Metro Achievement Center celebrates special bond between mothers, daughters

midtown metro valentine's lunch

A mother and daughter celebrate their special bond at a Metro Achievement lunch

by Helen Gerety, Service Initiatives Coordinator, One Good Deed Chicago

“A mother must be physically strong, emotionally stronger, and spiritually strongest.” This is the message that Pascale Burns, mother of four and Midtown Educational Foundation advocate, shared with more than 200 mothers on Saturday, Feb. 18.

The day marked Metro’s 12th annual Mother-Daughter Day Luncheon, where people from Chicago’s underserved communities gathered together to honor each other with the Valentine’s Day –themed lunch, “Mothers are Stronger Role Models than Pop Culture.” I was lucky enough to spend the day at this event. As One Good Deed Chicago’s Service Initiatives Coordinator, I often get the chance to attend the events of our Success Coaches partners and see their work firsthand.

midtown lunch zumba

Mothers at the event do a Zumba-style dance exercise.

The event began with a call to action. Local priest, Father John Waiss, reminded not just daughters to honor their mothers, but mothers to also honor their daughters.

“Mothers, honor your daughters by picturing what qualities you want your daughter to possess and then acquire them yourselves,” he said.

Mothers and daughters separated for part of the day; Daughters wrote love letters to their moms, while the parents had a chance to discuss what makes a strong and successful mom.

The day came to a close when daughters rejoined their mothers for lunch and presented them with hand-crafted love letters. When mothers were asked about how Metro has impacted their daughters, one was especially thankful. She remarked “Metro taught my daughter how to become a young lady.”

The event reminded me of the important relationship that I share with my own mother and the significant role that she played in my development as a self-confident and independent woman. I am thankful for the work that Metro is doing to build and support similar relationships between the mothers and daughters in Chicago.

In addition to hosting an inspiring event like this, Metro for girls, along with its brother site Midtown Center for Boys, is celebrating 12 consecutive years of 100 percent graduation and college enrollment. Midtown Educational Foundation helps close the achievement gap for Chicago’s urban youth by providing one-on-one tutoring, high school prep, and college counseling.

If you are interested in contributing to Midtown and Metro’s success, become a tutor! Visit the profile of Midtown Educational Foundation, the sponsoring nonprofit organization for Midtown and Metro, on to learn how.


Mayor Rahm Emanuel to speak at Casa Central awards dinner

Casa Central is an action-driven nonprofit that provides a network of services improving the lives of many in Chicago’s Hispanic community. The nonprofit is one of One Good Deed Chicago‘s selected partners this year in the VolunTEAM initiative. Mayor Rahm Emanuel will speak at the group’s annual awards dinner at Westin River North on Oct. 20.

Casa Central’s impact includes:

  • 500 children ages 2-5 prepare for kindergarten in its Head Start groups.
  • 175 children participate in its after-school enrichment activities in the School Age Program.
  • 100 teens participate in positive development activities at Youth Opportunities Unlimited.
  • 70 homeless families receive housing and support services at La Posada, on their way to permanent housing.
  • 500 victims of domestic abuse receive counseling and support through the Violence Prevention Initiative.
  • 800 community residents gain access to the Internet as they learn to use computers at the Community Technology Center.
  • 1,500 home-bound seniors receive visits from its Home Care aides, who provide basic assistance.

Individual sponsor tickets for the awards dinner begin at $500 and support Casa Central’s programs. For more information or to find out more about this impactful nonprofit, visit

If attending the awards dinner is out of your reach but you’ve got time to spend, consider volunteering to support Casa Central’s efforts. See the current volunteer opportunities posted at One Good Deed Chicago’s website by clicking here.