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How Sodexo made a little Birdhouse in my Soul

By ChloƩ Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition

“I’m your only friend
I’m not your only friend
But I’m a little glowing friend
But really I’m not actually your friend
But I am”


Who could forget this little ditty by They Can’t Be Giants.   It’s the type of happy-go-lucky song that you’d put on repeat and sing word for word!  So, of course, that was the first thing that popped in my head when I arrived at the Chicago House Birdhouse Auction and Cocktail Party last week as part of my volunteer service for PRIDE Provides.  

In its second year, PRIDE Provides is a national week-long community service event organized by one of Sodexo’s Business Resource Groups, People Respecting Individuality, Diversity and Equality (PRIDE). All throughout the year Sodexo strives to service the LGBT community socially, specifically helping those living with HIV/AIDS. Chicago House is just one of the many organizations that we partnered with to carry out our mission and I couldn’t be happier that it’s in my backyard!

I had little knowledge of Chicago House, their housing options, supportive services, HIV prevention training and basic life skills coaching before coming to the event. I also learned that the proceeds from the event would go directly to helping guide more than 1,500 people living with HIV/AIDS to wholeness and self-sufficiency each year. 

Being assigned to the raffle meant I had to mingle among the 225 attendees to sell $10 tickets for the chance to win a trip to Cancun for two.  Being the social butterfly (or birdie) that I am, I was determined to approach as many people as I could in two and a half hours.  And that I did!   

By the end of the night, they estimated that I brought in about $1,000 worth of raffle tickets. Knowing that I played a small part in raising $31,000 that night really warmed my soul.  As a bonus, I reconnected with a high school friend, Jeremy Hilborn, who happens to be the Director of Individual Giving & Special Events for Chicago House.

Thanks Sodexo for introducing me to a great organization and taking me down memory lane with one of my favorite early 90’s bands!

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