Sep 24, 2019
Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. hosts event in benefit of Magdalene House Chicago
Human trafficking, a form of modern slavery, affects individuals from every state including Illinois. In 2018 alone, 296 human trafficking cases were identified, ranking Illinois ninth in the nation for the number of reported cases.1
To raise awareness of this injustice, especially regarding sexually trafficked women, on October 22, Women Helping Women (WHW) will hold its 10th anniversary mix-and-mingle event in benefit of Magdalene House Chicago, Inc. (MHC).
Hosted annually by the women attorneys of Chuhak & Tecson, WHW is an after-hours networking group that offers professional women the opportunity to build their businesses and support a charitable organization at the same time. Each mix-and-mingle spotlights a different nonprofit agency that serves women, or women and their children, and provides the organization with gifts and necessities.
For this significant milestone, WHW will support MHC, a nonprofit organization promising women who have survived sex trafficking, addiction and abuse the flexibility, advocacy and humanity they need to heal and become leaders through its Residential Housing Program. The program, which emulates the successful model developed by Thistle Farms in Nashville, Tennessee, affords women 24 months of rent-free housing and access to medical, recovery and trauma treatment.
“We seek to provide a safe and stable home filled with love and support for those needing to heal,” said board chair Mary Lawrence. “But in order to accomplish this, we need the help of organizations like Chuhak & Tecson and our communities and individuals to help us spread the word about our mission and our program, and we need everyone to get involved to help these women survivors.” MHC aims to open its doors in 2020 in the Austin neighborhood.
WHW’s mix-and-mingle will help MHC get closer to its goal by encouraging attendees to donate home furnishings and necessities, including items for the kitchen, bedroom, living room and bathroom. An internal drive one week prior to the event will be held at Chuhak & Tecson for employees who also wish to contribute to the cause.
“All of our financial support is private, with no state or federal funding being sought or accepted, so we are beyond appreciative that Chuhak & Tecson chose us as their event partner,” said Lawrence, “especially for such a commemorative occasion—their 10-year anniversary.”
It was principal Loretto M. Kennedy who advocated for MHC to be WHW’s partner for the 10th anniversary mix-and-mingle. Through her previous involvement with the organization—volunteering and attending events—she knew MHC was the perfect fit for this year’s event.
“The core values of WHW are philanthropy and women empowerment which mirror those of MHC,” Kennedy said. “We want to bring awareness of MHC’s mission to other local women business leaders and look forward to seeing the positive and lasting impact we will have on this organization as it begins its mission to change the lives of women who’ve escaped the horrific bonds of sexual exploitation,” she said.
The sober living home will not only be a place where women can heal from lives of trauma but also a place where they will receive emotional, spiritual and intellectual support. Much like Thistle Farms, MHC will provide access to vocational training as well as support for permanent housing upon graduation from the residential program.
“The women will leave our home empowered, ready to face any challenge that comes their way,” Lawrence said.
Chuhak & Tecson’s mix-and-mingle marks the ninth of ten community service events of 10 Ways to Give Back, a year-long service initiative launched for the anniversary of WHW. Community service events, led by the women attorneys, have so far included Misericordia’s Candy Days, Chicago Bar Association’s Wills for Heroes, Volunteers of America of Illinois’ Operation Backpack and Chicago Volunteer Legal Services’ Race Judicata.
The mix-and-mingle is set for Tuesday, October 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. at River's Restaurant. To make a donation or receive a detailed invitation, please contact Jane La Grassa, manager of marketing and communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 National Human Trafficking Hotline. https://humantraffickinghotline.org/states