Families Helping Families to celebrate 30 years with fundraiser

Families Helping Families is entering its 30th year working to assist homeless mothers in the community secure the housing, education and employment they need to be successful.

With a milestone anniversary, the organization has much to celebrate at its annual Fundraiser Dinner set for 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3, at Cress Creek Country Club in Naperville.

Created under the umbrella of Bridge Communities, Families Helping Families provides apartments for homeless mothers and children, with an almost all-volunteer staff who provide mentoring, financial coaching and other assistance.

Families Helping Families helps homeless women and their children with apartments. Courtesy of Gerald Auto Group

Many of the clients have been victims of domestic violence or poverty and live in the apartments for about two years while returning to school, securing careers and saving for their own homes. Through the past 30 years, Families Helping Families founder Vicky Joseph of Naperville has watched clients pursue careers in a variety of fields after receiving certification and training through the program. She has seen the positive difference Families Helping Families has made not only in the lives of mothers, but their children.

“One of our moms recently took a job with the U.S. Department of Defense, another one became a nurse and another was able to buy her own condo,” said Vicky Joseph, a Naperville resident and founder of Families Helping Families. “What I’m really excited about is the second generation — when the children of our clients finish high school and go to college. The thing that breaks the poverty cycle is education.”

Families Helping Families in Naperville helps women break the cycle of homelessness. Courtesy of Gerald Auto

Joseph said the fundraiser includes dinner, dancing, a live auction, silent auction and a chance to hear firsthand from clients about their experiences with Families Helping Families. The evening will also feature some “special surprises” to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Families Helping Families.

“I think our dinner is different from a lot of fundraisers in that we’re a small organization and an almost all-volunteer group,” Joseph said. “There’s a real sense of community and I think that’s why people come back each year.”

Among the sponsors of the fundraiser is the Gerald Auto Group — one of the first supporters of Families Helping Families.

“Gerald Auto has a wonderful reputation,” Joseph said. “They’ve helped provide cars and fix cars through the years for our clients. It’s been a real gift. Gerald cares about the community.”

Donna Lawler of the Gerald Auto Group said the business is proud to have been a sponsor of Families Helping Families for so many years.

“Families Helping Families is such a critical organization in the community,” Lawler said. “It’s rewarding to see the positive impact Families Helping Families has made over the past 30 years and we are honored to be a part of that journey.”

To purchase tickets or donate to the fundraiser, email For more information on Families Helping Families, visit For more information on the Gerald Auto Group, visit

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