Each month ICCS features an inspirational story from one of our many communities throughout the state. The spotlight shines on an individual, family or overall success that is due in part to the direct involvement of our Agency. This month, we feature Carol M. of Charleston, IL. Carol’s daughter attends ICCS’ After School Matters Program. Without our program, Carol isn’t sure where she or her daughter would be.
Two years ago, the state budget crisis forced Carol to lose her job. Struggling to make ends meet, Carol moved swiftly to find two jobs just to provide food and shelter for both she and her daughter. “I worked hard to find work to support myself so I could take care of my child. I couldn’t afford childcare though and I needed someone to watch my daughter. I was desperate”, Carol stated in an interview conducted by ICCS staff with her permission. At the height of the budget crisis, Carol wasn’t even sure if ICCS was open. She feared that our After School Matters childcare program no longer existed. “I heard the program had been cut by the state. I didn’t know what to do. I remember the moment I summoned the courage to just pick up the phone and call ICCS hoping they would answer”, said Carol. In fact, ICCS did answer the call. During the budget crisis, NONE of ICCS’ programs saw a lapse in service. In fact, we saw an increase in those requiring our programming as the budget crisis created strain and hardship for many. We never waivered and were able to proudly accept Carol’s daughter into our program so she could get back to work and have peace of mind.
“The most friendly voice answered the phone. ICCS answered the call. They were open. They wanted to help. I kept my second job because of ICCS. My daughter loves their after school program and I just can’t thank them enough.” -Carol M., After School Matters Mom
ICCS’ After School Matters Program is still open and stronger than ever! We are serving more children than we ever have in our 30 plus year history. Our After School Matters kids have improved grades, higher graduation rates and log more community involvement time than those who don’t participate. We’re proud to help parents like Carol and will always strive to reach those in need who work so hard to provide for the ones they love.