Donations have the power to transform lives; large or small, charitable contributions –even the smallest ones– have the potential to improve the quality of life of an individual. Studies suggest that giving to others increases our sense of happiness. This is perhaps because giving allows us to build a better and more equal world around us, one where the less fortunate can feel stronger, safer, and healthier.

At The Resurrection Project (TRP) we work to create a better world and we start right here in our community. Whether it is through safety and violence prevention programs, immigration services, student career internship opportunities or financial wellness courses, we make sure the communities we serve fully benefit from the funds received from our generous donors. People like Ashley Carreon and Claudia Castillo are great examples of determination and community work that leads to improved quality of life.

ashley_carreon-480x360After graduating from high school in 2015, Ashley Carreon decided to participate in an immersive summer program. She was an outstanding student and captain of the soccer team at Chicago Bulls College Prep. Through the city’s One Summer Chicago program, Ashley was placed at TRP where she participated in violence prevention and peace promoting programs like The Resurrection Basketball League held in Pilsen.

As a result of her strong community leadership skills, in 2016 Ashley was accepted to the Bank of America Students Leaders Program and The Peace Exchange (non-violence leadership development). “I didn’t think about the community as much as I do now,” says Ashley.  “It used to be all about soccer and school for me, but now I’m more interested in opportunities that will make a difference and have an impact in the community.”

TRP’s staff provided Ashley with direction and guidance, both with college matters and with life. She frequently visited La Casa Resource Center and met with staff that helped her with college decisions. Ashley is attending the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is working for a non-profit organization in the area. It was through TRP’s programs that Ashley was exposed to community work, which soon became a way of life, one where she can give back.

This past summer, Claudia Castillo and her teenage son Gustavo were in search of a new apartment. Their previous place was a second floor space -located in the Little Village neighborhood- where Claudia was forced to physically carry her son up and down the stairs for years due to his disability. Once Gustavo grew taller it became more difficult for Claudia to carry him and that’s when the search for a more appropriate apartment began with the assistance of TRP.

By the end of the summer, Claudia and her son found a space they could afford in Pilsen; they moved to TRP’s Casa Morelos where they have elevator access and washers/dryers in the building, among other convenient features.

“I feel a lot more confident about myself,” says Claudia. “I also feel more motivated to do things around the house and in the neighborhood because of the elevator and because everything is more accessible.” They are grateful for their new life and TRP is honored to be a part of it.

TRP is proud to witness Ashley and Claudia’s journeys, among others, and will continue supporting individuals that are committed to building healthy communities. However, this work would not be possible without the support of the donors that allow TRP to be a catalyst for success stories like these.

This holiday season, consider donating to TRP’s programs; your gift will empower more people like Ashley and Claudia and will help transform one story, one life, one community at a time.

Join other supporters from across the country and become a “Face of TRP.” To see more success stories visit http://resurrectionproject.org/get-involved/imagine-more-with-the-resurrection-project

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