Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

September 30 2015

New Charity Partner and Service in Sync Charity Announced

Peter Walsh, Community Services Committee Charity Partner Chair, and Keri Kelly, Community Services Committee Chair
As the Community Services Committee, we are proud and happy to announce that the GMC PCMA Charity Partner for 2016/2017 is Inspiration Corporation!

Inspiration Corporation is located in the Uptown neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. The organization assists more than 2,500 Chicagoans characterized by chronic homelessness, unemployment, underemployment, mental illness, substance abuse and/or social isolation by providing employment and housing services. These individuals all share the strength to move forward out of their current situation and toward self-sufficiency.

Inspiration Corporation offers the following programs to help these individuals attain self-sufficiency.
  1. Inspiration Café and The Living Room Café, located in the Uptown and Woodlawn neighborhoods, serve free meals to participants in a restaurant-style setting. Through individual meetings with case managers, the members work toward personal goals including stable income and/or housing. The cafés create a community that connects people to Inspiration Corporation’s program and other community services, including housing, education, employment services and healthcare. The cafés operate with the help of 1,000 volunteers who cook and serve nearly 25,000 meals every year.
  2. Employment Services provide employment preparation training, career counseling, transportation assistance, employer outreach, referrals to training and education and job placement and retention services.
  3. Inspiration Kitchens are social enterprise kitchens located in Uptown and Garfield Park which are open to the public and serve brunch, lunch and dinner. The restaurants are staffed by participants and graduates of a 13-week job training program that gives individuals skills in the food service industry.
Based on the services offered through Inspiration Corporation, GMC PCMA will have ample opportunities for donations and volunteering throughout our two-year partnership. Donations will include, but are not limited to, food products, toiletries, CTA fare passes and job interview supplies. Volunteer opportunities include serving meals, conducting mock job interviews, monitoring the computer lab, tutoring basic math and English skills, preparing bagged lunches, conducting food drives, painting, cleaning, providing office or clerical support, and assisting with fundraisers or other events.

Inspiration Corporation, along with three other organizations — Sarah’s Circle, The Boulevard and YWCA — were presented to the Community Services Committee (CSC) on September 3. With 37% of the CSC vote and GMC PCMA Board approval, Inspiration Corporation was selected as the 2016/2017 Charity Partner. With such worthy and powerful organizations presenting to our committee, we voted to designate Sarah’s Circle, the 2nd runner up in the voting, as the 2016 Service in Sync organization.

About the Authors
Peter Walsh is Senior Sales Manager at Embassy Suites Chicago - Downtown Magnificent Mile.
Keri Kelly is Director of Hotel Industry Relations at onPeak.