Charlie and Bette Varvaro have always had a heart for the vulnerable. “I used to tutor in Lawndale, Chicago, in the evenings when I was still working,” says Charlie. “When the program changed its meeting time to afternoons, I could no longer tutor. A friend of mine (Pete Peters) told me that Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream (OCC) had a tutoring program at night, and I started to tutor 22 years ago. Bette has tutored for 19 years.”
The couple attended a dinner to benefit OCC and discovered the many needs at the Center and all throughout the organization. It was then that they started supporting Outreach as Partners. “We were amazed at all the programs they have for all ages,” he says. “Outreach offers excellent programs that change lives, and we wanted to be a part of it.”
In addition to tutoring and giving, the Varvaros became more involved in other areas at Outreach such as the Christmas Store and Jubilee Village (JV). “I became involved with Jubilee Village and saw the many needs the young women had as they tried to get an education and a job while trying to raise their children,” says Bette. “Along with my circle at First Presbyterian Glen Ellyn, we supply gas cards and other items as they are needed.” Charlie pitches in at JV with a group of men from church by painting apartments before a new resident moves in.
In more ways than one, both Charlie and Bette have supported Outreach and helped it thrive. “We feel this is a strong organization with good, faithful people at the helm,” says Charlie. “We’re happy to contribute to its mission, and believe Partners make a significant difference to the strength of the organization through gifts and prayers.”