Let it Be Us Staff

Mary Jo Cusack

Director of Foster and Adoptive Parent Recruitment and Grants

Mary Jo believes in, and understands, the importance of providing all children with a loving and safe home. Mary Jo has been involved in community nonprofit development and was an integral part of the movement Leave No Children Inside. She has lived extensively in Ireland and understands that the child human rights issues we face affect local, state, national and international levels. She holds a BA in Marketing from Lakeland College and has a deep background in marketing, sales, print media, television and radio. She has served as the Director of Development and Student Recruitment for Upper Iowa University. Mary Jo and her husband have 4 children, two of whom are in college, and one who is in law school. She brings her experience and dedication to our Grants, Parent Recruitment and Heart Gallery of Illinois efforts.

Amber Racokzy

Foster and Adoptive Parent Recruitment and Licensing Specialist

Amber is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and earned a Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University in New York. After completing her undergraduate studies at Valparaiso University in Indiana. She has spent her career working with children and families in mental health, juvenile justice, school, and child welfare settings. Amber enjoys helping individuals and families identify their strengths and she feel honored to be invited into people’s lives each day. She is consistently looking for ways to improve services and outcomes at all levels, and appreciates working alongside other passionate, committed individuals and teams associated with Let It Be Us.

Sandy Hewson

Director of Fundraising Operations

Sandy Hewson has a degree in Organizational Communication and Youth and Human Service Nonprofit. She has a BA in Organizational Communication from Murray State University. She has served as Director of Communications and Chief of Staff for a Fortune 500 company, and most recently as Director of Operations for Let It Be Us. In her newest role, Sandy will lead the fundraising efforts for Let It Be Us through annual events like our 5K, Golf Outing and Super Bowl party. Sandy is passionate about providing for older youth in care through our Home for the Holidays and Project Dignity programs.

Lisa Hanson-Braun

Mentorship Recruiter, Trainer and Grants Specialist

Lisa is passionate about helping children be healthy and happy and finding their forever homes which is vital to each child’s success. She has BA in Political Science from Iowa State University.  Over the last 25 years Lisa has worked for agencies in the northwest suburbs of Chicago (Partners for Our Communities, Metropolis Performing Arts Center, The Bridge Youth & Family Services, One-Five Foundation) that care for children and families through a variety of programs to improve overall well-being. She excels at Volunteer Management, Mentoring Programs, Grants, and Special Events. Lisa and her husband have two sons and a Wheaten Terrier named Duncan.