Freestore Public Day : 65 Shop!

“I can find a lot of clothes for my family at the Freestore.  I don’t have to worry about going out and buying clothes while I’m homeless. I can always find something new and CCO has a good variety. That’s how I’m blessed by the Freestore.”    – Victoria, Freestore patron

Over 65 Uptown neighbors shopped through free clothing and household items last week at the Cornerstone Freestore! Your gently-used donated items make the Freestore possible.

Families and single adults sheltered at CCO shop in the Freestore each week to meet basic clothing needs. Over 80% of new shelter guests have no income and even shopping at a thrift store is not possible. The CCO Freestore stands in the gap and your donations help those in need find basic essentials that will help them find clothing for school, job training, employment interviews, or just day-to-day living.

Thank you for supporting our shelter guests and neighbors in this way! If you haven’t donated goods to CCO in the past consider donating your gently-used items. Spread the word, and let your co-workers, neighbors, and church members, know that they can donate gently-used items or financially! Click here to learn more.

If you are in need of clothing, shoes, and household items visit the Freestore on our next public day, September 28.

Back-to-School Bash Photo Album!

CCO’s Annual Back-to-School Bash was a huge success! Families sheltered at CCO enjoyed dancing, music, pizza, cake, prizes, face-painting, and more. All school-aged children chose a new backpack, from a wide-range of styles, provided by the Northeastern Illinois University Alumni Association (NEIU). NEIU has provided and distributed backpacks and school supplies at the Back-to-School Bash for years. Thank you, NEIU!

Student volunteers from Uptown Christian School (UCS) set-up the room, served food, decorated, cleaned, and reassembled the dining room. The teens were willing, fun, and amazingly helpful. Thank you, UCS!

Education is a critical stabilizing force in the lives of homeless children. We are privileged to partner with our area school teachers and administrators to ensure that the children sheltered at CCO have the best education possible.

Consider making a donation today that will directly support the families sheltered at CCO. Thank you!

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to you! Did you know that CCO staff and volunteers bake, ice, decorate and deliver a birthday cake to each child who has a birthday while sheltered at CCO? It’s true! And mom and dad are given wrapped gifts for the birthday boy or girl. It’s a truly sweet way to encourage the kids at CCO.

We need your help! We are looking for CCO supporters who would like to purchase new cake mixes, icing, and decorations (candles, sprinkles, etc) to make sure the birthday elves are never short of supplies. If you are interested in giving in this way contact Eve at eve@ccolife.org. Thanks!

You Are Invited!

Featured

You are invited to CCO’s Fall Fundraiser! 

Join us for an evening that will highlight the important homeless programs and services that you are a part of at CCO! Executive Director, Sandy Ramsey will share stories and statistics. Kumba Lynx will entertain us with dancing and poetry and you can count on delicious sweet and savory food. This year we will be offering, even more, raffle (see list below) and silent auction items. You won’t want to miss it! Order your tickets today!

Click here to purchase tickets for yourself or a group of people. All funds will go toward the work of CCO and will directly benefit the families and individuals who need safe shelter, nutritious meals, and specialized services.

Raffle Prizes

Lion Head Sports Pub – $25 certificate

Cheesecake Factory Certificate – $50 gift card

Shedd Aquarium – 4 Shedd Pass tickets. Tickets are good for express entry to aquarium, Abbott Oceanarium and Wild Reef.

Chicago Wolves Certificate – 2 tickets for any game during the Chicago Wolves 2017-2018 season

Oak Terrace Getaway – 1 night of lodging and up to 2 rounds of 18 hole golf at Oak Terrace Resort and Spa

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria – a $25 gift card

Brookfield Zoo – 6 general admission passes, 6 passes to the Hamill Family Play Zoo, 6 passes to The Carousel, and 1 parking pass

City Winery – free custom City Winery tour and wine tasting for up to 4 people. The experience includes a wine flight of 3 City Winery wines, paired with 3 crostini.

Signed White Sox pic – of Avisail Garcia

Joffrey Ballet – 2 tickets to the Joffrey Ballet’s 2018 production of Modern Masters running from February 7th-18th, 2018.

American Airlines AAdvantage  – a certificate of 50,000 AmericanAirlines  AAdvantage miles, good for up to 2 domestic round trip flights.
(Expiration date 12/09/2017)

Field Museum – 4 general admission tickets

La Colombe coffee – a 3-pack gift box of ground coffee from La Colombe Coffee Roasters.

Float Sixty – win a free 60-minute float in a Float Sixty Therapeutic Sensory Deprivation Tank, along with a bag of free Epsom salt.

Untouchable Tour – win 2 passes to the Untouchable Tour – a two-hour bus adventure that explores Chicago’s notorious past through visits to Prohibition-era mobster hangouts.
(Expires September 2018)

The Second City – win two nights for a couple at The Second City; one pass good for two tickets at any Second City Resident Stages, and another pass good for two tickets at the Second City Up Comedy Club (VALUED AT $52).
(Expires October 2018)

Hunger Walk! You Can Still Register!

It’s your last chance to register for the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) Hunger Walk! Each person walking for CCO creates a 200+ pound food credit with GCFD, our main food source. GCFD food is served three meals a day, every day, to over 300 of our shelter guests. It is also part of our weekly Food Pantry and our neighborhood meals.

Please join us for this year’s 5k Hunger Walk and include your friends and family in the fun!

Follow the link below and refer to the instructions for registration…
– Click here to be redirected to the GCFD registration page
– Click the orange “Register” button
– Click “Join a Team”
– In the search, window begin typing in Cornerstone Community Outreach
– Click the CCO option that includes A00393 (our team number)
– Use the plus (+) sign to register the number of people you are bringing
– Complete the details for each person who will be walking
– You can make a donation if you’d like or you can click “skip donation”
– You should receive a confirmation email
– Now you can use your page to encourage others to donate toward your walk!

We hope to see you at the Hunger Walk!

Thank you Fight2Feed!

Fight2Feed Serves Up a Delicious Mother’s Day Dinner!

Fight2Feed has really gone above and beyond again! Thank you to all the Fight2Feed volunteers who purchased, prepped, chopped, simmered, and baked a delicious dinner for #MothersDay at CCO. Our shelter families and single adults were blessed with delicious lemon chicken, BBQ chicken, sloppy joes, fresh carrots, green beans and much more. Dessert was also served and the children got special treats.

Through food rescue, reduced cost food purchases, and a group of organized and energized volunteers, Fight2Feed fights hunger in Chicago and beyond. We are proud to say that this vibrant organization has partnered with CCO and provides healthy, delicious meals to our shelter guests and our homeless friends on the street.

The volunteers at Fight2Feed are working to go nationwide with their mission which is, “fighting hunger with rescued food and mobilizing it to friends in need.”

Thank you, Fight2Feed! #f2fMonday #nokidhungry #ccolife #Fight2Feed 

*All image and photo credit goes to Fight2Feed.

Save the Hunger Walk Date!

Save the Date!

The 32 nd Annual Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk will step off on Saturday, September 16, 2017. The 5k walk normally takes place in late-June but the fun has been moved to September this year. Plan to join us and help boost CCO’s food allotment with the Food Depot by bringing your family and friends along this September. Your walk will help our shelter guests and food pantry patrons get the food they need.

Stay tuned for more information about how you can fight hunger in Chicago!

Letter from the Executive Director

Executive Director Sandra Ramsey

Dear Friends:

Another year has flown by and the staff at Cornerstone have had a front row seat to so many victories and successes! We get to witness the relief on people’s faces when they finally secure keys to their home once again, or for some, for the first time ever. We experience firsthand the joy of someone getting a job because they know that is a major step in securing their housing. Being able to secure birth certificates and IDs helps each person feel like they exist and are important in this world.

We witness the strength and tenacity of our residents time and time again and wonder how we would do if we were experiencing homelessness ourselves. We look forward to this year of 2017 with even higher hopes and greater anticipation of the many families and individuals we will meet, hearing their stories, and helping them move forward with their goals.

Our mission at CCO is to help people recover from the hardships of homelessness with dignity while helping them restore their God-given worth and self-esteem.

Sincerely,

Sandra Ramsey

22,500 Bags of Groceries

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CCO Food Pantry

22,500 Bags of Groceries

“We do it because we see the need. There are a lot of low-income and needy, elderly people in the Uptown area. There is a lot of food in America and hungry people who need it. We have a great supply of good food and we are blessed to share it.”
– Chris Ramsey, CCO Food Pantry Supervisor

Every Wednesday over 150 people gather in the CCO dining room to “shop” for nutritious food. Canned vegetables, meat, pasta, grains, nuts, boxed food, and more, a wide variety of groceries are offered each week and over 25% consist of nutritious, fresh fruits and vegetables. The majority of CCO food pantry patrons are senior citizens. The bags of groceries they take home provides the financial relief needed to pay rent, obtain important prescription medications, or other necessities, on a fixed income.

In 2016, 22,500 bags of groceries went to hungry Chicagoans through the CCO Food Pantry program. We are grateful to play a part in the fight against hunger in Uptown.


In 2017, we hope you continue to be a part of the fabulous things happening in the lives of those experiencing homelessness. Please consider making a generous donation today!

2,920 Visits to the Free Store

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Free Store

2,920 Visits to the Free Store

“A lot of people who visit the Free Store come from dire circumstances. They often don’t have enough clothes, maybe just a few things in a bag. Or they come to CCO with nothing. We’ve had lots of fire victims, people fleeing bad situations, or folks living on the streets, who only have what they could carry. They are welcome to come and get what they need.”
– Harmony Canfield, Free Store Supervisor

Donated clothes and household items are displayed in the CCO Free Store. Once there, shelter guests and our neighbors are able to choose clothing essentials. The Free Store is truly a vital service to our shelter guests who arrive at CCO with no money or income. It is a blessing to families, single adults, and our neighbors in need.


Thank you for celebrating a few of CCO’s wonderful successes from 2016! In 2017, we hope you continue to be a part of the fabulous things happening in the lives of those experiencing homelessness. Please consider making a generous donation today!