A Flood of Volunteers

The water just kept pouring in as we were hit hard by a torrential summer storm a few weeks ago. Youth Works June 2015

After salvaging what donations we could we began the daunting task of sorting through mounds clothing that had been sitting in over 5 inches of water before they began to mildew. Luckily, our first YouthWorks group of the summer arrived that day eager to help in any way possible. Armed with gloves and trash bags they sorted and transported over 200 bags of clothing and completely cleared out our clothing donation room in just 4 days! It’s been years since we’ve seen bare floors in this space and we would like to thank our YouthWorks volunteers from West-side Christian Church, Cambridge Lutheran Church and Maple Plain Community Church for the flood of assistance they provided. Without their help much of the donated clothing would have been lost to water damage meaning that our Free Thrift Store racks would have been quite bare this summer. Thank you so much for your hard work and willingness to serve YouthWorks!

2015 Hunger Walk – June 18th Update

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The 30th Annual Hunger Walk is less than two days away! We’re excited to welcome you to Soldier Field on Saturday, June 20 for what will be a fun and inspirational morning. Here are a few last-minute reminders before the Hunger Walk:

  • Remember to Join the team 
  • Then complete your Eventbrite online registration if you haven’t done so already. This will significantly speed up your check-in process at the Hunger Walk. Make sure to print your ticket and bring it with you, or download the ticket to your phone.
  • Registration opens at 7 a.m. and the walk steps off at 8:30 a.m.
  • This year, there will be a 1K course, in addition to the usual 5K path. View the route map here. If you begin the walk between 9:30 – 10:15 a.m., you will only be able to walk the shorter course, as the City of Chicago has requested that both courses be clear by 11 a.m.
  • If you are walking with a team, please contact them to determine your meeting location for the Hunger Walk.
  • A limited amount of free parking is available in the Waldron Deck and the South Lot. Paid overflow parking is available in the Museum Campus lots. Buses will park in the South Lot.
  • The forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with highs in the mid-80s. Temperatures are generally cooler near the lake, so please dress accordingly.
  • Join the conversation on social media! The event hashtags are #HungerWalk and #No1ShouldGoHungry. Be sure to follow @FoodDepository on Twitter and like us on Facebook for updates leading up to and during the Hunger Walk.

We look forward to seeing you at Soldier Field on Saturday for the 30th Annual Hunger Walk!

Greater Chicago Food Depository

CCO Food Pantry

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Each Wednesday over 150 people gather in the CCO dining room to “shop” through nutritious food items. A range of items are offered each week and 25% or more consist of fresh fruits and vegetables. The majority of CCO food pantry attendees are senior citizens. Often, the bags of groceries they receive allow them to pay their rent, obtain important prescription medications, or other necessities.

In addition to having the pantry provide nutritious food items to food insecure Chicagoans, it is almost entirely run by volunteers. The CCO pantry has been one of our longest running programs and has been in operation for over 25 years. All the food that is distributed through the pantry is provided through the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

If you are interested in supporting the CCO food pantry join us on June 20th for the Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk 5k. Follow the link to register to walk for CCO or donate toward food credit. Every walk will create a 214 pound food credit for CCO with the food depot. We hope to see you at the Hunger Walk!

1,070 Pounds of Food?

Hunger Walk - Helle's Post

Special thanks to Helle Family who join us each year for the Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk 5k. The Helle Families walk creates a 1,070 food credit for CCO. The credit from our walkers ensures that our shelter guests eat warm, nutritious meals, and groceries are given to our food pantry patrons. Visit our Hunger Walk page to register to walk or donate today!

The walk begins on June 20th at 8am at Soldier Field. The course weaves through Chicago’s beautiful lakefront paths. Help fight hunger in Chicago by joining us for the Hunger Walk! Thanks!

“I Give Back”

Northwestern U
This Saturday, May 16th Cornerstone had the pleasure of participating in Northwestern University’s Day of Service. Their slogan for the day was “I give back” and that is exactly what they did. This group of 22 students paid no heed to the oppressive humidity or warm temperatures as they gave their all at sorting mounds of clothing donations.
Five flights of stairs to the Free Store? No problem. In two and a half hours this group sorted, labeled and transported 103 boxes and bags of clothing, shoes and accessories, filled 3 bins for clothing recycling, and effectively blew one Volunteer Coordinator’s expectations out of the water. These rockstars of service accomplished in just a few short hours what would have taken staff members weeks to accomplish on their own. Thank you Northwestern University for choosing to serve at Cornerstone Community Outreach with such an exceptional team of volunteers!
– Sarah Wright,
Cornerstone Volunteer Coordinator

Join us for the 30th Annual Hunger Walk

Hunger Walk 2014

Does the idea of walking along the Chicago’s beautiful lakefront sound good to you? On June 20th the Hunger Walk 5k will kick off at Soldier Field. Each walker creates a 214 pounds food credit for CCO at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. These food items feed our shelter guests, food pantry attendees, and neighbors in need. Follow the link to join!

Do you have questions? Email Eve at eve@ccolife.org.

Go directly to our Hunger Walk Team Page to join or donate by clicking here.

Learn more about the Hunger Walk by clicking here.

Thank you!

 

Sweet Baby Blankets!

Baby Blankets

CCO would like to say a special thank you to one our wonderful donors who has made beautiful baby blankets for the infants who stay at CCO with their families. Every blanket comes with a card. It is such as sweet and personal gift.

Families come to CCO with newborns often. Culturally, we don’t usually associate homelessness with infants but many our of shelter guests have babies while staying with us or come to CCO with newborns, toddlers, and children of all ages. Families who are homeless have special challenges and we are glad to meet those challenges with them.

Join us in providing safe shelter, nutritious meals, and compassionate case management services to homeless families. Consider making a donation today!

Thank you!

Hunger & Food Assistance

CCO Food Pantry

In the 1960’s John F. Kennedy brought the issue of hunger and poverty to the forefront of American politics. He did so by reestablishing the Food Stamp Program that had begun several decades before. This government subsidized program has gone through several changes since its inception. In 2008, the Food Stamp Program became known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program has assisted hungry families and individuals throughout America to purchase nutritious foods from participating stores. Food assistance is offered to people at or below the poverty line.

In recent years these vital programs have been significantly reduced. In 2013, the federal government reduced the SNAP program by 5%. This may seem like a small reduction, but studies conducted by Feed America and the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) reflect a significant number of families and individuals who visit food pantries in order to pay for necessities, such as, medication, transportation, school, and utilities. We have found this to be true among our pantry attendees at CCO.

Food assistance for many people is a homeless prevention program. Meaning that a growing number of folks need consistent on-going food assistance in order to pay rent or cover the very basics of life. CCO’s food pantry program is one of our longest running services. We are grateful to be a positive help to our neighbors in need. Our weekly pantry is filled with nutritious foods, including fresh produce, from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The pantry is entirely staffed by faithful, hard working volunteers, some of attended the pantry in past years.

The food items and work force are provided without charge but we do have utility and security expenses. Consider donating today! Be a part of the good things that are happening every day at CCO!

Thank you!

CCO Birthdays!

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Over 140 children are sheltered at CCO with their families on any given day. Birthdays should be special for every child. A few thoughtful volunteers purchase or bake a birthday cake and bring it to the shelter when it’s time to celebrate someones special day. Volunteers wrap new presents from the donations we receive. It’s great to think that kids sheltered at CCO will look back at their time of homelessness and also have these special memories.

Thank you to all our volunteers that make a difference at CCO!

Snow Blower Anyone?

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The Chicago Blizzard of 2015 has turned out to be the fifth biggest snow storm in Chicago history. Over 19 inches of snow fell on our fair city. On Monday everyone across began to dig themselves out of their respective homes. CCO was no exception. Armed with a couple shovels, a few good men dug out our sidewalks and alleyway so families and singles could get to the CCO dining room, CTA station, and even excavated a few cars. Following hours of digging we decided it would be an excellent idea to ask our wonderful donors for $$ toward a snow blower! If you’re interested in donating to make a snow blower purchase please email Beth at bnicholls@ccolife.org. We’ll make sure your donation is specified for this purpose.

Thanks!