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Hinsdale, Illinois |

Published Sept. 2, 2010                                                    

Grants just one of the ways CMF has made a difference

   Fifteen years ago when Community Memorial Foundation was established, no one could have predicted what a difference the organization would make to area nonprofits and the people it serves.
   The foundation’s mission has been the same from the start: to measurably improve the health of people who live and work in the western suburbs. Rather than starting their own programs, foundation leaders decided to partner with existing nonprofit agencies who already were working to create healthier communities. Leaders also agreed to define health broadly, encompassing physical, mental, environmental, social and spiritual dimensions.
   As a result, CMF has been able to work with dozens of organizations in 27 communities on initiatives to serve youth, young children and the aging.
   The foundation has sharpened its focus and now carries out its mission and vision through three strategies: the responsive grant program, the building organizational effectiveness program and the health care access program.
   Over the past year through our partnership with the foundation, we’ve learned a little more about each of those strategies and shared that information with readers.
   Most of our stories have focused on the foundation’s work with agencies right here in Hinsdale — The Community House, Wellness House, HCS Family Services (formerly Hinsdale Community Services) and the Robert Crown Center for Health Education. We’ve also delivered information about the many other agencies that are foundation partners.
   One of our favorite pieces in the series ran in April highlighting National Volunteer Month. We invited Hinsdale residents who volunteer with one of the foundation’s partner agencies to attend a photo shoot at The Community House. More than 70 people showed up, and the result was a stunning mosaic illustrating the local network of neighbors helping neighbors.
   Community Memorial Foundation is a lot like those volunteers. It works behind the scenes, offering training and encouragement in addition to the $47 million it has awarded. Many say that support is as helpful as the financial assistance the foundation provides.
   We know the end of the partnership does not mean the end of our coverage of the foundation. We look forward to providing updates on how the Community Healthcare Network of the Western Suburbs, which the foundation launched a year ago, is helping to deliver health services to low-income adults with no medical insurance in 14 communities.
   And as we write more stories about The Community House, Wellness House, HCS and Robert Crown, we are continuing to cover some of the ways in which Community Memorial Foundation keeps making a difference.˙



— Making a difference is a yearlong partnership between The Hinsdalean
and Community Memorial Foundation, whose mission is to measurably improve
the health of people work live and work in the western suburbs.





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