Making Ripples

Making Ripples

Cunningham Children's Home recently recognized 33 businesses and organizations in the local community that provide our students with an opportunity to learn vocational and life skills.

These partners were acknowledged on Thursday, April 30 at a ceremony in Cunningham's Spiritual Life Center. During the event, Vocational Education (Voc Ed) Coordinator Mary Garman shared a story which emphasizes the importance of these work experiences for our students:

I was speaking to former Cunningham students about the greatest benefits they received while participating in the Voc Ed Program. Here were some of their responses:

I'm thankful that businesses allowed me to come and learn about careers.

This experience allowed me to discover who I am as a worker.

Sometimes businesses let me fail. Other times I received compliments on my successes, which increased my confidence in my abilities.

This experience taught me how I should treat other people while on the job.

One particular former student talked a little bit longer. "Do you think they know?" she asked.

"Who?" Mary said.

The former student said again. "Do you think the businesses realized what they did for me? They made me feel like I was needed, there was expectations for me to do well and if I didn't, they made sure I understood the expectations. More importantly they made me feel like a person who could succeed."

She continued, "Ya know it is the ripple effect. I will do this someday for someone just like me. Please make sure they know I think of them and that I will use everything I learned."

So we say thanks to all of these businesses and organizations for creating a ripple effect in our youth and in the community!


Java Connection received Cunningham's Business of the Year Award.

CCH Kitchen
CCH Supply Department
Challenge Unlimited
Champaign County Convention Center and Visitors Bureau
Champaign County Habitat for Humanity Restore
Champaign County Humane Society
City Girl Yogurt
County Market
Courage Connections
Cracker Barrel
Crosswinds Equine Rescue Center
Eastern Illinois Food Bank
Eastland Suites
First United Methodist Child Care Center
Goodwill Industries
Herff Jones
Heritage Health
Human Kinetics
Java Connection
Longhorn Steakhouse
Mahomet IGA
Marathon and Beyond
Morning Star Food Pantry
Orphans Treasure Box
Parkland Point Apartments
Po' Boys
Salt and Light
Sola Gratia Farm
Stone Creek Food Pantry
University of Illinois- Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Dining Services
University of Illinois-Florida Avenue Residence Dining Services
Urbana Free Library
Vineyard Food Pantry