National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week: A reflection from Associate Board President Sara Szwankowski

In recognition of National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, CCH is sharing reflections from people who work with us – interns, board, and associate board members – writing about what inspires their work. 

Today’s essay is written by Associate Board President Sara Szwankowski.

Sara (right) with Holly O’Hern, former AB President

Hi! I’m Sara Szwankowski, a member of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless Associate Board. I have been a member since 2016, serving a few roles during my time on the board. I began as a general member, moved into leadership roles with the exec committee, and am currently serving a second term as President of the Associate Board.

The Associate Board is a collective group of individuals who are supporting CCH by organizing fundraising initiatives, engaging in advocacy work, and creating awareness of CCH to our neighbors and networks. What you see when joining our monthly meetings is a group of people dedicated to advancing CCH’s advocacy work in whatever creative way they can think of. Seriously, whatever creative way! Wing eating? Sure. A Talent Show? Done. Virtual Yoga? Easy. Advocacy Webinar? No sweat.

As easy as I make it sound, the Associate Board works hard to ensure there are events happening that will continue to lift up the mission of CCH by building awareness and securing funding for their necessary work. We know homelessness does not exist in a vacuum and there are a multitude of factors impacting those who are experiencing homelessness.

It can be overwhelming to try to figure out how to leverage your voice to curb homelessness in the community. Luckily, Chicago has CCH. They are experts in their field and are uniquely positioned to enact change in Chicago. CCH is connected to grassroots leaders who know the needs of the population and can guide the rest of us on how and when to advocate. This makes taking action much less intimidating and I am forever grateful for their empathetic and effective work in our community.

Learn more about how to get involved with our Associate Board here.