On Managing A Home, Going Beyond, And Giving Back

– Tribute to Moms –

By Larry Atseff

There is no doubt that the way moms raise their children, run their household, and, in lots of cases, do even more outside of the home reflects how moms themselves have been raised. That certainly is the case with Bridget O’Meara, who lives with her husband Brian and three boys in Clarendon Hills. Bridget fondly recalls how her mom and dad created a warm, caring and organized home. “I always knew I was loved and protected within the walls of my childhood home. I was held accountable to high standards, but I knew my family always had my back”. Before the pandemic, Bridget spent 12 years as a contractor, supporting The Boeing Company’s corporate communications team. She worked on a wide array of domestic and international Human Resources projects, putting her master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern to valuable use. Now, Bridget has joined with two other women to develop a corporate social impact company. She remarks, “Our vision is to change the world through good deeds by helping companies create altruistic and inclusive cultures where employees’ passions drive workforce giving. We plan to beta test a few clients this year and officially launch in 2022. I’m super excited about this endeavor and its possibilities!”

Liam, Finn, Seamus and then Bridget O’Meara and Brian

Giving Back Is Personal

Over and above all of this, giving back is very personal for Bridget and her husband Brian. After their second son was born with a serious heart condition, they established The Mend a Heart Foundation in 2006 to help enrich and extend the lives of children born with heart disease. The foundation supports congenital heart defect research, cardiac screenings in high schools, and residential camps for heart children and their families. Since the O’Meara’s founded Mend a Heart, they have raised more than $1 million, in large part due to the generosity of people living in our community and neighboring areas. Bridget is especially proud of the fundraising work the Mend a Heart Junior Board, comprised of 24 high schoolers from various schools in the area, has done through a candy sale, shop ’n shares, and on-campus events this past year. They also gave back by creating care bags for frontline workers at Lurie Children’s Hospital and organizing a hat and mitten drive for needy heart families in the Chicagoland area. She says, “We’ve been fortunate to live in a community that’s been so good to us and supported Mend a Heart. At times it can get overwhelming trying to manage the foundation between work and family, but the foundation has enriched our family and connected us with so many impressive and generous physicians, researchers, donors and other heart families.”

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