Published Sept. 2, 2010
Grants just one of the ways CMF has made
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
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
Community Memorial Foundation, whose mission is to
the health of people work live and
work in the western suburbs.