How it all began…
Groupon’s G-Team recently ran a campaign on its Chicago page to help raise money for Cabrini Connections. Cabrini Connections is a volunteer based tutor/mentor program specifically created for 7th-12th graders located in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green neighborhood. Cabrini Connections was officially founded in 1992 but its history extends much deeper. It all began in 1965 when a small group of employees from Montgomery Ward traveled to Cabrini Green to tutor elementary school students. The 600 W building where Groupon is currently located is home to the former Montgomery Ward office building and is where the 2nd-6th grade version of the tutoring program operated from 1980-1999. Today, four Groupon employees serve as mentors at Cabrini Connections. So running a campaign with Cabrini Connections could not be a more obvious fit for Groupon’s G-Team.
Cabrini Connections ran its campaign on Groupon from June 7th to June 10th with tremendous success raising over $ 2,400. The matching donor, Context Media, also contributed $1,000 to the cause. All of the money raised was given to Cabrini Connections to put towards its monetary scholarship program better known as Graduation Dollars. Recognizing the high costs of postsecondary education Cabrini Connections designed a program where students earn points that eventually convert to Graduation Dollars. Points can be earned by good attendance, bringing in homework, and participating in clubs. For each point earned students receive $.10. With the money raised through the G-Team campaign, Cabrini Connections was able to double this year’s Graduation Dollars.
The Graduation Dollars are awarded at an end of the year dinner and can be used toward any school-related expenses such as tuition, books, class materials, and living expenses. At this year’s dinner celebration our very own Groupon employee Brian Bar stormed the stage to announce the special surprise Cabrini connections and the G-Team had in store for the six graduates. Imann, one of the seniors, was called up to the stage to be recognized for her involvement with Cabrini Connections. Imann visited Groupon’s office earlier this year and through her efforts recruited multiple volunteers from Groupon. However, Brain also had the pleasure of announcing to the graduates that all of their Graduation Dollars were being double thanks to the G-Team campaign. Check out this video from Cabrini Connections rewards night to see how Groupon’s G-Team and Groupon employees are making a difference in the local community.
Special shout out to these awesome Groupon employees that are currently mentors at Cabrini Connections:
Brian Bar (featured in the video) works with rising 10th grader Arnez Harper Stephen Dewart – works with rising 9th grader Ch’Shaun Ollins
Catherine “Cat” Reading – worked with 12th grader Whitney Hemphill
John Toth – is currently a substitute; will be matched up over the summer
Calvin Yang – works with rising 8th grader Romello Robinson
And these two great former volunteers: Jessica Fugman, Melissa Mulvey