It's really easy to be passionate about The Night Ministry, isn't it? Look at the incomparable work we are doing, the communities we are serving, and the incredible staff members who inspire so many of us on a daily basis. But what really puts it over the top for me is serving alongside an unbelievably passionate, diverse, and committed group of Associate Board members who work tirelessly to make have a positive impact on The Night Ministry's clients and the organization's ability to fulfill its mission.
The Associate Board began in 2012, and, through the leadership of past Presidents Michael Baran, Lindsay Zimmerman, and Ellen Rosenwinkel, we currently stand 30 members strong. Our membership reflects one of my favorite things of Chicago—its diversity. We are diverse in demographic makeup, diverse in personality, and diverse in how we engage with and give back to The Night Ministry. Whether it is organizing school supply drives and the annual warmth initiative, participating in Chicago's Pride Parade, or working to onboard and welcome new members, we have an incredibly driven and committed group of members who find a way to plug in.
But do you want to know what has excited me the most? This group of volunteers raised more than $100,000 in 2017. In just five years, the Associate Board has gone from raising around $10,000 a year to over $100,000 in support of The Night Ministry's work. That sort of money doesn't come from just having a bigger group. It comes from a passionate, committed group of people who are making a difference.