who help you walk along the path from cradle to career and along with these Famous Stars, I'm excited for what's to come. 

Michelle Johnson, 
Director of Apprenticeships and Communication

Build the Path this #GivingTuesday


Celebrate #GivingTuesday, the global day of giving on November 28th by hosting a mini-fundraiser on Facebook to support the work of R CITY! This #GivingTuesday the Gates Foundation is teaming up with Facebook to boost the impact of charitable giving to approved non-profits.

Here are some details from the Facebook giving website!

  • Timing: Donations to nonprofits made through Facebook’s charitable giving tools on November 28th will be matched up to $50,000 per nonprofit or $1,000 per fundraiser or donate button, until the $2 million in matching funds run out. The match will begin at 8AM EST (5AM PST).
  • Fees: Facebook is also waiving processing fees for every donation made to nonprofits on #GivingTuesday. Fees will be waived for all of #GivingTuesday, regardless of when the match runs out.

What that means for us:

  • Supporters interested in giving to R CITY this Holiday Season can double their gifts (up to $1,000) by donating EARLY on November, 28th through a Facebook donate button.
  • Supporters can invite their friends to give to R CITY by hosting an online fundraiser through Facebook.

Want to get involved?

Hosting a fundraiser on Facebook only takes 3 easy steps!
**Note: Anyone can do this anytime- not just on #GivingTuesday



Contact Michelle Johnson, Communications Director: michelle.johnson@rcitycdc.org

Kenneth Hartung Memorial


Celebrating the life and legacy of Ken Hartung, R CITY is thankful to receive memorial gifts in his honor. Directed by Ken’s granddaughter Elizabeth, R CITY seeks to glorify God by building a path from cradle to career. The resilient youth served by R CITY are overcoming great adversity, including violence and economic hardship within their Chicago neighborhoods.

Ken entered the world of work at age 5, plowing the fields at his family’s farm in Kansas and working his way through college cleaning the stadium. R CITY is honoring his legacy of determination and grit by establishing a memorial fund within our youth apprenticeship program. Donations given in Ken’s honor will pay stipends (cost: $36,000 annually) and provide transportation (cost: $20,000) for R CITY youth ages 12-18 learning the career of tuckpointing, a masonry skill.

These stipends not only benefit the youth, but their families as well, often making a difference in times of crisis. Practicing their trade through community service, these youth provide free tuckpointing services to low-income homeowners–many widowed–who would otherwise have no means to repair their homes. Until transportation is available, the apprentices are walking significant distances to work sites each day–many after a long bus ride from school.

Gifts may be given online via debit/credit/EFT here or mailed to River City Community Development Center / P.O. Box 51468 / Chicago, IL 60651. Checks should be made to River City Community Development Center with memo to Hartung memorial. For information on donating stock or other types of gifts, please e-mail the directors.

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