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posted: 5/1/2014 7:51 AM

Speed dating for social service agencies

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Harper College News Bureau

Imagine speed dating, but for social service organizations. It's an idea that Nancy McDonald, Information Specialist at the Rita and John Canning Women's Program at Harper College, came up with after spending countless hours meeting separately with dozens of area providers.

McDonald decided time could be better spent bringing everyone together through a Community Information Exchange. The event will run from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, May 2, in Room A238, Building A on the College's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. Representatives from more than 30 social service providers including CEDA Northwest, Journeys: The Road Home, Jewish Vocational Services and WINGS each will give five-minute presentations to the group. That way, everyone will know exactly which providers offer which services.

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"It's important that all these organizations know about each other so that everyone can work collaboratively and best help those who need it most," McDonald said. "An exchange like this is more effective than me running around to individual agencies. It's really like speed dating because you get to know a large number of people."

Harper's Women's Program provides educational support, resources and the opportunity for a fresh start to single parents, displaced homemakers and others – many of whom are survivors of domestic violence.

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