COURTESY OF COMMUNITY BANK OF OAK PARK
Oak Park, IL– Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest is pleased to announce that Geneva Foundation is the recipient of Community Bank’s Champion Grant. The purpose of the Champion Grant is to assist organizations in providing community outreach programs for low or moderate income individuals.
Geneva Foundation is a live-in program for boys ages 16-19 who are close to transitioning out of the Illinois foster care system. The youth they serve have either been orphaned or removed from their birth homes due to abuse and neglect. They are typically from Chicago neighborhoods characterized by poverty, violence, limited resources and little education, and many of the boys served by Geneva are from the Austin neighborhood on the Westside of Chicago. Steeped in the belief that every child deserves a stable, normal home environment before entering adulthood, Geneva has worked since 1999 to improve the lives of young boys in the foster care system. As a result of Geneva’s efforts, over 270 boys have found a home and been given the opportunity to grow, heal and learn a different way of being in the world.
A grant in the amount of $1,000 was presented to Lisa Boone, Executive Director of Geneva Foundation, and Marissa Buckles, Development Manager for Geneva Foundation, on Thursday, Oct. 3. Bernard D. Headley II, Community Lending Specialist for Community Bank, presented the grant. Geneva Foundation will use the grant to support their Employment Initiative by purchasing suits for the boys staying at the home. It is not unusual for youth to move into Geneva Foundation with literally the clothes on their back. Funding from the Champion Grant will be used to purchase professional attire ensuring that when one of their youth go on an interview they will be able to walk into the interview with confidence. More information about Geneva Foundation is available online at www.geneva4youth.org.
Community Bank has been a frequent facilitator of financial literacy events, and during its seventeen year history the Bank has donated over $2 million to various local civic and charitable organizations. Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest was organized in 1996 as a locally owned bank focused on creating financial solutions for individuals, professionals, owners of closely-held businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park communities. Community Bank, which had assets of $300 million as of Dec. 31, 2012, has two locations: 1001 Lake Street, Oak Park and 7777 Lake Street, River Forest.