Starting With Me is a non-profit organization for inner city youth developed by John & Paris Ector of Englewood Chicago. We have programs in place for youth, which include but are not limited to, sports activities, field trips, community cleanup, and mentoring. “Starting With Me” built a gated, full basketball court, and walking track, located at 6028 S. Aberdeen to give our youth and families a safe place to have fun with rules and restrictions. In order to participate in any programs, or sports on our court, there is no drinking, smoking, fighting, or profanity allowed. Our goal is to build relationships, and bring hope by being actively involved with all programs. We believe in “No Guns, Just Fun”! With much gun violence, senseless killing, fear, and negative reports on how bad Englewood is, we want to display a different light; there is something good in Englewood.
How you can help: “Starting With Me” has incurred some very large expenses in order to build a basketball court; and we’re not done. While many programs were in place during the hot summer months, winter is approaching and we need a safe dwelling place for our youth when it gets cold. We would like to build an indoor location to give our youth a continued place to go during the cold months. We have to keep our youth busy with mentoring programs, sportsmanship, and team building activities in the community to change lives together. The greatest part about the second location is, there will be classrooms for mentoring programs, after school homework help, life skills courses, and more. We want them to have fun, but we also want them to develop much needed skill sets and change negative mindsets that have developed from their environment.
We have gotten the architectural drawings for the new facility, and it is an estimated $150,000!!! I know that sounds like a large number, but nothing is larger than saving the lives of these children. If everyone donates something, we all win! No amount is too small. We need to get busy with this process to prevent them from going back in the streets, hanging out, with nowhere safe to go. There have been countless shootings, and murders in Englewood over the years, and still to date. I cannot lose any of my “SWM” youth to senseless gun violence. WE NEED YOUR HELP! Not only would it mean a lot to me, it would mean even more to these children. There have been many sad faces because the basketball tournament is over for now, it’s about to get cold, and darker earlier, and they are looking for what’s next. We have to get busy right away! I completely funded the first project on my own; will you please donate and help me with part 2? It would really help me carry on with the vision, save and change lives together. Thank you in advance for your attention and support to this matter.
John & Paris