Our Beginnings

Our Community of Illinois (OCI) was established in 2005 to address the lack of resources available to foster children and youth. Through their work in the Illinois child welfare system, OCI's founders witnessed first-hand the obstacles these children and youth faced daily.

More than 16,000 children and youth reside in Illinois' foster care system. These children and youth have suffered abuse, neglect, and loss through no fault of their own. While in foster care, they often lack the permanency and stability necessary for them to feel safe, grow, and learn. Like all of us, they have dreams and aspirations. Unfortunately, they often lack the opportunities to make their dreams come true because of scarce governmental resources.

OCI bridges this resource gap by providing items such as computers, bikes, books, and monetary assistance to children and youth affected by the Illinois child welfare system. With your help and the support of the community, we can enhance the lives of foster children and youth. Together we can make a difference.

Since its inception, OCI has donated more than 300 bicycles, 25 computers, and 35 car seats to children and youth affected by the Illinois child welfare system. OCI has used monetary donations to pay for children and youth to participate in services, including a variety of educational and recreational activities.

To read about OCI's beginnings, click here to see the 2007 Chicago Tribune article.