Betterment is not only about helping those in need; it is also about enhancing communities in the process. The Midtown Educational Foundation (MEF) mirrors these goals wonderfully so they were a perfect Chicago-area recipient.
Through a wide range of educational and social activities, MEF has served Chicago’s disadvantaged youth for 40 years. They not only provide educational assistance and mentoring relationships to these inner-city teens, but they also engage their students in outreach projects “to help them see that there is always someone less fortunate.”
In 2001, more than 70 people joined together for Chicago’s first-ever Betterment event to raise funds for MEF’s Saturday Service Club. Monies raised at the happy-hour party helped to give inner-city high school girls the opportunity to give back to their communities by providing transportation for various outreach efforts. Some service projects included work with Habitat for Humanity and Salvation Army, as well as volunteering in local homes for the elderly. Betterment support also provided supplies for holiday food baskets, made and delivered by inner-city high school boys, for needy families in the city.
Together, MEF’s four centers serve more than 1,000 at-risk youth in the Chicagoland area. And, approximately 300 adult volunteers share their time every week with MEF as mentors, program facilitators and tutors.
In a survey of more than 200 MEF junior high and high school program alumni, 98 percent had graduated from high school and 89 percent had enrolled in college. And all of these students take with them MEF’s gifts of unparalleled life lessons learned while working together to better communities. Betterment was proud to partner with such an outstanding community organization and looks forward to many more events in Chicago.