Every nonprofit has a story. In the case of Chicago’s Union League Boys & Girls Clubs (ULBGC), it wanted to share 100 of them—one for each year of its existence—during its “100 years of building great futures” celebration.
Since its inception in 1919, ULBGC has been a pillar in the Chicago community. It’s separate from the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago and more than an after-school program; it’s a place where young people go to discover academic success and learn about good character, citizenship, and leading a healthy lifestyle.
Programs offered included homework help and tutoring, sports and physical activity, STEM instruction and robotics, and critical mentorships. Plus, each summer ULBGC Camp offers more than 1,000 Chicago youth the chance to engage in outdoor camping, campfire ceremonies, storytelling, boating, and fishing at Lake Francis in Salem, Wisconsin.
ULBGC’s mission is to build brighter futures. Youth who have benefited from its programs have grown up to become scientists, doctors, police officers, teachers, nurses, athletes, and artists. Simply put, ULBGC changes lives.
Never was that more evident than when ULBGC reached out to current members, supporters, and alumni with a simple question: “What does ULBGC mean to you?” Their answers were moving, emotional, and the inspiration for our mural. The design, painted in the club’s yellow and blue colors, features various words from the responses, including:
Also represented on the mural are the five neighborhoods ULBGC calls home: Pilsen, Humboldt Park, Near West Side, Englewood, and Bucktown. In all, ULBGC has 12 locations that serve nearly 15,000 youth in the city of Chicago, providing 200,000 meals and giving $100,000 in college scholarships.
Like us, ULBGC is a hometown, home-grown organization. It was founded in December 1919 by 46 members of the Union League Club of Chicago—a club dedicated to the principles of citizenship and community. We were founded in 1991 on the belief that our neighbors deserved a true community banking experience. Those like-minded values are why we’re proud to partner with ULBGC, support its mission, and share its story with a larger audience.
We’re thrilled to celebrate this group’s first 100 years, and can’t wait to see all the lives ULBGC changes in the next 100.