Morning Everyone!

There is much to share with you. Think of this as a Fall 'newsletter' rather than an email. Yep're might be a bit long :) Print it out and read it at your convenience if you like but with so much going on ...lets go!!!


A few weeks ago someone on the phone asked me to spell Aspire. He thought it was spelled 'Uspire.' I smiled when I heard it and thought what a great name for the group of people that live the Aspire.Inspire. message....'US!' So from here on forward the name for our volunteer group will simply be USPIRE. What do you think? :)


A big thank you to our great volunteer Aurora Graze. She took the initiative to host a fundraiser at Steak & Shake. A big thank you to all of you for coming and filling your stomachs to help fill our backpacks! We raised $88.20. How about it!!

We now have an ongoing opportunity through another or our great volunteers Kathy Ullian. She has arranged for us to participate in the Wendy's Great Food, Great Cause! Program. Once a month we will receive 15% of the funds collected from both those that eat inside and go through the drive through between 5 and 8 p.m. at Wendy's , 2900 Plainfield Rd., in Joliet. It's the one out by the mall. So spread the word and bring your appetites! Our first night participating will be on Wed. Sept. 24 from 5 to 8 . After that we will always be on the third Wed. of every month. We will give you a heads up the week before. This is an easy way to raise dollars to help us with our work. Filling stomachs...filling backpacks...what do you think?


We're getting ready to participate in this great community event again. Last year was a huge success! Families loved it and we raised awareness and funds for our work. We could use your help! Thanks to all of you that have so generously given us clothes and supplies for building our scarecrows already. We still need more stuff! Please check the attachment to this email to see what else we need. The boys are coming along but the girls need help!

Volunteers are already hard at work. Carol 'Tricoci' Peterson has been fantastic doing the leave hair for all our scarecrow faces. She no doubt would be stylist to the scarecrow 'stars' with her talent! Terri Loutos has been working on the faces...big smiles and noses...hearts to come soon! Anyone have any time at home for helping?

We will be putting out a request for volunteers at the actual event next week. Take a look at your calendars for the weekend of Oct. 4th or 5th to see if you can give a few hours either of those days.

For now though the most important thing you can do is to look around....ask around...dig around....and see if you can find any of the 'stuff' we need and get it to us soon!


A great big thank you to Amy Brodeur, our foundation vice president, for her time and talent in helping with language and design for our new media piece for distributing information to schools and organizations about how to host a backpack drive. It's fantastic and should be very helpful to us in getting the word out. We originally called this project, Sharing Backpacks.Building Hope. What do you think of our new updated slogan? 'Share hope. Send it in a backpack.'

We need your help. If you know of any school or organization that might be willing to host a drive please contact us so we can get information to them. It is our greatest desire to grow this work so that we are swamped in a sea of backpacks and the warehouse/basement is overflowing!

We will be preparing a small shipment to be taken to Cedar Rapids, Iowa late next week. We are still finalizing the date with officials in the school district there. Cedar Rapids was one of the worst areas hit in the Midwest floods this past summer. Several schools have been consolidated and many people without homes. We will be having a small backpack filling night early next week. Let you know asap when we find out when it will be going.


Every year the Aspire.Inspire. Foundation sends out an annual appeal letter to people that we think are interested and might be willing to support our work financially. We have done so for three years. Each year we are amazed at the response we get... from $5 to $500. Each of those contributions are valued for the spirit of the giver wanting to help us help each other. To date only the foundation board has sent out appeal letters. This year we are humbly asking you to think of 5-10 people you know that you might be able to send an appeal note to . We will have all the materials...letters...stamps...envelopes...artwork from kids...etc. We will just be askingf you to come to an appeal night event here at our headquarters, my house :) 3350 Mason Ave. to participate. More to follow on this. It will be in mid to late Nov. We truly need your help to spread the word on what we do and ask for help in continuing our work.

Whew..................I think I'm done! No doubt as soon as I hit the send button I will think of something else to share with you.

I hope that summer has been great for each of you and your families. It's hard to believe that fall is on the way but the weather is giving us cues. I feel energized once again to move forward with the work that I am hopeful is worthwhile for kids. I have always known that it can't be done alone. 'I' can't do it. Only 'We' can do it...or US as in USPIRE!

Will you rededicate yourself to showing that being an 'Uspire' Volunteer is truly a verb and not a noun?

We sure hope so!!!!

I'll leave you with a quote from Kahil Gilbran.

'To understand the heart and mind of a person look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.'

We've done alot of great stuff in our past. Can you only imagine what we might do in our future???

Looking forward to hearing from you about any or all of the!

Vicki :)

Aspire.Inspire. Foundation

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