Metropolitan Family Services Works to Empower Chicago

| Shelley Stern Grach

Since I moved to Chicago in 1988, I’ve been involved in many ways with the extensive nonprofit community here. Over the years, my husband and I have had the opportunity to support many organizations, both personally and professionally. One of the pillars of the Chicago nonprofit community is Metropolitan Family Services. Metropolitan Family Services empowers families to learn, to earn, to heal, to thrive. Part mentor, part motivator, part advocate, since 1857 Metropolitan Family Services has been the engine of change that empowers Chicago-area families to reach their greatest potential and positively impact their communities. Metropolitan Family Services has more than 890 full- and part-time professional staff dedicated to providing quality services to families throughout Chicago, DuPage County, Evanston/ Skokie and the southwest suburbs. Metropolitan serves more than 72,000 families and individuals as diverse as the communities in which they live, with 81% being part of the working poor or lower-middle class.

In 2012, Microsoft donated over $1 Million in software to MFS to enhance its technology infrastructure. Technology helped MFS increase their organizational efficiency, enabling them to deliver services more effectively to families in need. Since that time, I’ve stayed in touch with their wonderful staff, including President and CEO Ric Estrada and just- retired COO Colleen Jones.

My husband Mark and I recently joined the MFS family to celebrate Colleen’s retirement and #MPowertheNight at the Radisson Blu, where nearly 600 supporters gathered to applaud this amazing organization and its leadership. Although this was personal on our part, it’s important work done by special people, and I’d like to share the event with you.

Some highlight’s from MFS’ #MPowerTheNight event:

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Shelley Stern Grach

They say that great work stems from a combination of passion and commitment, something that Shelley certainly possesses when it comes to her life and career. She currently serves on the boards of the Women’s Business Development Center, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Thrive Chicago, Year Up and LISC Chicago. At Microsoft Chicago, she’s the Director of Civic Engagement, working at the intersection of computing and community, promoting STEM programs and using Microsoft technology to spur growth in the community. So no matter if it's work, play, or giving back, Shelley always makes sure her drive and professionalism help her complete her life's goals.