Spring 2017 Newsletter
** IMPORTANT Reminders**
FOR FACILITATORS

Professional Development Hours  for Illinois Educators 
ILLINOIS EDUCATORS: If you completed the online Facilitator training in 2017 and are interested in receiving Professional development hours for it, we need to know ASAP! The paperwork has to be submitted in June. Thank you!
 
AS A REMINDER: Illinois educators and social workers can now earn 8+ professional development/continuing education hours for completing the Rainbows online training (as long as it was completed AFTER January 1, 2017). Those in other states may be able to show the IL approval to their certifying facility and also obtain those hours. Let us know if you would like assistance with this.
 
Parental Consent Policy Reminders
Some facilitators have asked about our policies regarding parental consent. While we strongly urge all sites to obtain parental consent for a child to attend a group, ideally from both parents when possible, there are some exceptions. In a case of separation or divorce, you should at least get consent from the parent with primary custody. In the case of teenage youth (Spectrum program), it is acceptable for them to participate in a group without the consent of their parents, although we still encourage including the parents when possible.
 
Marketing and Promoting Groups
While we would like the name of our organization and/or our logo to be promoted as widely as possible so as to generate greater national awareness of support for children/teens, we understand there are times this doesn't work so well for sites. If it is challenging for you to use the name "Rainbows" (or Spectrum, etc), feel free to call your specific site or group whatever you think will work for you. If you can at least mention that the group is affiliated with Rainbows for All Children and/or use our logo on some materials, that would be ideal. However, we understand the name can sometimes discourage some youth from wanting to attend so feel free to get creative and come up with something to which they will flock!
 
Schools with Rainbows Sites
On that same note, regarding marketing and promoting groups, we strongly encourage Rainbows sites held at schools to be sure to promote their group(s) to the teachers at the school if you aren't already. They are often the professionals who know which children could most benefit from a group, and will often be your biggest supporters. Also, please consider whether it is feasible for you to hold groups that can be open to the community. We need more open sites!

Spring Deal: 20% OFF all materials in our online store!!
All online Rainbows materials, including workbooks, will be discounted 20% for the entire month of May! Time to stock up on board games or any other materials you may be missing or looking to replace. You can order online at https://rainbows.org/order-materials or call Zach Hamilton-Cotter at 847-952-1770, Ext. 315 for other forms of payment.
Meet Our New Executive Director
Rainbows for All Children is proud to introduce our new executive director, Stephanie Garrity.
 
Stephanie has worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly two decades. She began her career working in fundraising and public relations at Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, IL. It was there that her passion for nonprofit management was ignited. A nun at the school noticed her hard work and dedication and soon promoted her to Director of Development.
 
After helping a loved one through the loss of a child and a divorce, Stephanie realized the impact that all forms of grief can have on parents and children. She decided to use her years of experience to help grieving families and moved to a new nonprofit.This is where she learned the challenges and rewards of helping children heal. 
 
"People say kids are resilient and that they'll get over it," she said. "But's that's usually not the case."
 
Stephanie also met Rainbows founder, Suzy Yehl Marta, at a fundraising dinner in the early 2000's. The two discussed how to help grieving children and the uniqueness and importance of Rainbows.
 
"When a parent is gone, the remaining caregiver is often facing financial constraints," Stephanie said. "They may not be able to afford counseling, but Rainbows can assist them at no cost, immediately. Rainbows takes away frequent barriers to service, like cost and location."
 
Stephanie's new role as Rainbows' Executive Director will allow her to combine her innovative leadership and fundraising skills with her years of experience working with grieving families. She has already set short and long term goals for herself and the organization.
 
"I want to meet with our donors and alumni and hear about their experiences and concerns," she said. "We have some really thoughtful, committed people doing amazing work and I would love to solidify that foundation." 
New Address & Toll-Free Number for Rainbows
Rainbows' headquarters is moving - but not too far. 

On May 20th, we will be moving into a new office located at 614 Dempster St., Suite C, Evanston, IL 60202. For those who are local, the office is conveniently located across the street from the CTA Purple Line's Dempster Street station. 

Our office phone numbers and extensions will remain the same, but we have also added a new TOLL-FREE number:

1-855-952-1770
Fundraising Tips for Struggling Sites
We know that it can sometimes be a struggle to raise the funds to keep your Rainbows site up and running. 

That's why Rainbows' Headquarters has come up with a comprehensive online guide to fundraising. The guide provides grant research methods, grant proposal and letter of inquiry templates and specific fundraising ideas for Rainbows sites. You can also find the guide in the Resource Center of the online training. Check it out today, and never hesitate to contact us with fundraising questions! We are happy to assist with projects large or small.
Rainbows Recognition
The Federal Times awarded us one of the Best Children's Charities of 2016.

Rainbows is honored to have been recognized 
with three awards in the last quarter

We received a Trailblazer Community Partner recognition from Adler University for our work in Social Justice.














  

And we are officially now a GuideStar Platinum nonprofit, which is the highest level of recognition possible!

Deportation's Impact on Rainbows' Youth
Children have not been immune to the impacts of the immigration raids sweeping the country. Rainbows' headquarters has received an increase in emails and calls from concerned parents, teachers and social workers looking for programs to help children living in fear of their parent's deportation.

Many children are coming to school each day unsure of whether their parents will be there when they return home. This results in ongoing anxiety, decreased attention in school and an overall decrease in mental health. Those whose parents are deported are often left with few resources and placed in foster care or with relatives.

Raids have been mostly concentrated in Latino communities, including parts of Rainbows' neighboring Chicago, where more than 46 percent of public school students identify as Hispanic/Latino.

"My dad is a good dad," one Chicago third grader told the Chicago Tribune after her father was deported to Mexico this year. "I miss him every day. He worked to provide for the whole family and took care of us."

Rainbows is here for children and teens with deported and detained parents, as well as those living in fear of immigration raids. We accept participants of all documentation status. 
Happy Mother's Day!
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With Mother's Day around the corner, Rainbows would like to say how thankful we are for the incredible moms who work hard every day to make a better life for their children. 

We also realize that not every child has a mother present in their life. So here are some articles we love for single fathers, stepmothers, grandparents acting as guardians, and children without moms. You're important, too, and your story deserves to be celebrated!






Help Us Expand in High Need Areas
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Are you interested in starting a new Rainbows site?

Rainbows is asking existing facilitators, who are driven site-starters, to consider opening groups in currently underserved areas.

One of the incredible things about Rainbows is that people most often learn our program via "word of mouth," thanks to our supporters. The downside to this means of communication, however, is that it frequently leads to a clustering of groups in one area while neighboring communities struggle to find groups for their grieving youth.

Searching for a Rainbows group in Chicago's Northern suburbs will get you pages full of site choices, for example. Yet the City of Chicago, the country's third largest city, currently only has one Rainbows group that is open to the public -- Holy Name Cathedral. This unequal distribution of groups leads to a huge number of grieving youth flocking to just one program or, worse, being left without one to grieve alone. Many families can't make the one meeting time at Holy Name, for instance, or struggle to get there from their distant neighborhoods.

Rainbows has started to "think outside the box" to address these issues. After receiving numerous calls from families in the neighboring communities of Oak Park, IL, we started reaching out to unconventional locations to see if they might be interested in starting Rainbows groups. As a result, the Oak Park Public Library will open its doors this fall as a brand new Rainbows site! A former Rainbows facilitator from Altus Academy, Brianna Hughes, will be spearheading those groups, coordinated by OOPL's Manager of Community Resources, Rob Simmons. A local hospital and church in that community are considering becoming sites as well.

If you see a community near you in need, we ask that you join us in our mission of reaching these children and teens where they need us. Consider driving that extra 15 or 20 minutes to open a site in a community that doesn't already have one. Come up with creative meeting locations if necessary. Give us your suggestions of places you think might be interested so we can follow up with them. Please help us spread the word, and spread the love, to make a difference in the lives of the children who need us most. 
Event on May 8th: S upport a Grieving Family 
A very moving ceremony, frequently incorporated into Celebrate Me Day for many Rainbows groups, is the balloon release. The ritual allows grieving youth to say goodbye to the loved ones they have lost (either literally or figuratively), and to realize afterwards that things will be okay again. It is a way of physically releasing the emotions they carry from the loss.

On May 8 th a nonprofit, called Natalia's Endless Love, will be holding a balloon release to honor the life of Natalia, an inspiring young girl who passed away from leukemia complications in 2013 at the age of 10. Her mother, who founded the organization, has asked people around the country to release purple balloons that evening in memory of their own loved ones who have died. 

We mention this event because most of us who are affiliated with Rainbows know how valuable an experience like this can be to the grieving process. For those of you who facilitate groups, perhaps your children can benefit from being a part of the event for Natalia. Just as they receive support from their peers, perhaps they might also feel connected to Natalia and her loved ones by the shared experience.

Natalia's Endless Love will also release balloons on behalf of loved ones if you provide them with a name and personalized message. To learn more about this event for Natalia's Endless Love, visit www.nataliasendlesslove.com.

 

Also, if you do participate, please consider taking photos and share them with us and Natalia's Endless Love. We will both post them on our websites!

Summer Camp for Mental Health Professionals

Camp Kesem an amazing camp for children who have lost a parent to cancer, are experiencing a parent going through cancer treatment, or have a parent in remission. It is a FREE one-week overnight summer camp run primarily by college students (supervised by professional staff members) with locations all across the U.S. The intent is to provide these children, ages 6-16, with a fun respite from troubles they face at home. However, they are also with peers who are experiencing similar challenges that they can relate to as well. Holding Rainbows' groups as part of the camp experience will certainly be beneficial, too! 

Please consider passing along this information to any families you know who might benefit from this type of camp.

They are also looking for mental health professionals willing to donate their services to spend one week "glamping" with any of their camps. 

Camp Kesem has over 100 week-long overnight camps this summer.  Each session requires a Mental Health Professional that has a Master's-level degree and is licensed or working toward licensure (minimum) in counseling, social work, or related field. Two years of experience is also preferable.

Preference will be given to applicants who wish to volunteer. Compensation may be available upon request. For more position information and a link to the application, click  here, or contact liz@campkesem.org with any questions.
Check out our NEW Rainbows Sites
Join us in welcoming the 9 new Rainbows that have opened since February!
  • DeWitt Middle School- Ithaca, NY
  • Girl Scouts of Central Maryland- Baltimore, MD
  • CAPS - Happy Kids Healthy Families- Elkhart, IN
  • Sacred Heart Villa- St. Louis, MO 
  • Co-Cathedral of St. Robert Bellarmine- Freehold, NJ
  • Kuemper School- Carroll, IA
  • Church of St. Ann- Keansburg, NJ
  • Faith Church- Lansing, MI
  • Cornerstone Missionary Baptist  Church - Greenville, NC
Rainbows for All Children | 847-952-1770 | info@rainbows.org | www.rainbows.org
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