Team CCO Charity Tent Photo Album

Click the link above to see our Charity Tent Photo Album on Facebook!

The Team CCO Charity Team volunteers felt privileged to be a part of this year’s Chicago marathon! We are so proud of everyone on Team CCO who went 26.2 miles to help the families and singles sheltered at CCO. It’s not too late to donate. Click here see all the runners who have worked to raise funds and homeless awareness. Thank you!

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.

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!

Jakil’s “Blessing Bags”

“It speaks volumes about the character of the children and I appreciate it!” said one CCO shelter guest. An exceptional 9-year-old has visited CCO for the second time to bless those experiencing homelessness. Jakil Jackson, came to CCO to give encouragement and hygiene bags to the families and single adults sheltered with us. Jakil organized his friends and family to sort, fill, and distribute the bags.

Jakil may be one of the youngest philanthropists to bless CCO. Jakil told one news source, “In a perfect world, I would buy every homeless person a house. But since I can’t do that, I will try to help as much as I can.” He certainly does. Bags are filled with everyday items such as toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, shampoo, soap, lotion, water, shaving cream, and a crisp white t-shirt. He has encouraged us with his smile and generosity! Thank you, Jakil!

Watch a Windy City News video segment featuring Jakil distributing his “Blessing Bags” at CCO, by clicking here.

The Gift of Stewart Brown

(http://vimeo.com/ccolife/thegiftofstewartbrown)

A CCO Original Video by the wonderful folks at nine3nine Creative. Click to watch!

Over a decade ago, Stewart Brown, his mother, and his little sisters were homeless and needed shelter. They came to CCO, and from that moment on, Stewart has been a part of our lives, giving his all, for all of us, using his endless energy and excitement within CCO and well beyond.

Stewart is a giver. No matter the weather, the time, the location, the effort required, the distance, no matter who’s in need, no matter the sacrifice, Stewart is a giver.

Stewart gives a smile, gives a greeting, gives acceptance, gives a hug, gives food, gives a fist bump, gives a hand, gives a rebuke, gives encouragement, gives joy, gives thanks.

Stewart blesses us. He is a giver and he is our gift, Cornerstone’s gift, Uptown’s gift, and Chicago’s gift!

Thank you, Stewart, for being you!

  • Special thanks go to Nathan Cameron, Ian Harris!

Leland House, Forever a Part of our Life Story

Leland_House_4656_N_Malden_Chicago_IL

“As a student at Moody Bible Institute, I thought my mandatory volunteer work at the Leland House tutoring children would be a difficult burden. I was quickly proven wrong, firstly, because I immediately fell in love with the children, and secondly, because I met my wife there.

Tutoring the children became an immense joy for me. I had never worked with children in this manner before so I was a little lost at first. Fortunately, one year I was assigned a partner: my wife-to-be. The first week she came in I was mesmerized by the way she handled the kids with love and strictness all at once. I watched her as she made funny faces and played along with the children’s ridiculous games while maintaining order in a learning atmosphere. Needless to say, I fell in love with her as we worked side by side at the Leland house and together we fell in love with the kids.

Unfortunately, after our service time at Leland House was complete my wife was hit by a car right outside of our school. Her pelvis was shattered and she was in the hospital for some time. During this time she received countless cards and flowers from friends and family but none compared to one large envelope. The big yellow envelope held dozens of crayon-scrawled, hand-written letters and pictures from all our children at the Leland House. It was in that moment that we knew we had created lifelong friends and lasting memories with the children and families through our blessed time at the Leland House. My wife and I are now happily married with an 8-month-old baby girl living in Texas and the Leland House children and experience is forever a part of our life story.

Leland House has been a subsidized housing program for families in need for over 20 years. This year ownership of Leland House was transferred to an organization that is committed to continuing affordable housing for the families housed there. CCO made this decision so that employees and resources could be focused on our homeless shelter programs, which provide safe shelter, nutritious meals, and supportive services, to nearly 350 individuals and families each day. To make a financial donation to CCO click the Donate button at the top of the page. We want to say special thanks to Pegge, Carol, all the other staff, who faithfully served at Leland House. We also want to thank Barnabus Project and many other valuable organizations who worked alongside out families to make Leland House an outstanding place to live. Thank you!

Leland Computer Lab

The Coat Angels Warm Our Hearts!

(See the bottom of the page for the remainder of the photo gallery.)

The Coat Angels motto is, “For every coat we buy, a child will be warm this winter.” It’s a simple and true statement. The goal of the Coat Angels is not only to make children warm but to make them feel special. They have certainly achieved their goal and we are grateful!

With the cold weather nearly here, the Coat Angels have visited CCO once again! The Angels came through with brand new coats, jackets, gloves, scarves, and hats for the families sheltered at CCO. The children were able to choose from a variety of sizes and colors. The Coat Angels have provided essential winter wear and in doing so they have brought joy and encouragement to our families experiencing homelessness. Thank you for warming our hearts, Coat Angels!

We want to say a special thank you to Devin Escue, who took pictures of the children with their new winter gear. Devin has actively supported CCO throughout his teenage years. He has taken photographs for our Fall Frenzy, provided playground equipment through his Eagle Scout project, served meals at our Annual Veteran’s Recognition Dinner, and has baked many of the birthday cakes that are given to the children sheltered at CCO. What a guy! Thanks, Devin!

Chicago Bears Visit CCO!

Staff, volunteers, and shelter guests were privileged to welcome the Chicago Bears to CCO. The seven Bears who volunteered their time and energy, brought smiles, excitement, and joy to the families and individuals at those sheltered with us. We would like to say a huge thank you to Sam Acho, John Timu, De’Vante Bausby, Jimmy Staten, Mike Adams, Adrian Amos, and Dion Bush, who served a delicious dinner, signed autographs, and gave a word of encouragement. Thanks so much to the Chicago Bears! You’re welcome to come back anytime!

Special thanks to Sean T. McGill, who donated his time and outstanding photography skills so that all of us could enjoy such a memorable evening through his photos. View his other professional photography projects by clicking here. Thank you!

HeartFelt Craft Sale

HeartFeltGet your holiday shopping done, have fun, and support a great cause! Nestled in the heart of Wilson Abbey’s auditorium, local crafters will sell their wares! Live music will provide the entertainment and Everybody’s Coffee will be right there to warm you up with reasonably priced, tasty food and drink. 15% of all profit goes to support the mission of CCO!

Wilson Abbey is located at 935 W. Wilson Avenue in Chicago. The sale will be open from 1-4pm on Sunday, November 20. We hope to see you there!