The 2015 Fall Frenzy!

A good time was had by all at the 2015 CCO Fall Frenzy! Each children sheltered at CCO chose from a selection of new or gently-used donated costumes. The Fall Frenzy featured treats, games, art projects, face painting, and more. Our dedicated volunteers worked to make the event fun and special. Take a minute to look at the princesses, pirates, tigers, and other awesome characters in our photo album below. Enjoy!

We want to say a special thank you to Francis W. Parker School and the Lincoln Park Zoo who provided new costumes and sweet treats for the children sheltered at CCO! The Carolyn Taylor, Cambaris family, and many other donors contributed candy and costumes, as well. Northwestern University Public Interest Program worked hard to set up, clean up and provide a lot of party fun for the children. Without the assistance of each of our donors and volunteers the special parties for our shelter guests would not be possible. Thank you!

Do you wish you had been able to contribute to the Fall Frenzy? We hold events for our shelter guests all the time! If you are interested in donating items that can be used for our Veterans Recognition Dinner or Christmas gift give-away contact us at info@ccolife.org. Do you want to volunteer? If so, click here. Thank you!

*Thanks to Devin Escue and Colleen Davick for taking all of the Fall Frenzy pictures  featured below.

 

Thank You Francis W Parker School!

Fall Frenzy 2015

The Fall Frenzy is nearly here and we want to say a HUGE thank you to Francis W. Parker School for hosting a costume drive for the children sheltered at CCO! Their efforts brought in over 100 new or like new costumes for our special event. The families at CCO are truly grateful!

At our annual Fall Frenzy families sheltered at CCO enjoy treats, games, music, prizes and a dance party! Our fabulous volunteers and donors work hard to make this event special. Thank you to everyone who has made this event outstanding!

If you’re interested in donating new, individually wrapped candy or treats for the Fall Frenzy please email Eve at eve@ccolife.org today! Thank you!

Team CCO at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon!

Congratulations Team CCO for completing the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon! The Team has trained for the big event and fund raised for the shelter guests at CCO.We’re proud of everyone who “went the distance” to help alleviate homelessness in Chicago! Volunteers at the marathon had a great time and helped make the Team CCO charity tent special!

It’s not too late to support the Team.

Go to https://www.crowdrise.com/teamcco2015. Enjoy the photo album!

Want to learn more about charitable fitness? Visit our Team CCO page.

26.2 Miles!

Team CCO will be going the extra mile to help alleviate homelessness on Sunday, October 11th. Runners are cheered on by over 1.7 million spectators as they jog through 29 Chicago neighborhoods. We are proud of our team and look forward to seeing them cross the finish line!

Show your support for the team by donating toward one team members run. Your donation will benefit our shelter guests who rely on CCO for shelter, nutrition, and assistance in working toward housing.

Thank you!

We’ll Leave The Light On…

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We’ll Leave the Light on for You

by Sandy Ramsey, CCO Executive Director

“Sometimes I work late at my desk at the shelter. I can see the security monitor that shows who comes in and out of the door in our shelter foyer. You can see the flow of the foyer lights and through the glass door, the dark of night. It makes the foyer look inviting, welcoming, secure.

I think about the people coming in and going out. An older woman with a purse and several bags rests on the step before opening the door for the walk up a flight of stairs to her bed. She has come from her job, dressed up with make-up and earrings. No one would believe she’s homeless. Health and family problems have taken their toll and now she’s temporarily with us.

A man comes in late from his job. He looks tired. No one at work knows he’s homeless. Probably not a subject he discusses around the water cooler. Instead of coming home to his own house, family, and dog, he comes home to a large noisy shelter – not exactly something that builds a man’s self-esteem. But we’re grateful he has a bed with us.

Some people make faces into the camera while they wait to be buzzed in. Did they have a good day? Do they have a sense of humor despite their situation? Or a strong faith in God to get them through their homelessness?

Noisy children tumble out of the foyer door onto the street, followed by a weary parent, taking one last trip to the store before the evening curfew. Thinking of my own children, I wonder how I would fare if I was homeless with them. How would I explain to them, how would I maintain my own sense of family among so many others under one roof? What do the children think? Are they upset about losing the housing they have? What do they face when they go to school? Serious questions, but for now they are happy and I am thankful we can provide a place for them to be with their parents.

Another woman comes in for the night. Her whole life has been plagued by abuse and poverty. Her difficult childhood led to a troubled adult life, riddled with substance abuse and bad choices. Being chronically homeless and always needy, you’d have to look a little deeper to catch her funny personality and deeper strengths. She has been through our program several times and each times comes a little bit closer to making a turn for the better. Will this be the time she goes forward without looking back?

Another man goes out to begin the evening shift at his job. Someone else leans out the door and calls out last minute good-nights to a friend. Eventually the traffic in the foyer slows down as another day in the lives of homeless people in a homeless shelter comes to a close. Tomorrow there will be another chance, more choices, more hope. We will be there and we’ll leave the light on for you.

Compassion asks…

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“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”

– Henry Nouwen