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Conversations with the Inspiring Lovely Brack and Candice Williams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lovely Brack and Candice Williams.

Lovely and Candice, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
From Our Hearts Chicago is a non-profit organization that works to benefit and assist Chicago’s homeless community. Founded by Lovely Brack and Candice Williams in 2014, FOHC aims to follow the Mother Teresa motto of “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”

In November 2014, I decided I wanted to feed a family for Thanksgiving. My family came together to pitch in and we successfully provided a full meal for an entire family! The experience left me feeling so rewarded.  A few years later in 2016I saw a video on Instagram of a person giving their leftovers to a homeless person and it touched me so deeply and made me feel like I should be doing more. Feeding one family was not enough. So, I called my dear friend Candice and asked her to prepare Thanksgiving Dinner for 100 people. After her initial shock, she agreed and the conversation went on from there. We decided to include all of our friends and social media family and it grew into a movement in our network. Once we reached out to our family and friends via Instagramwe were able to include what we now call our Love Bags. These bags include things that most people take for granted such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, lotion, chap-stick, etc. To date, we have donated more than 3,000 personal care items to the homeless men, women and Children living on the streets of Chicago. This was the humble start of From Our Hearts Chicago.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There are always struggles & obstacles when making a dream become a reality. When you have two strong-minded women with different ideas coming together there are bound to be ups & downs. However, as long as you focus on the common goal and communicate, the sky is the limit and eventually, you’ll surpass that.

The basis of our non-profit comes “From our hearts” and we love when people support and get involved. But even when they don’t, we still have to make it happen for the people we carry in our hearts. As with anything you’re passionate about, we push and make it happen.

What should we know about From Our Hearts Chicago? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We’re a Chicago based non-profit organization and our main focus is helping homeless men, women, and children in Chicago. 

In charity, there is no competition. If everyone plays their part more people can be reached. Throughout the year, we provide meals, along with our Love Bags and warm items all over the Chicagoland area. We also volunteer and  partner with other organization to help homeless teens and support back to school drives. In all, we are blessed to be a blessing to others.

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Take your time and research everything from what type of business category you fall in, to your key audience. Research social media marketing, and banks that cater to your type of business. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most importantly, never give up when you feel like your closest friends and family doesn’t support your business. Invest and cultivate your passion. Operate in your gifts.

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Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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