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Achieving Radical Generosity – The Record in the Making

Achieving Radical Generosity – The Record in the Making

In 2013, Dr. Kerry Brown Hasbrook, of Wilmette, was working at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, witnessing the day by day significant needs of her patients. With a growing desire to assist, she casually suggested collecting Thanksgiving turkeys to her coworker Clara Nwokenkwo, a nurse, never anticipating what would ensure.

Ten years later, Brown Hasbrook’s easy idea of kindness has morphed right into a full-fledged nonprofit, Radical Generosity Chicago, annually impacting 13,000 shelter insecure individuals.

Now, RGC is much from a two-woman show. While Nwokenkwo continues to be involved remotely, Mandy Breaker, of Wilmette, who’s Brown Hasbrook’s sister, can be on the helm, as are 1000’s of volunteers. In truth, in 2023 alone, greater than 1,700 North Shore residents joined Brown Hasbrook on her mission to enhance homelessness in Chicago.

“I comprehend it’s hard to imagine while you look out amid the gorgeous towering skyline of Chicago that there’s a silent crisis — 68,000 souls are unsheltered and struggling not removed from our very own homes,” Brown Hasbrook said. “RGC encourages families to have interaction, not out of obligation, but out of a shared humanity.”

With that goal in mind, RGC is instrumental in uniting volunteers through easy yet impactful acts of kindness. RGC keeps their overhead costs low, using the digital platform Sign-Up Genius to recruit volunteers to partake in various charitable activities. For instance, RGC repeatedly spearheads drives for winter clothing, birthday bags for low-income families, food donations, school supplies for the less fortunate students, and survival backpacks for homeless teens and adults — simply to name just a few noble causes.

Radical Generosity volunteers pass out turkeys and warm winter wear in Jackson Park.

Along the way in which, Brown Hasbrook has garnered support and interest from other local organizations and businesses wanting to be a part of the answer.

“One among the partnerships we’re most grateful for is that with the Woman’s Club of Wilmette,” Brown Hasbrook said. “They’ve been generous with using their space, co-hosted service opportunities and have publicized RGC’s efforts.”

Further, Brown Hasbrook shared that community impact grants from the Make it Higher Foundation, William-Sonoma Inc. and the WCW have allowed RGC to buy helpful items, reminiscent of a deep freezer to assist store collected foods. Funding has also allowed RGC to buy personal safety alarms for unhoused teens in collaboration with Lane Tech High School’s runaway safety club.

Brown Hasbrook recalls an interaction with a young child while delivering a number of the above-mentioned donations, capturing the essence of RGC.

“After we delivered the donated items to an after-school enrichment program in North Chicago, just a little boy ran as much as me and said ‘that is the very best day ever’. His joy is what RGC is all about,” Brown Hasbrook said.

Krista Gallagher, of Wilmette, a devout volunteer with RGC, reflected on the family lessons which can be learned through RGC’s volunteer opportunities.

“Volunteering with RGC is such a special experience. Their activities bring neighbors together to assist others. (Brown Hasbrook) is an incredible advocate. Due to her, we’ve watched our children and the neighborhood kids help and look after others.” Gallagher said.

Despite all of the undeniable growth and praise, Brown Hasbrook said that, “my work is much from complete.” She looks forward to the brand new yr, remarking how RGC is picking up much more steam.

In January, RGC will provide winter gear to Chicago’s newcomers as they feast on a warm meal from a Venezuelan food truck, La Cocinita. Further, RGC is thrilled to host its annual Martin Luther King Day of Service, when individuals are invited to make no-sew fleece blankets and/or create toiletry kits at home on the Woman’s Club of Wilmette on Jan. 15.

If focused on signing up or learning more details, visit Radical Generosity’s website. RGC also invites individuals to affix the cause by connecting through Instagram.

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