Naperville's Wines For Humanity offers philanthropically-based jobs to help prevent homelessness
Wine has been an important part of human development since people first began enjoying its health and lifestyle benefits sometime around 4000 BC. One innovative philanthropically-minded business is now using events focusing on the appreciation of fine wines to help alleviate homelessness on a local and national scale.
Naperville-based Wines For Humanity (WFH) is on a mission to eliminate homelessness in America by conducting in-home samplings of fine wines from around the world while raising money for local charities. This unique business model was created in 2007 by Barrington resident Anton Steinhart who was looking to channel his years of wine industry experience and passion for helping others into a successful and socially conscious business venture.
Today, with a strong team of independent Wine Advisors in Illinois and twelve other states, the business is growing into a true grass-roots philanthropic movement. WFH's trained Wine Advisors are attracted to the opportunity to earn supplemental income in their spare time, while raising money to combat one of society's greatest priorities: alleviating homelessness. WFH offers part-time employment with flexible hours for people looking to give back to their community, are passionate about wine, and enjoy social events with friends and neighbors.
"I love working for Wines For Humanity because I have a passion for wine and a heart for helping others," said WFH Wine Advisor Rosie Badalamente, who has been with the organization since the beginning. "It's the only organization I know of that provides fun, educational in-home wine sampling events led by wine enthusiasts, with a significant portion of the proceeds going to help important charities."
The concept is simple, but the impact is profound. Since their inception nine years ago, Wines For Humanity has helped raise over $3.5 million to various charities and organizations.
Wines For Humanity's most recent donation was a $10,000 contribution to Volunteers of America ($5,000 to VOA of Illinois and $5,000 to VOA National), presented during VOA of Illinois' 3rd Annual Hope Walk on May 21st. As Founder of WFH, Steinhart was honored to take part in the event saluting the sacrifice and bravery of our nation's veterans while raising awareness of Volunteers of America of Illinois' efforts to combat the issues facing veterans who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or in a crisis situation. The event began at VOA Illinois' Hope Manor I Apartments, located at 3053 W. Franklin Blvd. in Chicago's west Humboldt Park neighborhood.
"We were thrilled by the community's response to our annual Hope Walk and grateful for the financial and personal support of Wines For Humanity Founder Anton Steinhart," said VOA of IL President and CEO Nancy Hughes Moyer, who explained that approximately 1,000 Chicago-area veterans are homeless on any given night and more than 25% of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan show acute symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder -- a significant factor in veteran homelessness. "Charitable donations such as these are vital to our work. We are grateful that Anton was able to see what a beautiful development Hope Manor I is for Veterans."
Hope Manor I provides housing for about 80 Veterans who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. "After touring the facility, I was proud of what Veterans find here," shared Steinhart after his presentation of a $10,000 donation to Volunteers of America. "Veterans can call this home. Not only do they now have a home, they are also learning skills so they can gain employment, move out and eventually have a place of their own. I left the event with a deep sense of purpose knowing that these funds are making a difference in the lives of people that put their lives on the line for us."
A renowned wine expert and charity-minded entrepreneur, Steinhart hand selects each of the wines featured by WFH from award-winning vineyards the world over. Believing that funds raised locally should be applied locally, Wines For Humanity donates between 9-12.5% of the revenue from each guests' selection at a paid wine sampling to a local charity that helps people who are behind in rent and utilities in order to prevent homelessness.
In addition to hosting in-home wine sampling events, Wines For Humanity also offers charities the opportunity to raise funds through silent and live auctions at fundraising events. For information about joining Wines For Humanity as a Wine Advisor or having your organization considered as a charitable recipient, call 866-247-5039 or visit www.winesforhumanity.com.
ABOUT WINES FOR HUMANITY
Wines For Humanity was founded around the simple idea of offering private in-home wine sampling events to provide an evening of fun and education on how to better appreciate fine wine, while raising money for local charities. By doing so, and by creating the opportunity for guests to select bottles to add to their own personal collections, ample funds can be raised for local charities that assist families who are struggling to make rent and utility payments. The WFH organization is currently operational in 13 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming and is always looking for outgoing and enthusiastic people to join its growing team of Wine Advisors. No previous experience is needed, as WFH provides complimentary training and ongoing support. Click Join WFHumanity for details.
ABOUT VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA
Volunteers of America of Illinois currently serves over 500 veterans and veteran families at risk of homelessness or in serious risk of instability. The organization provides services to help veterans move from homelessness to homefullness (high quality, stable housing) and works to prevent veterans who are at-risk of losing their housing from becoming homeless. VOA of IL operates Hope Manor I on Chicago's near west side, Hope Manor II in Englewood, and is developing Hope Manor Joliet in Joliet, Illinois. In addition, VOA of IL assists veterans in finding and sustaining meaningful employment that can provide stability and economic independence, addresses barriers such as untreated mental health challenges and substance abuse issues, and connects veterans to VA benefits and other income supports that can help build self-sufficiency and independence.