Enriching local communities through involvement and investment is good business. Boeing Corp. demonstrates that belief through its engagement with nonprofits globally and locally, including in the Chicago area with Metropolitan Family Services.
Boeing and Metropolitan have enjoyed a connection that spans 15 years, starting in 2002 with Walter “Walt” Skowronski, retired Principal Executive Officer of Boeing Capital Corp., who served as a Metropolitan Board Member. Through Walt, several fundraising events were held benefiting the agency. Boeing staff also donated time to Metropolitan youth, including hosting client families at Chicago’s Air and Water Show practice sessions that provided up-close experiences of the air acrobatics.
Boeing also has made the holiday season more joyful for Metropolitan client families through sponsoring parties at Metropolitan community centers. In 2016 more than 100 families and 15 Boeing employees, including John Blazey, Vice President of Global Corporate Citizenship, and Michael Cassel, Director of Global Corporate Citizenship, Great Lakes Region, sponsored Metropolitan’s holiday celebration at its Learning and Wellness Center (LWC). LWC brings quality early learning programming and family services to families in Chicago’s Englewood and New City communities, the only facility of its kind in the area.
“Supporting the communities where our employees live and work is central to our community engagement initiatives at Boeing,” says John Blazey, vice president of Global Corporate Citizenship. “A core part of our investment strategy includes funding education programs in the Chicagoland area. That is why we are pleased to partner with Metropolitan Family Services as they work to equip our youth with academic and life skills that help them succeed in and beyond the classroom.”
In addition to its support of LWC, Boeing also provided holiday gifts for 75 seniors last year at Metropolitan’s Evanston/Skokie Valley Center. The seniors are part of the agency’s Adult Protective Services program, which helps older adults and adults with disabilities who have experienced financial or physical abuse.
Such events have given participating Boeing employees the opportunity to engage with local communities and see the impact of their support. That support helps enable Metropolitan to empower more than 72,000 families and individuals throughout the Chicago area yearly with services that focus on education, economic stability, emotional wellness and empowerment/legal aid.
“We all have a stake in helping families realize their greatest potential,” says Ric Estrada, President and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services. “When private, public and nonprofit entities partner to develop and implement solutions that strengthen families, we all win by creating communities that are thriving places to live, work and invest.”
Metropolitan thanks Boeing Corp. for its ongoing partnership, and for its commitment to building better communities in the Chicago area and worldwide.