At Gratitude Generation, our mission is to create a platform where children receive an education about the social needs of the world at large down to our local community by providing an opportunity to serve and improve the lives of at-risk populations. We do this through collecting donations, fundraising, performing random acts of kindness, implementing educational seminars, and creating hands-on activities. These connections made through service provide education and social growth for this generation and the next.
Lisa Sanders, Director of Education
Highland Park-native and now Deerfield-resident Lisa Sanders could not have imagined what would come of her mid-October 2017 post on the powerful and influential Facebook moms page. When she posted that her then three-year-old had begun to expect gifts all the time and that she wanted to teach her gratitude by creating an event to “sell” her toys to kids less fortunate, more than 400 amazing women chimed in with their support, a handful met a week later, and the Gratitude Generation was born!
A middle-school Spanish teacher dabbling in other projects, including Rodan + Fields and authoring Spanish teaching materials in Teachers Pay Teachers, Lisa was looking for something inspiring -- she was seeking a “passion” to help mold the future generations, including her daughter and son. And she has found it!
Lisa brings incredible enthusiasm, ideas, commitment and even a handful of amazing students since she is the teacher kids love and come to visit even when they’re not in her class! Her experience with students of all education levels and different upbringings has inspired her philosophy and drive to create the wonder that is g².
Lisa’s loving personality makes her effusive with her gratitude to those involved in g² and to her community, which continues to support this cause wholeheartedly. She expresses awe daily in what this group has accomplished, and her humble pride brings a down-to-earth, productive, inspiring atmosphere to everything this group endeavors.
Nicki Sutherland, Director of Operations
Nicki Sutherland grew up in Hoffman Estates, Ill., but now calls Lake Forest, Ill., home. With husband Chris and kids Kaydra, Jackson and Rylen, Nicki loves to play games, read, research everything and spend time by the water. With degrees in English and Reading she spend 11 years as a High School Teacher and Reading Specialist and even developed a program for district 117 to raise reading levels of at risk students. She’s brought that amazing leadership to Gratitude Generation in her role as Director of Operations.
Nicki helped hatch the Gratitude Generation in response to Lisa’s first North Shore Mom’s Spot post, and she’s brings incredible commitment to exploring and learning all things that are involved -- from sludging through government documents on how to establish a nonprofit to becoming Webmaster, Nicki commits her love of volunteering with all of her heart and soul.
Feeling deeply in that soul the importance of living for today after having lost dear friends and family at too young an age, Nicki channels that energy into giving back. She lives the philosophy that she’s not going to sit back and watch life go by, and she strives to teach by example so that her children feel the same passion she does.