New Life Centers Little League at Cubs Charities Gala

#ThatsCub - Partnering with the Chicago Cubs

Beloved Community,

Recently our basketball programming was highlighted by the Chicago Bulls and last night we had the amazing opportunity to be featured by the Chicago Cubs. We are proud of all of the work that our team puts in to reach hundreds of youth each week through mentoring, education, and sports.

Last night we took 10 of our youth to the annual Cubs Charities Bricks and Ivy Gala. We were a featured partner at the event. Our kids greeted guests as they arrived, welcoming them to this great event. They met Tom Ricketts, got to talk with Kyle Hendricks, saw Theo Epstein, walked past Joe Maddon, Baez, Lester, Arrieta, Contreras, Almora, and also saw greats Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, and others. They were star struck! They ran around with Clark the Cub, met business owners, high fived guests, and smiled a lot.

Our baseball fields and Little League program were featured in their Gala video, check it out here:

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We are blessed to partner with the Cubs and continue to build community across our great city.

As our work continues to be recognized we are continuing to grow. We are serving more youth than ever before and need more resources to continue to reach the kids on our waiting list. Will you partner with us and make a donation to this vital work?

Become a monthly partner or make a one time donation by going to www.newlifecenters.org/give.

Excited to continue to build community together.

Matt DeMateo
Executive Director


24 Hours at New Life Centers

24 hours at New Life Centers

Dear Beloved Community,

As I was reflecting on the day I was so grateful for all the things that God has provided and all the amazing things that our team does each day. I wanted to give you a quick snapshot of the last 24 hours at New Life Centers. Life is full but we wouldn't have it any other way.

  • 22 youth head to a Bulls game
  • 50 youth play in 9th-10th grade basketball league
  • Over 60 youth at after school program
  • Our girls visit a bookstore to learn about leadership
  • Completion of our annual financial audit ensuring we manage resources with utmost integrity
  • Social entrepreneurship training
  • Multiple teams play in our neighborhood basketball playoffs
  • Youth head to the gym to lift weights
  • Multiple one on one mentoring sessions
  • 15 coaches come together to plan this years Little Village Little League
  • Basketball training and apprenticeships for multiple youth
  • Meetings with funders and neighborhood networks
  • Leadership development and training as we grow and build neighborhood leaders and capacity
  • Grant budgets submitted
  • Strategy and development of a citywide violence prevention effort
  • Data team working on tracking our outputs and outcomes
  • Multiple meetings around strategy and growth as an agency
  • Lots of memes sent between staff to keep us laughing and encouraging each other
  • Deep conversations about the challenges we are facing
  • Street intervention with a situation one of our youth is facing
  • Late night emails to keep up with the tasks at hand
  • Prayer and thanksgiving for all that God has done and is going to do
  • A quick update on social media to tell the stories

Thanks for your prayers, encouragement, and support. Love you all.

www.newlifecenters.org/give

Give, Pray, and Get Involved

Matt DeMateo
Executive Director
New Life Centers


New Life Centers 2016 Year End

2016 - What an Amazing Year!

Hello,

Just wanted to thank you so much for your continued prayers and support. In 2016, we engaged more youth and families than ever before. We have seen our team grow, our reach grow, and more youth being connecting with Christ and community through mentoring, education, and sports.

We saw our after school programs growing and expanding, Urban Life Skills being awarded top mentoring program in the state of IL, Crossover being recognized at the Chicago Bulls Gala and Jimmy Butler coming out twice to be with our kids including giving 20 of them a $500 shopping spree last week (www.espn.com/video/clip?id=18330172).

2016 was a very challenging year with the violence in our city. Our work is more important than ever. In early 2017, we will be expanding our team to reach even more youth. If you know someone who would be a great fit, check out: www.idealist.org/view/job/T5cNpdppdCxd/.

As we end our year, we have an amazing giving match opportunity. The Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation is matching any gifts given! This is your chance to double the impact of your giving to our important work.

Please go to www.newlifecenters.org/give and select Pritzker Matching Fund. Thanks so much!

Looking forward to an amazing 2017 together!

Matt and the New Life Centers team


New Life Centers 2016 Video image

New Life Centers Fall 2016 Video

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Our 2016 update video & Fall support campaign.

Join us in connecting youth and young adults with Christ and community:

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type="1_2" last="no" spacing="yes" center_content="no" hide_on_mobile="no" background_color="" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" background_position="left top" hover_type="none" link="" border_position="all" border_size="0px" border_color="" border_style="" padding="" margin_top="" margin_bottom="" animation_type="" animation_direction="" animation_speed="0.1" animation_offset="" class="" id=""][fusion_button link="https://newlifecenters.org/en/get-involved/" color="default" size="" stretch="" type="" shape="" target="_blank" title="" gradient_colors="|" gradient_hover_colors="|" accent_color="" accent_hover_color="" bevel_color="" border_width="" icon="" icon_position="left" icon_divider="no" modal="" animation_type="0" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="1" animation_offset="" alignment="center" class="" id=""]Get Involved[/fusion_button][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type="1_2" last="yes" spacing="yes" center_content="no" hide_on_mobile="no" background_color="" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" background_position="left top" hover_type="none" link="" border_position="all" border_size="0px" border_color="" border_style="" padding="" margin_top="" margin_bottom="" animation_type="" animation_direction="" animation_speed="0.1" animation_offset="" class="" id=""][fusion_button link="https://newlifecenters.org/en/give/" color="default" size="" stretch="" type="" shape="" target="_blank" title="" gradient_colors="|" gradient_hover_colors="|" accent_color="" accent_hover_color="" bevel_color="" border_width="" icon="" icon_position="left" icon_divider="no" modal="" animation_type="0" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="1" animation_offset="" alignment="center" class="" id=""]Give[/fusion_button][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]


Chicago Bulls After School Matters

Chicago Bulls honor After School Matters

[fusion_builder_container background_color="" background_image="" background_parallax="none" enable_mobile="no" parallax_speed="0.3" background_repeat="no-repeat" background_position="left top" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_webm="" video_mp4="" video_ogv="" video_preview_image="" overlay_color="" overlay_opacity="0.5" video_mute="yes" video_loop="yes" fade="no" border_size="0px" border_color="" border_style="" padding_top="20" padding_bottom="20" padding_left="" padding_right="" hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" hide_on_mobile="no" menu_anchor="" class="" id=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][fusion_youtube id="AZqo04y7Dyg" width="1280" height="720" autoplay="no" api_params="" class=""/][fusion_separator style_type="none" top_margin="10px" bottom_margin="10px" sep_color="" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" class="" id=""/][fusion_text]The Chicago Bulls honored After School Matters at their annual charity gala. It is great to partner with the Chicago Bulls and the work of our Crossover Program in Humboldt Park. Check out this video highlighting our program and the day that Jimmy Butler came to visit![/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]


Volunteer Spotlight: Iowa Lakes Community College

Each spring a team from Iowa Lakes Community College volunteers at New Life Centers during their spring break. They come to serve and learn from the neighbors who live in the Humboldt Park community as they sacrificially give of their time, money, and energy. This year the team jumped right in, building genuine and honest relationships with the students that were full of joy and Jesus' presence. They didn't pretend to know everything about "the hood" but humbly lived life on life with the children as they shared their lives, stories, and love with them. We look forward to them each year not only because they are a huge help and answer to prayer when many of our weekly volunteers go on spring break but more so because of the encouragement and friendships they bring! Some come back year after year and it feels like they never left. We value and love our teams. They are family here. It's just another beautiful example of the body of Christ around the world.

Enough from us, let's hear from them:

What was a moment you treasured from your time at New Life Centers? 

"One of my best moments was when I helped a child finish their homework. I loved seeing her succeed in life through this one moment. I also loved how similar my background was to a lot of the children here at The Vine. Sharing my love with someone also was a great moment." -Sabrina

"One of my favorite parts of this week was when the 3rd-5th grade group was learning how to double dutch. I also enjoyed learning how to communicate with kids" -Tanner

"One of the best memories was being in the classroom because I got to see the children and learn something new everyday. Each child is a special gift from God." -Danielle

"My experience during this week in the homework room was amazing. I loved seeing the children grow in their learning. I'm so glad I got to help them succeed in their education and grow closer with them. I learned so much from them and I thank God that he brought me here to serve them." -Sara

Why did you enjoy serving at New Life Centers? 

"I enjoyed serving at New Life Centers because I got to spend quality time with all of the kids" -Tanner

"It was amazing to see how as I poured into the students' lives, they, in turn, poured into mine."
-Tim

"I loved seeing all the little kids trying so hard to learn and do their homework" -Cayli

"The kids taught me so much it is was really cool to build relationships with them." -Luke

"This is my second year and I was excited to be able to return. As a teacher, I found the work done here so inspiring. New Life's work impacts students far beyond homework help and a place to watch kids after school. The staff here fill up the students with love and guidance. The social-emotional and spiritual needs that are met here by the staff are the ones needed the most. Every staff member, Jessica, Jeremy, and Ross, have taught and shown me what it means to be truly passionate about your job and the work you do. I hope every year I am able to learn even more. Thank you for all this center has given me." -Stephanie

"I've really enjoyed learning the different cultures here and life in the big city for the kids compared to my small town life." -Randy

"For me, working with the kids was very enjoyable. Learning about the kids was a great experience." -Robert

Are you interested in bringing a team to New Life Centers? Email info@newlifecenters.org or contact one of the program directors: https://newlifecenters.org/en/contact/


Prayer is Powerful

"When man works, man works; when man prays, God works."
"Much prayer, much blessing. Little prayer, little blessing. No prayer, no blessing"
- Hans von Staden

God has been working in powerful and real ways at New Life Centers this year! Many of you have been praying for specific children who attend every day using the prayer cards we created (you can request these prayer cards on our website). And God has been answering in amazing and tangible ways, so we wanted to share two praises that bring us just SO MUCH JOY!

Tony 2015Shortly after the summer, Tony and his family moved away from the neighborhood. That did not stop Ms. Robbie  from praying every day for him. This month he and his family returned to The Vine even though they have not moved back to the neighborhood. His mom said, "I tried to put them in a different after school program and they wouldn't have it. They just kept saying that they needed to come to New Life."

 

 

 

IMG_6543Last month Ms. Jessica gave one of the students a backpack because his was literally falling apart. The zipper was ripped out and it wouldn't close any more. He was SO thankful! She shared that it was a church in Michigan that had donated them and didn't think much more about it. The next day he came in, again saying thank you, thank you for the backpack. As he did he was holding the tiny New Testament that was also in the backpacks that she had forgotten was in there. He followed his thank you by saying, "I just love the book of John. I can't stop reading it. It's so good!" WOW! Keep praying that God would keep him hungry for the truth and hungry to follow in Christ's footsteps!

 

 

Zarriona 2015Zarriona or "Diva Z" as we call her is a fire ball to say the least. God is using the prayers of His church to redirect her passion and zeal. A year ago she would have cussed someone out when she got angry. Now she is holding her tongue, asking God to help her forgive and love her enemies, and inviting them to church. Her older brother told one of our staff just the other day, "Zarionna is different. She comes straight home and reads her new Bible you gave her. Its like she has hope for our neighborhood or something."

 

 

 

Nevaeh G 2015If only you could see Neveah now. A year ago Neveah was just beginning her journey with Jesus and now she is growing in her confidence, gentleness, and passion for God's Word. This Easter Sunday she did praise dancing in front of the whole congregation. She was extremely nervous but she is learning to be fearless when it comes to proclaiming God's name. Just yesterday she told Mr. Jeremy how she has read 18 chapters in the book of John over the past few weeks. We think her devotional life is more intense then ours...

 

 

 

DSC03782Bobby's mentor met with him recently and he told him that he wants to grow in his leadership skills and confidence. His plan is to help tutor the younger children, share about his love for Jesus with them once a month during their chapel time, and become more disciplined in reading God's word everyday. His grandma even informed his mentor two weeks ago that he is even correcting his mom's theology. His growth and passion is inspiring us as staff!

 

 

 

Thank you all so much for praying and don't stop! If God can do this much and more in just one year, can you even imagine how he is going to continue to transform our communities and our cities in five years? Ten years?

Jessica Quigley
Humboldt Park Site Director


Volunteer Spotlight: Hannah

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When Hannah began volunteering as a tutor at New Life in the fall, she was afraid. She wasn't afraid of the neighborhood or the kids, but instead, she was afraid of loving again.

She worked at an inner city children’s program in another city during high school, and she loved the children and other volunteers very deeply. She planned to move to the inner city after graduating high school, but then a series of events occurred which forced her to leave those children and the ministry abruptly against her will. She was devastated, and fell into a season of depression for almost a year. For two or so years after, she closed her heart off to loving again. Since then, she has gradually regained that ability and desire to love again. However, she never reentered city ministry with children until this fall.

When she first came to New Life Centers, she was afraid to love the kids because
she knew she had to leave them at the end of the year. She was afraid of that year of depression coming back. She kept replaying the night she left the ministry in the other city in her mind. She only said goodbye to two of the kids she had closely worked with, and they both had tear-filled eyes and begged her not to go and questioned her about why she had to go. She thought it would be too hard to say goodbye to the others, so she didn't. Shortly afterwards the ministry shut down. Although there were plenty of other churches in the city they could go to, she felt like she had betrayed and abandoned those children. She regretted not saying goodbye, and not leaving those kids with one final message of God’s love and hope for them. She mostly regretted never telling them she loved them.

After a few months of being at New Life Centers, she realized she had started to love the kids and started accepting it. Tamiah reminded her so much of Zarrianah, one of her little girls from the other city. The first time Tamiah said, “I gotta use it,” (referring to the bathroom) her heart ached a little to hear the words again for the first time in 7 years, but she smiled as well, realizing God was giving her a new chance to love a new little girl.

The last official week of her volunteering, she realized half way through the night that she had not prepared herself for another “last night.” Several of the kids were emotional for various reasons and Tamiah was one of them. As Hannah held Tamiah as she cried because her sister had been mean earlier in the day and because now she was afraid some of the kids didn't want to play with her, Hannah got to cry too and hold her and tell her all the things she had regretted not telling her kids at the other after school program. Hannah told Tamiah that God loved her and she did too, and she whispered words of hope and encouragement in little Tamiah's ear. Hannah told her that might be her last week at Centers forever and told her goodbye just in case it was. But just like in the other city, that one goodbye hurt too much to say any more goodbyes. So she didn't say goodbye to any of the others.

Then Ms. Jessica handed Hannah an envelope before she left with two prayer cards and when she opened it on the bus, Tamiah’s was one of them. Ms. Jessica had no way of knowing that Tamiah represented all the kids she had left behind, and the second chance God was giving her to finish a ministry in the city. She cried the whole way home on the bus, and when she got home she took some time to think and pray through some things. She decided she was going back for one last night, because she needed to be able to have some closure and finally say goodbye so in the future she would know she really did have the ability to leave well.

She is so glad she came back for that last week and said goodbyes. She felt like God really used those last goodbyes, and the whole year really, to grow and heal her and to give her hope for future ministry. The purpose of volunteering is to serve and give hope and healing to others, but she feels like New Life Centers served and gave hope and healing to her.

 


New Life Centers Chicago Creating the Beloved Community

Meeting the Need

Jr. CrossOver Outing

A child’s middle school years are crucial years of development and decision making. During these formative years, their minds and bodies begin to change and they gain independence and responsibility to make their own decisions. For several years, New Life Centers met their need for discipleship, mentoring, and coaching through a combination of programs. But over these last few years, the need for something more became clear.

As a team, we started praying for an opportunity to consistently reach deep into these students lives in order to build deep, impactful relationships that would point our middle schoolers to Christ and allow us to speak His truth into their lives during these critical years.

This January, God answered our prayers by providing us with a grant to kickstart a new program and by raising up Joseph Cruz to take the lead in this new, 5-day a week program combining sports and tutoring to teach our middle school students to live out Christ-like lives! This program provides the consistency that they crave, the mentoring and relationships from positive role models that they desperately need, and the physical activities and academic enrichment during a time when they struggle with completing their homework.

After months of praying, listening to our students and parents, and planning, we kicked off our Middle School program for girls and boys in January!

Would you consider giving a gift today to help this new program to be a success? Your one time or recurring gift will make this new program excellent and sustainable. We’d love to see this program sustained beyond the grant kickstart we received and expand to reach even more students with more mentors, volunteers, coaches, and resources.

Give Today and choose "Bethel Family Programs" with a note of "Middle School" to help us sustain this program! Thank you!