News from the Board
The Impact100 Chicago board meets once each month.  You can check here for the latest news and updates.  If you have a question or comment for the board, let us know at:
It is the time of year when we ask our members and friends to join us in our mission to provide $100,000 transformational grants to non-profits in the Chicagoland suburbs.  For each 100 members we have, we provide and Impact Grant of $100,000.  As you consider membership this year, please read this message from Impact100 Founder, Wendy Steele.

Message from Impact100 Founder Wendy Steele

Sweet Memories

As I write this, we are only a few days into the month of October, yet every store has been decorated for Halloween for weeks. This ghoulish holiday attracts celebrants from toddlers to retirees donning costumes and attending parties of all kinds. According to Investopedia, Americans will spend a record-breaking $10.6 billion on costumes, candy, décor, and cards this season. That calculates to an average of about $100 per person and a whole lot of sweets. Halloween is big fun and big business.

My earliest memory of Halloween was as a kid trick-or-treating with my sisters in my neighborhood. We would buy our costumes at the local store. My sisters and I typically chose to be one of the characters from Saturday morning cartoons. We each had a round, plastic jack-o-lantern for candy along with a small cardboard carton to collect donations for the global health charity, UNICEF. We were so grateful, as most neighbors were generous with their coins and their candy when we came to their doors.

From a young age, we understood that there were children around the world without enough food or medicine. It seemed like an honor to be able to help. For me, Halloween became about more than costumes and candy; it also was a chance to understand and impact the world around us. I do not remember any big conversations or instructions from my parents about collecting money for UNICEF, yet the experience remains etched in my mind as a formative moment.

When I had kids of my own, I created so many small ways to instill that same sense of a bigger world and our place within it. It was through sorting through toy bins and bookshelves to thoughtfully select items we could give to children who did not have these things. Together, we imagined how these kids would react in receiving a cherished book or toy that made it feel so real. We also served together. Volunteering for clean up projects or serving meals provides a tangible impact as these often provide instant feedback – what was dirty is now clean. Those who were hungry and now fed and thankful.

Linking early childhood experiences of giving or serving together can positively impact young people well into the future. The sweet taste of candy is fleeting, the sweet feeling that comes from helping others can last a lifetime.