Whoopi Goldberg at Chicago House Benefit Luncheon.

Over 700 people came out to hear Whoopi Goldberg speak  this week and over $325,000  was raised for Chicago House.  It was the 3rd installment of the Annual Chicago House Speakers Series.

Whoopi Goldberg, award-winning actor, producer and television host, is an outspoken human rights activist who is also well known for co-founding and hosting Comic Relief in the United States to raise funds for the homeless. She donates her time and talents to DIFFA  and  Broadway Cares.  She is a vigorous advocate for children, human rights, education, substance abuse, and in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

After doing 2 appearances on Thursday in other states, she took her red-eye bus across country to get to Chicago at 5am on Friday. – She does not like to fly!

Whoopi told how in 1983, she was  first touched by HIV and the spread of AIDS. I was in San Francisco and gay people were dying. Early on Liz Taylor came to me and asked my help to start fundraising. Our government didn’t care. And Ronald Reagan basically gave us the finger. I think when Rock Hudson died, people started to care.”

“Young people just don’t get it.” she said. “Young people are dumb. Parents are not having the proper discussions with their children. You know, Gaga speaks, and the kids listen. Young people listen to young people. It’s going to take spreading the message in new ways. You know Disney  has the power to reach a lot of young people.”

She also says, “I have great idea’s for commercials – but television would never run them.  You know, I would say, Don’t Put That In There! Kids are not talking about the issue. And I think we need to ask –  HAVE YOU EVEN BEEN CHECKED YET?

 “In 1985, a courageous group of community volunteers formed Chicago House, the first organization in the Midwest to provide housing for people with HIV and AIDS. In those early years of the epidemic, we rallied to support friends who had lost everything — their homes, jobs, even the support of their families. We volunteered our time and energy to restore dignity to the lives of these friends in their final days.”  Tells  Rev. Stan Sloan, CEO at Chicago House.

That spirit continues to drive our organization, from our board of trustees to our associate board to every volunteer and donor. Together, we continuously evolve Chicago House to meet the changing nature of the disease, and the needs of those who suffer from it.

Today, HIV and AIDS increasingly impacts people who are dealing with homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, and extreme poverty. Even before being diagnosed, many of these families and individuals have never had homes, never had jobs, never had a support network of friends or family. Medical advances give them a chance to live longer, healthier lives, and to improve those lives, but the process is not easy. Nothing about AIDS is easy.”

I think we often forget how it easy it is to help. Whoopi made a comment about helping. And sharing. “A lot of folks think HIV is not an issue. But it IS. And it’s not going away. If people had paid attention 25 years ago, do you realize where we could be today? People don’t pay attention. They are more concerned with what the Kardashians are doing and wearing!   Chicago House is so great. And I tip my hat to them. They are doing something. They are getting things done. They are helping and making a difference. But the work is not done. It is not complete.”

Did you know that 83 cents, from every dollar donated, goes to work and help!
Chicago House is an amazing organization. And through the end of December, if you donate, you can really make a difference. Check this out – The Lea Charitable Trust is matching every Speaker Series donation, dollar for dollar, up to $15,000 now thru Jan 1st.

So donate NOW. Whatever you can. $5 helps. $10 helps.
Donations can be taken online at Chicagohouse.org, by phone at 773 248 5200
or by mailing a check to 1925 N Clybourn Suit 401, Chicago 60614.

(Reference Speaker Series Match)

Holiday Gift Giving – Treat yourself and do good! Sweet Miss Givings provides real-life job training for participants of our jobs program and gives back over 50% of proceeds, all while providing Chicago’s most scrumptious pastries, desserts, and gifts.

January 26, 2012

Champagne Wrapture

@The  Fabulous Skydeck @  Willis Tower

The MUST ATTEND event of the Winter season!   Sponsored by Veuve Clicquot  and Belvedere Vodka.

SEE MORE  OF  WHOOPI – she sits down with ABC’s  Cheryl Burton for a one hour interview!