America's Pastime

America's Pastime

Nothing quite says summer like taking in a major league baseball game.

"It was the BEST day ever and the Cubs even hit a grand slam!" Collin* said excitedly after he and two of his Cunningham peers took a day trip with staff to the big city.

Our kids experienced a great day of baseball at historic Wrigley Field and so much more. They also enjoyed some sightseeing and Chicago style pizza at Giordano’s. They shared a day they will never forget.

"As first time visitors to Chicago, all three young men were wide-eyed admiring the tall buildings, thrilled about seeing the Bears' Stadium, and amazed by how big Lake Michigan is," Tony, one of our staff members, said. "They were excited the whole time. Definitely no boredom!"

"It was one of the best days of the year getting to see Wrigley field and the ivy wall," Trevor* said.

Chris* said his favorite part was cheering along with all of the other excited Cubs fans. And they had a lot to cheer about as the Cubs hit three homeruns on their way to beating the Oakland A’s.

Experiences like this allow our youth to forget about their past trauma and abusive relationships, and the challenges that lie ahead, even if it’s just for one day. Simply put, it allows them to just be kids.

With an average length of stay at Cunningham of 18-22 months for our youth, the goal is to provide opportunities and experiences—like sporting events, summer camps, concerts, museums, amusement parks—as part of their journeys of hope and healing. These opportunities have a positive impact on their growth by providing an educational experience and teaching them social skills while giving them something to look forward to and memories to look back on for years to come.

While the State of Illinois reimburses Cunningham for the basic necessities of care, it’s the consistent financial support from friends and supporters like you that provide these special opportunities for our youth.

"One of the most memorable moments was watching as the three young men sang, Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the seventh inning stretch and seeing the big smiles on their faces," Tony shared.

*Our story is real but names have been changed to protect the privacy of our youth.