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Metropolitan Family Services Receives $10,000 Donation from BMO Harris Bank
  • Donation to fund anti-gun and domestic violence services in the city and suburbs
  • Chicagoans rallied on social media channels to support non-profit's commitment to families

CHICAGO, Jan. 15, 2020 /CNW/ - BMO Harris Bank today announced a donation of $10,000 to Metropolitan Family Services, based in Chicago. The funds will allow Metropolitan Family Services to continue investing in critical programs in the city and suburbs.

Founded in 1857, Metropolitan Family Services provides a wide variety of programs and services – from early learning, afterschool and job readiness programs to counseling, behavioral health services and legal assistance – all designed to strengthen Chicagoland families and help them realize their full potential. Metropolitan serves more than 93,000 families and individuals, with 81% being part of the working poor or lower-middle class, and operates seven centers that serve key areas across the city and suburbs.

The donation was part of the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival®, which took place Nov. 22 and 23, 2019 and welcomed more than one million visitors to celebrate the holiday season. Events included lighting more than one million tree lights along North Michigan Avenue during the third-largest parade in the United States. New in 2019 was a social media and social impact campaign spearheaded by BMO Harris Bank. For every message shared on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the official hashtag #BMOLightsFest, BMO pledged to donate $5 to Metropolitan Family Services. Representatives from Metropolitan Family Services also rode the BMO Double Decker Bus in the parade to raise awareness of their mission.

"Being selected to participate in this amazing event was an honor," says Ric Estrada, president and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services. "BMO Harris' sponsorship emphasizes its commitment to supporting strong families and communities. At Metropolitan, strengthening families is our passion. Our goal is to equip people with programs and services that help them reach their greatest potential. The support of funders such as BMO Harris makes what we do possible and truly works to empower lives."

BMO's $10,000 donation will benefit Metropolitan Family Services' programs and services, including:

  • Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P): A partnership of leading outreach organizations working to impact Chicago communities most affected by gun violence. This marks the first time that such efforts have been locally implemented on such a broad level.
  • Family Shelter Service: DuPage County's only comprehensive domestic violence services provider and 24-hour emergency shelter offers a continuum of services for domestic violence survivors, coordinating community, individual and behavioral health services.

"The work Metropolitan Family Services does each day has a meaningful impact on Chicagoland," said Wallace Harris, president of BMO Harris Financial Advisors and member of the Metropolitan Family Services Board of Directors. "At BMO, our goal is to boldly grow the good in our communities; this purpose fully aligns with the programs spearheaded by Metropolitan Family Services. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival gave us the opportunity to shed light on the life-changing work they do to help local families and allowed people at the festival and watching from home to show their support on social media."

BMO Harris and its parent company, BMO Financial Group, have a long history of supporting their communities across North America. In 2019, BMO announced its Purpose to "Boldly Grow the Good in Business and Life" by doubling its commitments to a sustainable future, thriving economies and an inclusive society. BMO Harris Bank is a long-standing partner of Metropolitan Family Services, both sharing a deep history in Chicago. Over the years, BMO has supported the agencies' fundraising campaigns, events and volunteer activities.

About Metropolitan Family Services
Metropolitan Family Services empowers families to learn, to earn, to heal, to thrive. Part mentor, part motivator, part advocate, since 1857 Metropolitan Family Services has been the engine of change that empowers Chicago-area families to reach their greatest potential and positively impact their communities.

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 500 branches and fee-free access to over 40,000 ATMs across the United States. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the United States. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, visit the company fact sheet. Accounts are subject to approval. BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a highly diversified financial services provider with total assets of CDN$839 billion, as of (July 31, 2019), and more than 45,000 employees.

SOURCE BMO Harris Bank

For further information: Media contacts: Bridget Hatch, Metropolitan Family Services,, (312) 579-6541; Kathleen Szot, BMO Harris Bank, Chicago,, (312) 881-0388