One of the best features of Elmhurst residents is their spirit of generosity. It’s hard to find a weekend without a fundraiser or volunteer event going on. Whether its within our own community, the nearby impoverished neighborhoods in Chicago, or around the globe, Elmhurst residents are willing to do what it takes to lend a hand.

Here at Gracik Makinney, we embody that same spirit. Usually we give quietly, either financially or with our time. But sometimes a story comes along that makes us want to share it. And so we present Josh Jones.

Josh is currently a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. But unlike many Elmhurst residents, college was not a given. Josh grew up in the far south side of Chicago under difficult circumstances and without a strong support system. But Josh always knew he wanted something more. Not only did he attend school regularly, but beginning his junior year, he enrolled in AP classes and spent time before and after school getting to know his teachers and getting involved. He earned extra money by helping whenever someone needed an odd job done—from moving furniture to construction demolition.

He received a scholarship to U. of I., but a scholarship is only the beginning. Through an effort spearheaded by one of his teachers, Josh was able to get outfitted with new clothes and dorm supplies. All of us at Gracik Makinney donated a laptop for him to bring to school.

Josh is thriving in college and is excited to start making a dream that once seemed impossible, a reality. If you’re interested in donating, please reach out to us and we’ll help you get in touch. You can reach us at (630) 441-5570 or reach out through our website,