At Sloan, we partner with multiple nonprofit organizations, both local and national. In a typical year, our efforts focus on organizations funding medical research and treatment, children’s well-being, global educational, health, and environmental causes, and local charities in Franklin Park and Chicago.
2020 has, of course, been anything but typical. The COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest have created monumental challenges for virtually all nonprofit organizations. These challenges have spurred us to expand our outreach to new organizations and deepen our commitments to others. Here are a few examples.
Equal Justice and Equal Opportunities
Sloan’s culture is about building relationships and feeling like a family—growing, both personally and professionally, and working together in a positive and respectful environment where everyone is treated equally.
We believe everyone should live in such an environment. In reality, however, racism still impacts too many of our communities. That’s why we support the Black Lives Matter movement—because we want to ensure our Black communities enjoy the same opportunities and the same justice as everyone else.
We’ve newly extended support to two organizations that are helping bring these changes about:
- The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) has worked since 1909 to eliminate race-based discrimination while fighting for political, educational, social, and economic equality.
- Visible Men Academy is a tuition-free public charter school for at-risk elementary school boys in Bradenton, Florida, which aims to lead boys toward outstanding academic, character, and social education.
In addition, we’ve elevated our commitment to The Wood Family Foundation, founded by former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood to make lasting change in some of Chicago’s most challenging neighborhoods.
The Foundation’s Pitch In after-school program gives 4th- to 8th-grade students mentoring and unique experiences to develop the skills they need to succeed in high school. They’ve also launched a special initiative in response to school closings necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Special Year for the Special Olympics
When the pandemic started, some of the first big headlines were about sports. In the Unites States alone, the NCAA basketball tournaments were canceled, the NBA and NHL seasons were suspended, and Major League Baseball was forced to delay the start of the 2020 season. The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo were postponed until at least 2021.
The Special Olympics were no exception to these disruptions—but Special Olympics organizers came up with completely new ways to bring their competitors the power and joy of sport.
Sloan was proud to support the solution created by Special Olympics Illinois—the first-ever Virtual Summer Games, held earlier this month. This exciting week of activities included opening and closing ceremonies (the latter with a customary Victory Dance), an eSports game night and tournament, virtual races and tournaments, classes, and much more.
Organizers even created a Virtual Torch Run. Traditionally, law enforcement personnel from across Illinois carry the Flame of Hope® nearly 1,500 miles to the Summer Games’ opening ceremony. This year, Special Olympics Illinois asked individuals, families, friends, and coworkers to run, walk, or bike two miles during the week of the Summer Games.
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