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The Patrice Campbell Education Fund
Engage | Educate | empower
Thanks to the generosity of Jim Wimmer and his late birthmother, Patrice Campbell, a scholarship fund is being established in her honor. Funds raised through this campaign will go directly to the newly endowed Patrice Campbell Education Fund, which will be used to provide scholarships to birthmoms starting their education, returning to school, or learning a new trade. These scholarships will allow women to completely change the course of their life and open doors that would not otherwise be possible.
In the words of Nelson Mandela, "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world" - let's change it together.
About Patrice Campbell and her son, Jim Wimmer:
My name is James Wimmer. I was born in Rockford, Illinois on January 17, 1968. I was placed in foster care as an infant and adopted when I was 6 months old. Back in those days, adoptions were closed, records sealed. I was adopted by a wonderful woman named Arlene. She was married at the time, but the adoptive father was not involved and when I was 12, Arlene divorced him. After the divorce, Arlene married a great man named Rudy, who I considered my Dad growing up. I thought the world of these two wonderful people. We lost Rudy to a battle with cancer in 2005, but not before I got to share some wonderful and surprising news with him and my adoptive mother: like a scene out of an Oprah show, I received a letter from the Illinois DCFS that my biological mother was searching for me! Illinois laws had changed and the old "closed and sealed" records could be opened and shared as long as both parties agreed. Of course, I was in shock, so the first thing I did was call Mom and Rudy with the news and ask what they thought. They thought it was wonderful saying, "who gets this kind of chance?" They encouraged me to exchange information with my birth mother and meet her. "If it worked out, great, and if not, then nothing is really lost." Rudy said.
I signed the paperwork and agreed to exchange contact information with my birth mother. It turned out that she lived only a state away, and I met her in person for the first time in the summer of 2000. Long story short, we had a very good relationship for the better part of the next 17 years. Sadly, last year, she passed away as a result of a sudden illness. Thankfully, I was able to be by her bedside while she was in the hospital and then transferred to hospice.
My birth mother had a very generous and giving spirit. Like her, I choose to help others, as she often set the example to me. There wasn't a soul she wouldn't help out if she had the opportunity. In her honor and memory, I am very proud and honored to support this education fund and the work of On Your Feet Foundation.
In 2018, we will continue to to build upon our existing services with a focus on providing access to counseling support and education. In addition, we will be rolling out our Outreach Training Program and are working on creating a series of resources that will be available electronically, enabling us to reach more birthparents; building capacity without increasing overhead.
In 2018, On Your Feet Foundation served the needs of 127 women (up from 89 women just 3 years ago):
112 women received case management support and services
- 22-66 years of age
- 50% parenting
- 77% receive public aid
- 45% minority
20 grants were approved for counseling, education, rent assistance, transportation and retreats
40 women attended 3 retreats and our first mini-retreat
41 birthparents attended 6 community events.
8 clients are currently enrolled in undergraduate programs; 6 clients completed certificate programs and 1 client completed her Master's degree.
$1000+ Helps pay tuition
$500+ Provides up to 10 therapy sessions
$250+ Buys course materials (books, subsidized PCs)
$100+ Provides a retreat scholarship
$50+ Buys a bus pass for a month
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