The Bill Hutchinson Commemorative Fund
Bill Hutchinson has spent decades as a passionate and effective advocate on behalf of children experiencing homelessness. Ending the cycle of childhood homelessness is daunting, but Bill demonstrated the commitment and compassion to take on the task.
The organization that became UpSpring was founded in 1998. Bill began volunteering with us soon after, interfacing through the public schools with Project Connect. While serving with AmeriCorps as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA), he implemented a program that allowed speakers to share issues of childhood homelessness in classrooms with school age children. He succeeded in having the City of Cincinnati name a day in honor of children experiencing homelessness.
Bill served as a member of the UpSpring Board of Directors for eight years, and his time, vision and leadership were invaluable. Bill connected UpSpring to many other community leaders and fostered valuable relationships on UpSpring’s behalf. He earned a reputation for knowing everyone and knowing how things worked. He remained focused on UpSpring’s mission and served as a voice of reason during a period when UpSpring was going through changes in both its name and its leadership.
Bill has been very involved with many of UpSpring’s programs. The summer program was a particular favorite. One of UpSpring’s founders and long-time staff members, Shelley Werner, recalls that “as a volunteer, Bill would show up to summer camp every day willing to do any task that was needed. He would bring with him a current news article that illustrated how we need to step up for one another and for those that have no voice or choice. Often, the articles were about injustices of the world. He would also bring food for everyone and play games with the students.”
In 2010, Bill’s dedication to homeless children was honored with the John E. Pepper Award for Outstanding Volunteer in Public Education for Cincinnati Public Schools.