Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Big Shoulders Fund - The Real Deal: Catholic Schools for All

Today, Leo High School will welcome scores of volunteers shepherded by the staff of Chicago's Big Shoulders Fund.  The volunteers are law students from Chicago's Kent School of Law.  The boss shepherd will be Gordon Tech Alumnus and Big Shoulders director Tom Zbierski*.

CPS may very well begin the official school year with Teachers Strike.

Catholic schools, who continue to out perform public schools at every level, have been in session. Leo High School has been at it for the last two weeks.

The Big Shoulders Fund helps inner city families secure a Catholic Education. That education makes success an almost certainty - every graduate of Leo's Class of 2011 is in college.  Not every student wants or should go to college.  Catholic schools prepare young people for good paying careers in the skilled trades.  The skilled trades ( carpenters, electricians, pipe fitters, engineers) want to fill their apprenticeship slots with workers who know the stuff and show up for work.

Today, the volunteers will paint and help the Leo Family spruce up the old place.

The Big Shoulders Fund works 24/7.  Here is a splendid video of its mission and the young people it supports.

Get involved!

*For more than twenty three years, the Big Shoulders Fund has undertaken the responsibility of helping Chicago's inner-city children to achieve their dreams through access to a quality, values-based education.  However, we need your help to make this possible.  There are many ways to make a difference and we hope you will get involved.
  • Donate. Make a gift individually, as a family or through your company.
  • Participate. Attend our annual Lend a Shoulder Day where friends get a glimpse of what happens at the schools through visits, attending class and networking.
  • Mentor. Work directly with students. Mentors are placed whenever possible in the school of their own choosing or, if the mentor is able, where the need is the greatest. If you are interested in learning more about the mentoring opportunities, please contact Tom Zbierski, Director of School Relations at 312-751-8365 /
  • Build. Join or create a Patron Advisory Board.  The Patrons Program is seeking bright, committed women and men to serve on Patron Advisory Boards.  Our schools are in need of professionals who are interested in contributing a small amount of their time and talent in the areas of marketing, accounting, fundraising, capital improvements, construction and technology. Individuals can be apart of these boards who are working to build a sustainable, vital future for Catholic schools in Chicago. If you are interested in learning more about joining a Patron Advisory Board, please contact John Moran, Director of the Patrons Program at 312-751-3897 /
  • Fundraise. Help plan the annual Big Shoulders Fund Golf Classic which raises essential scholarship funds to enable inner-city children to attend inner-city Catholic schools. We are always seeking new members for the Golf Classic committee. Dedicated volunteers from the civic and business community plan the event and solicit sponsors, auction items, donations and foursomes. For more information, to golf or to join in the committee, please contact Amy Drozda, Associate Director for Events and Publications at 312-751-3850 /
  • Join. Become a part of the Auxiliary Board which is designed to engage active and altruistic young professionals (20s through 40s). Members can be part of three committees: Fundraising, Outreach, and Schools.  Through these committees members are able to help plan fundraisers, volunteer with Big Shoulders schools and children, and work to increase the visibility of the Big Shoulders Fund and the Auxiliary Board, and recruit new members.  For more information or to join please contact Amy Drozda, Associate Director for Events and Publications at 312-751-3850 /
  • Serve. One-Day Opportunities We know that many people who want to lend a hand are very busy between family and work committments.  We have a variety of one day service opportunities including our events and Give Back Days. Not only are these great ways for you to give back, but they are a perfect way to bring a group together.  We extend the opportunity for service days to alumni groups, sharing parishes, companies and other clubs. The Big Shoulders Fund and the Auxiliary Board host Saturday morning service days every other month.  These events are held from 9am till noon at different schools around the city of Chicago.  If you are interested in joining us please contact Amy Drozda at 312-751-3850 or

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