End-of-Year Letter From the Executive Director
What a whirlwind year 2018 has been. You may have loved and celebrated and may have also suffered tremendous loss as I and the family of my trusted friend and security guard Undra Colbert. Yet, there is something God has placed in the human spirit that remains inspired and resolute.
This year, Project H.O.O.D. has worked exceptionally hard to fulfill our mission of stopping senseless violence. We held a community peace rally after five people were shot on 63rd Street near King Drive. We have also had two successful construction programgraduations where individuals with challenging backgrounds were taught the skills they need to become employed and productive members of society. Klein Tools partnered with Project H.O.O.D. and provided very needed tools and we are happy that our next class begins in January.
Another part of our mission is to empower our community to become leaders and entrepreneurs. In 2018, we had job readiness training and entrepreneurial training and workshops such as our B.U.I.L.D. program. Aspiring business owners enrolled in the B.U.I.L.D. program (Business Uplift in Leadership Development) learned how to start their businesses in the right way in order to prevent a lot of the pitfalls that often await the uninformed.
Providing our community with different perspectives and ideas to enrich their experience and horizons has been especially fulfilling. A very moving workshop was Healing Memories with Father Lapsley who struggled against apartheid and lost an eye and both hands in a bomb attack. While in South Africa, Father Michael went on to work with Nelson Mandela and brought his experience to Project H.O.O.D. Then there was an author breakfast with Avi Jorisch, the author of Thou Shalt Innovate: How Israeli Ingenuity Repairs the World, a book and discussion about people who have chosen hope and healing over death and destruction.
Income producing programs that we have begun this year are Project H.O.O.D. Construction and Project H.O.O.D. Landscaping which are sure to expand over the coming months. Our sixth annual Free Summer Camp is something I am especially proud of. We had over 160 children this year and employed 25 youth workers as counselors. This summer, we partnered with the Chicago Chess Foundation who taught the children the beginnings of chess.
We hope you see the impact and dedication of our work. We cannot do it without you and I humbly ask that you help us with a very important initiative. Project H.O.O.D.’s Community Center is very needed and will make a real difference in our community. With our programming, we have and will continue to change lives, empower future leaders and educate business owners. We have a special GoFundMe Campaign for the Community Center.
Please give an end-of-year gift today.
Thank you for all of your friendship and support and I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year.
All my best,
Pastor Corey B. Brooks