2021 #MissionMoments

January 2021

  • January 1, 2021

    2020 was a difficult year for many but thanks to your support we were able to continue to change lives. We're looking forward to spending 2021 with you and continuing to make a difference. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe New Year! #TheVOAWay

  • January 8, 2021

    #MissionMoment: This year we are celebrating 125 years of providing more than a home to the people we serve! This wouldn't be possible without the dedication of our staff and board and the never ending support of you, our biggest champion. Thank you for being apart of this journey! To learn more about our work and the people we serve check out our video below: https://buff.ly/31zZ3oF #TheVOAWay

  • January 15, 2021

    #MissionMoment: Last week The Mission Continues joined our team at Hope Manor II to participate in a Martin Luther King Jr. Service Project. The team helped clean up the property as well as the area surrounding our campus. They also generously donated all the cleaning supplies. We're so grateful for your continued support and partnership over the years! #TheVOAWay #ThankYOU

  • January 22, 2021

    #MissionMoment: This month the seniors and staff at our senior properties started receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine! This past year has been difficult for many of them but we're so grateful for our dedicated staff and everything they've done this past year to ensure the seniors we serve stayed safe and healthy during such uncertainty. #TheVOAWay

  • January 29, 2021

    #MissionMoment: Did you know when we opened our doors in 1896 one of the first groups we served was children? We provided hot meals, a summer camp, and a place for children to live. Fast forward 125 and we're still doing that but we've expanded our services to include Veterans, families, adults, seniors, and adults with disabilities. We're so grateful we've been able to serve those who need it most for the past 125 years! #TheVOAWay

February 2021

  • February 5, 2021

    #MissionMoment: Last weekend the Bridge Fellowship generously donated food, gift cards, and children games for the Veterans and families we serve at our Hope Manor properties. This was a lovely surprise for the Veterans and provided them with delicious meals right before the big snow storm. We're so grateful for the Bridge Fellowship and look forward to continuing to work together this year! #TheVOAWay

  • February 12, 2021

    #MissionMoment: Thank you to the volunteers who sent in homemade Valentine's Day cards! We're so grateful for your support and can't wait to see the smiles on the faces of those who receive one. There is still time to send a card to our office or head to our website and submit cheer mail. #TheVOAWay #ThankYOU

  • February 19, 2021

    #MissionMoment: Since 1896, we've been serving children and families most in need. In our founding year we distributed 14,000 lunches, 150 gallons of ice cream, and 1,300 gallons of lemonade to children. Later that year we proved once again we were ready to help those most in need by handing out 800 turkey dinners on Thanksgiving Day and feeding 7,000 people on Christmas. 125 years later and we haven't slowed down with our determination and dedication to serving those who need it most, when they need it most. #TheVOAWay

  • February 26, 2021

    #MissionMoment: Joanne moved into Marycrest Village Apartments in 2015 after her friend encouraged her to complete the application. At 73 years old, Joanne is a life-long resident of Joliet and actively engaged in her community. Before the pandemic you could find her serving as a Eucharistic Minister to nursing home residents. One of Joanne’s favorite things about living at Marycrest is all the new residents she gets to meet. She loves sharing stories of where they grew up and finding out that their relatives crossed paths at some point in their lives. Joanne can be found helping neighbors run errands or providing transportation when they’re experiencing car issues or are stranded at the hospital. Joanne embodies the VOA Illinois values and reminds everyone around her that kindness and caring for others goes a long way. We’re grateful to have people like Joanne call VOA Illinois home! #TheVOAWay #125yearsstrong

March 2021

  • March 5, 2021

    #MissionMoment: A special thank you to Welcome You Home Veterans organization for hosting a collection drive for the Veterans and families living at Hope Manor Joliet. The drive brought in toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, men and women's hygiene supplies. The donations were a huge help for families that are experiencing financial difficulties right now and now can use their resources on groceries, clothing, etc. We are so grateful for your support! #TheVOAWay #125yearsstrong

  • March 12, 2021

    #MissionMoment: In March 2019 Carlos, a Veteran, moved into Hope Manor I after being homeless. He struggled with mental, physical, and substance abuse. Due to his physical health he had no income. After moving into Hope Manor I, the case management team was able to provide a safe and clean environment for Carlos to live and get back on his feet. They helped him with transportation to and from medical appointments. The team connected him with social security benefits and stayed with him during the entire process. Carlos started participating in group meetings that were offered at Hope Manor I. The team provided support to make sure he didn’t relapse and connected him with a strong support system. Thanks to the support of our team and the belief that he would overcome his struggles, Carlos was able to transform right before their eyes and find stable ground to being a new life. #TheVOAWay #125yearsstrong

2020 #MissionMoments

January 2020

  • January 3, 2020

    #MissionMoment: We currently have a Veteran enrolled in our services that is working towards achieving his housing, employment and benefit goals. Since enrolling with us he has found an apartment and started an undergraduate application to learn computer programming. Since he is apart of the #VOAIllinois family he was eligible to submit gifts for his children this holiday season. Upon receiving the gifts, he had tears in his eyes because this was the first time in two years he was able to give his children gifts. He expressed how proud he is for how far he has come! We are so proud of all the hard work this Veteran is putting into reaching his goals and can't wait to see what's next for him! #TheVOAWay

  • January 10, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Since 1896, #VOAIllinois has been working to correct life's greatest inequities. We've been serving individuals and families who need it most, when they need it most, by ensuring they have a place to call home and the support they need to thrive. Our staff recently received a letter from a Veteran we helped to provide a new beginning. He was struggling with addiction and homelessness and due to our services we were able to give him the support and opportunity he needed to move forward. Click here to read the full letter! #TheVOAWay 

  • January 17, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Meet Jackie, a resident at our Spruce Manor housing development in Jacksonville. Jackie has MS and is refined to a wheelchair. Most days she requires a lift and personal assistant to get her in and out of bed. Jackie has one of the most positive and uplifting spirits at Spruce Manor and loves the independence she receives. In spite of everything, Jackie continues to live life to the fullest! This past November we honored her with our Courage Award at our annual luncheon. It's people like Jackie that remind us why we do what we do. #TheVOAWay 

  • January 24, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Recently, a female Veteran in our program shared a story with us that inspired her to #payitforward. Before she enrolled in #VOAIllinois' services she received a baby shower as part of her participation in another program. She shared with her service coordinator that she would like to do the same for someone else. This week she stopped by our offices and donated new baby clothes and a stroller to a parent in foster care! It's little moments like these that go on to change someones outlook on life. #TheVOAWay 

  • January 31, 2020

    #MissionMoment: For 123 years we’ve been serving individuals, families, and communities who need it most, when they need it most. Watch our video here to learn more about the work we do! #TheVOAWay 

February 2020

  • February 7, 2020

    #MissionMoment: We had a special visit from Congressman Danny Davis' office this week! His team stopped by Hope Manor I to talk to the Veterans about the resources available to them and engaged in conversations about ways to continue to improve their community. Thank you for taking time to talk to the Veterans this week! #TheVOAWay

  • February 14, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Today the ladies of Delta Gamma from DePaul volunteered at Hope Manor I. The ladies helped organize the recent donations we received and re-arranged the clothing closet to ensure the Veterans had access to the many wonderful donations we've received. They also spent time meeting with the Veterans and handing out Valentine's to them. The Veterans were so excited to receive a Valentine this year! We are so grateful for this partnership and look forward to working together again ❤️ #TheVOAWay

  • February 21, 2020

    #MissionMoment: We are dedicated to providing a new beginning to Veterans and their families who are living in crisis or in-stability. One of the ways we do this is by providing Veterans with the items they need, when they need them. A couple weeks ago we distributed new winter coats to the individuals and families we serve. Shortly after we received a voicemail from a Veteran that put a smile on our faces! It's moments like these that remind us why we've been doing this work since 1896. To read the full message click here#TheVOAWay

  • February 28, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Did you know we've been providing a brighter future to children since we opened our doors in 1896? Our program might not look the same as it did 124 years ago but providing children with everything they need to succeed still is. Check out our video here to see what our foster care program looks like today! #TheVOAWay

March 2020

  • March 6, 2020

    #MissionMoment: In partnership with our National office and affiliates across the country we traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in Hill Day this week. Our team met with Senator Duckworth and Senator Durbin to provide an update on the work that we're currently doing and what's to come. It was a great day to advocate for the individuals, families, and communities we serve. We're so grateful for the constant support we receive from them! #TheVOAWay

  • March 13, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Today is an exciting day as we celebrate Nancy Hughes Moyer's 14th anniversary as President and CEO of VOA Illinois! Nancy's passion for social work started at a young age when she started volunteering at nursing homes and food kitchens. Today, Nancy has expanded our service lines and grown the organization with no plans on stopping! We're grateful for everything Nancy has done and look forward to the next 14 years! To hear more about Nancy's journey you can listen to this recent podcast interview with her. To listen click here. #TheVOAWay 

  • March 20, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Today we wanted to highlight the work of our staff during this pandemic! Many have gone above and beyond to make sure the people we serve are comfortable and that life doesn't change too much for them. We've had staff run to the grocery store at all hours when items have been restocked. We have staff stopping by schools to get bagged lunches for the residents. We have staff walking through our properties and knocking on every door everyday to check in with each resident. We are so proud of our staff and everything they are doing to make sure everyone is safe and has the essential items to get through each day. #TheVOAWay 

  • March 27, 2020

    #MissionMoment: The men that live at Hope Manor I had a great surprise this week when an anonymous donor dropped off tons of fresh food for them! This donation was so unexpected and appreciated, especially during this time. With everything going on in the world, we love seeing all the random acts of kindness happening. It's great to see so many people coming together to support each other. #TheVOAWay #RandomActsofKindness

April 2020

  • April 3, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Today we #wearblue to support the end of child abuse. At VOA Illinois we are committed to providing #greatchildhoods to the children we serve by doing all we can to provide them with a brighter future. Even though we're working from home our staff put on their blue to raise awareness! Are you wearing blue and want to show your support to end child abuse? Send us your photos or tag us and we'll share on our page! #TheVOAWay #ChildAbusePreventionMonth

  • April 10, 2020

    #MissionMoment: In honor of #ChildAbusePreventionMonth our Auxiliary Board member did a collection of essential items in her apartment building for the children we serve. These items are so important right now and will help many of the families we serve. Thank you for thinking of those we serve during this time! #TheVOAWay #GreatChildhoods #COVID

  • April 17, 2020

    #MissionMoment: We're beyond blessed and lucky to have so many amazing partners donating meals to the people we serve. Thank you Vrdolyak Law Group for thinking of the Veterans and families we serve at Hope Manor II! Our Veterans were so appreciative and we can't wait to have you visit our properties after all this ends! #TheVOAWay

  • April 24, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Our volunteers are providing hope to our residents during this difficult time. Due to the current stay at home order, our residents haven't been able to see their family or friends in weeks. In an effort to bring hope and joy to them, volunteers have started to send letters of hope! The letters have been a surprise to our residents and left them smiling for days! In times like these, a small act of kindness goes a long way. #TheVOAWay #ThankYou #InThisTogether

May 2020

  • May 1, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Elara Caring surprised our residents at Balsam Terrace and Spruce Manor Apartments with a car parade to say hi!! The residents were so excited and were able to go outside and wave as the cars drove by. Watch the video here and see what special guest made an appearance! #TheVOAWay #ThankYou #InThisTogether

  • May 8, 2020

    #MissionMoment: We're blown away by the support we've received from our community during this pandemic. Every donation goes directly to the individuals & families we serve to keep them safe & healthy. Thank you to so many that have stepped up to support us during this difficult time! #TheVOAWay #ThankYOU #InThisTogether

  • May 15, 2020

    #MissionMoment: We have been blown away by the generosity and support from so many people in our community! To everyone that has donated food, sewed masks, sent letters of hope, and so much more thank you for being their for the individuals, families, and communities we serve. Once the stay at home order is lifted, we hope to see all of you and show you just how much your support means! #TheVOAWay #InThisTogether #Grateful

  • May 22, 2020

    #MissionMoment: In honor of #MemorialDay we remember all those that lost their life fighting for our freedoms, may they never be forgotten. Watch our video in honor of Memorial Day here.  #TheVOAWay #MDW2020 #MilitaryAppreciationMonth

  • May 29, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Thank you to our new partner Frito-Lay for donating 500 boxes of single shelf items to the individuals, families, and communities we serve! We can’t wait to see the smiles on so many of the children and families while they’re enjoying this delicious treat. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of so many and we’re grateful for your support! #TheVOAWay

June 2020

  • June 5, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Since 1896, we've been serving individuals, families, and communities who need it most when they need it most. Watch our video to hear from individuals and families whose lives have been changed by our services. #TheVOAWay

  • June 12, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Our front line staff have gone above and beyond during these difficult times and we're so grateful for their dedication to serve those who need us most. Thank you for staying committed to our work and the people we serve. Watch our thank you video to the front line staff.  #TheVOAWay

  • June 19, 2020

    In honor of Juneteenth we did not share a #MissionMoment story. Instead we shared information about the importance of Juneteenth. Today marks the 155th anniversary of #Juneteenth. Today we celebrate our country completely abolishing slavery. As an organization, we continue to learn and work towards equality and justice. You can learn more about the history of #JuneteenthDay here: http://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm

  • June 26, 2020

    #MissionMoment: In an effort to help our youth understand the importance of wearing a mask in public and social distancing our team at Hope Manor Joliet opened a candy store. Youth are able to stop by while supplies last & grab their favorite treat while following guidelines. The store has provided youth with a safe way to learn the importance of social distancing as we continue to move through the phases. Plus, what youth doesn't love candy! #TheVOAWay

July 2020

  • July 3, 2020

    #MissinMoment: We are so grateful for our partner Yankee Peach Designs for working with us to create these adorable children's masks! These masks will go to the kids participating in summer camp to help keep them safe while allowing them to participate in educational and fun programming. If you were a kid, which one would you wear? #TheVOAWay

  • July 10, 2020

    #MissionMoment: This week we had a surprise donation drop off from Amazonvestlife store! They delivered PPE, nonperishable food to fill our food pantry, and catered a meal to the Veterans living at Hope Hall. This donation means so much to the people that we serve. We're so grateful for your support! Amazon.com #TheVOAWay #ThankYou

  • July 17, 2020

    #MissionMoment: We're so grateful for local partners like Institute for Nonviolence Chicago! They recently stopped by Hope Manor I and donated face masks, hand soaps, deodorant, and hand sanitizers for the Veterans we serve! These items are essential to keeping the people we serve safe and healthy! To learn how you can get involved visit: https://www.voaillinois.org/give-help-now
    #TheVOAWay #ThankYOU

  • July 24, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Over the past couple weeks, board members and their families have been writing cards to the children and parents we serve to brighten their day. Some of the cards are hand drawn and others share a favorite quote or touching message. We know the families are going to love receiving them! #TheVOAWay #ActsofKindness

  • July 31, 2020

    #MissionMoment: A large part of our summer involves summer camp at Hope Manor II but with social distance guidelines our team had to get creative and innovative with their approach. Camp is completely outdoors and includes STEM activities to help keep kids on top of the school work they may have missed this year. Our staff is dedicated to providing educational and fun activities to engage the kids throughout the summer. Kids are split into small groups for safety but still find ways to have fun! Even though the kids aren't gathering in a large group and have to wear a mask they are enjoying being outside, learning new activities, and seeing their friends again! #TheVOAWay

August 2020

  • August 7, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Over the weekend Stephanie, our program manager at Hope Hall, hosted a socially distant team meeting. Stephanie wanted to express her gratitude for the unwavering commitment her team has shown throughout the pandemic and bring everyone together for some fun. This team meeting had a twist: IMPROV! The team expressed their emotions of the current world and local events in a fun way and connected on a deeper level. The staff at Hope Hall are known for changing the lives of the Veterans they serve but now they're transforming each others. #TheVOAWay #HopeHallHeroes

  • August 14, 2020

    #MissionMoment: The storms earlier this week took out the power at Marycrest Village Apartments for a couple days. In order to make sure our residents were comfortable and had everything they needed our staff jumped into action! The nonperishable items were a huge relief to the residents so they didn't have to worry about anything while dealing with the power outage. Our team is always ready to go at a moments notice and we're so grateful for their hard work. We are happy to report the power has been turned back on and everyone is safe! #TheVOAWay

  • August 21, 2020

    #MissionMoment: One of the pillars of our work is health and wellness and that includes healthy eating. Our Hope Manor II property has a beautiful community garden space that our residents tend and take care of. This summer they've been growing fresh vegetables and flowers to spruce up our space and provide healthy eating options. With so many restrictions and so much uncertainty gardening has become an outlet for so many of our residents during this difficult time. #TheVOAWay

  • August 28, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Yesterday we hosted a back to school fair at Hope Manor II for the community. We partnered with many incredible organizations to provide essential items to families and children before the school year begins. Individuals and families were able to get fresh vegetables and bread, backpacks, school supplies, toiletries, reading books, athletic gear, and so much more! It was a great day spent with our partners providing resources to the individuals and families in the Englewood community! #TheVOAWay

September 2020

  • September 4, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Last week, our team at Hope Manor II hosted an end of summer field trip to Bullfrog Lake! The individuals and families went on a 2 mile hike and saw some neighbors they haven't seen in months. The kids played games and learned how to fish. Everyone had a blast and were so happy to be able to spend some much needed time outdoors. #TheVOAWay

  • September 11, 2020

    In honor of September 11, 2001 we did not share a #MissionMoment. Instead we remembered the lives we lost 19 years ago and honor the first responders that risked their lives to help others. We continue to pray for the families whose lives were forever changed. #NeverForget

  • September 18, 2020

    #MissionMoment: With so many restrictions throughout the city and state our residents have started to learned new hobbies, one being gardening! Gardening has allowed for residents to spend time outside, a time to reflect on the past few months and what is to come. Recently, the residents at Marycrest Village Apartments were treated to this beautiful harvest of fresh food that they planted. They can't wait to see what the next harvest brings!

    What new hobbies have you learned these past few months? #TheVOAWay

  • September 25, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Some of our favorite moments are when former clients come back to join our team to help others achieve their goals! Meet Katrina - a Veteran, mother, former client, and current employee who is helping Veterans find employment opportunities to set them up on a successful career path. Watch our video to learn more about Katrina's journey: watch here #TheVOAWay

October 2020

  • October 2, 2020

    #MissionMoment: One of the Veterans we serve recently moved into a new apartment. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to bring her Pitbull, Eve, until she completed her service dog training. Not sure what to do the Veteran called her service coordinator for advice. Within no time our team connected the Veteran with One Tail At a Time to place Eve in a safe foster home while she completes her service dog training. The quick action from our staff not only provided Eve with a roof over her head that night but also provided the Veteran with a sense of calm and relief knowing that Eve was safe. Our team is continuing to work with the Veteran to make sure Eve completes all her training so they can once again be reunited. #TheVOAWay

  • October 9, 2020

    #MissionMoment: We are so grateful for all the support and love we've received after our Hope Manor Village Grand Opening event. This became a reality thanks to so many of our partners and supporters. We couldn't have done this without you!

    A special thank you to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Alderman Stephanie Coleman, Illinois Housing Development Authority, Chicago Department of Housing, and 7th District Chicago Police Department for participating in our event and supporting us along the way! #TheVOAWay

  • October 16, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Earlier this year Keith, an Army Veteran, was in need of support. After moving back to Chicago he found himself homeless and living in a shelter. After a couple months, Keith was ready to leave but didn't know where to go and that's when he was connected to us.

    When Keith arrived at our offices he was skeptical - he didn't know who to trust. He was surprised to find that our team was willing and ready to help. Our team helped Keith with everything from car issues to finding him furniture for his new apartment. When Keith saw just how much our team cared, he was shocked and said "What in the world?" Today, Keith keeps in touch with the case managers who changed his life and dreams of starting a blues band next year now that he is stable and happy! #TheVOAWay

  • October 23, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Since 1896, VOA Illinois has been supporting those who need it most when they need it most. Today we provide a new beginning to Veterans and their families who are struggling, a brighter future to children in foster care, and a better quality of life to the elderly and adults with disabilities. Watch the video below and meet some incredible people. #TheVOAWay

  • October 30, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Five years ago siblings entered our care due to domestic violence in the home. Before we got involved the house was dirty, full of garbage, and hard to live in. Once the children were in our care, mom and dad started participating in services in order to be re-united with their children. The parents would start and re-start services a couple times before learning they were pregnant again. After developing an unhealthy relationship, the parents realized the only way to be successful was to live separate. Once they made this decision they started to become more stable, complete services, keep their homes clean, and began a new relationship of co-parenting. With every obstacle that COVID-19 and 2020 has brought to the families we serve, we are happy to announce that the children have OFFICIALLY been reunited with their parents and their case is closed. We are so proud of this family and can't wait to see what their future holds! #TheVOAWay

November 2020

  • November 6, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Check out this great piece on Hope Manor Joliet by HUD User! Thank you for spotlighting our property that has been home to 67 head of household Veterans and their families since 2017. #TheVOAWay https://www.huduser.gov/portal/casestudies/study_110220.html

  • November 13, 2020

    #MissionMoment: This week we received these adorable virtual 'Thank you Veterans' cards from students at a local grade school! They were the perfect treat to honor the Veterans we serve and remind them that we're grateful for their service. #TheVOAWay #VeteransDay2020 #WorldKindnessDay

  • November 20, 2020

    #MissionMoment: A special thank you to the Chicago Bears and Jewel-Osco for honoring Kim, a Veteran we serve, as their #CommunityConnections recipient this week. Your support during this difficult time means the world to her and her family! #BearsOutreach #TheVOAWay #ThankYOU #SalutetoService

  • November 27, 2020

    #MissionMoment: We're so grateful to have Bombas as one of our partners. They recently donated socks to the Veterans we serve! These came at the perfect time with winter not too far away. Thank you so much for giving back to those most in need! #TheVOAWay

December 2020

  • December 4, 2020

    #MissionMoment: it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!! Thank you Neuberger Berman for partnering with us once again for holiday wishes. These gifts will go to the children we serve and provide some much needed joy this year! #TheVOAWay

  • December 11, 2020

    #MissionMoment: This year over 300 children submitted wishes to our Holiday Wishes program. Thanks to the support of many generous individuals and companies we are able to fulfill multiples wishes for every child and provide some much needed joy and cheer this year! We're especially thankful for all the elves that helped to wrap the gifts in time for the holidays. #TheVOAWay #THANKYOU

  • December 18, 2020

    #MissionMoment: Four years ago brothers Jaylon and Corey entered VOA Illinois' foster care system due to neglect, witness to criminal activity, violence, and more. Over the years the brothers lived with different family members but one thing remained consistent, they stuck together. Jaylon and Corey one day dreamed of living with their siblings who they called "their safety net". Fortunately for them, that dream came true this year when the brothers were placed in their sister's home and were able to begin the adoption process. With the help of VOA Illinois Jaylon, now 16 years old, was adopted by his sister and Corey, now 18 years old, was able to age out of the system and move in with his sister. Their strength and resilience led them out of the system and into a loving home where they both are thriving. It's moments like these that have shined a bright spot on 2020 and reminded us of why we do the work that we do. #TheVOAWay

  • December 25, 2020

    We hope everyone has a safe and joyous Christmas with their loved ones! #TheVOAWay