Hoover & Associates Participates in NAMI Fall Banquet 2014
By Anda Jines MS LCPC
Our local NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) chapter, NAMI Chicago Southwest, held their annual fall banquet and fundraiser on Friday, September 19th. Hoover & Associates was pleased to participate by donating a relaxation basket as one of the raffle prizes, and by attending the banquet.
NAMI is a national organization, with countless local chapters. NAMI Southwest describes itself as a group of families, friends, consumers and professionals, providing support, education and advocacy for people with mental illness.
The banquet meal was delicious, and the festivities included awards for volunteer of the year, consumer of the year, and organization of the year, as well as a sing-along, an Irish dance performance, and raffle prizes.
I had the privilege of meeting NAMI Southwest president, Ms. Mary Malley, NAMI Southwest founder, Mrs. Lois Guilfoyle, as well as the guests of honor and recipients of the organization of the year prize, Reverend David E. Bates and Ms. Jackson of Olive Branch Mission. There were also numerous representatives from Lydia Healthcare, Thresholds and Metropolitan Family Services in attendance.
It was very interesting to learn about Olive Branch Mission’s history. It was formally organized in 1876, making it the oldest rescue mission in the United States. Its newspaper is the second oldest continually published news publication in Chicago, after the Chicago Tribune. It was founded by Free Methodist, Rachel Bradley, who offered sewing lessons to prostitutes, providing them with an alternative source of income. Since then it has expanded to provide many other services in Chicago, primarily for the homeless; as well as programs in Africa, the founding of two universities, and the creation of a wildlife sanctuary. Their main location in Chicago is at 6310 S. Claremont Ave. and they can be contacted at 773-948-3004.
Mrs. Lois Guilfoyle shared her story of founding this NAMI chapter, and how it has helped herself, her family, and the community of people who have come together to give each other support, to share information, to teach, learn, empower and connect. She said that NAMI has been one of her passions in life, along with her faith and singing. The NAMI Southwest chapter is based in Oak Lawn, IL. They offer support groups for consumers, families and friends, educational meetings, as well as Sunshine Club socials, newsletters with informative articles, and other opportunities for participation and support. You can contact Mrs. Lois Guilfoyle at 708-425-0925, or at firstname.lastname@example.org