Fight Hunger with CCO!

Hunger Walk  2014Join us for the Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk 5k! Each year walkers at the Hunger Walk provides CCO with a food account with the Food Depository that is used to create nutritious meals for those we shelter and groceries for our food pantry patrons.

This years 5k Hunger Walk will take place on June 25 at Jackson Park in Chicago. Each walker counts! Click here to register and don’t forget to use our agency code A00393 so you’re steps count for CCO and to ensure a free registration.

We hope to see you there!

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to You!Happy birthday to you! Joel celebrated his birthday last week at CCO. He and his mother were given new toys, a decorated cake, and party supplies to celebrate his special day. CCO shelters nearly 150 children and each birthday is important. A small network of dedicated volunteers bake cakes, decorate them, and deliver them to CCO for the children living in our shelter. Donors purchase cake mixes, canned icing, candles, and decorations, to make each cake special.

It’s important to have special events and celebrations for the families and individuals we shelter because being homeless is hard difficult. Isn’t it great to think that the children and parents sheltered at CCO will look back on their homeless experience with these bright and special moments?

Good things are happening every day at CCO! Continue to support those we shelter by making a financial donation today!

Are you interested in donating cake mixes, canned icing, cake decorations, party items, birthday gift bags or wrapping paper for birthdays at CCO? If so, please contact Eve at eve@ccolife.org.

Thank you!

Birthday Cakes

An Eagle Scout Project with Heart

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Devin serving meals at CCO’s Veteran Recognition Dinner.

Devin Escue has been volunteering with his family or Boy Scout Troop at Cornerstone Community Outreach since he was very young. For his Eagle Scout Project, Devin has chosen to raise money for the children at CCO to have new playground toys. We are excited about this project that will bring play, exercise, and childhood development to the children sheltered at CCO. Here is why Devin is focusing on this fun project.

“I am supplying CCO’s kids with toys in order to complete my Eagle Scout Project. I chose the project of raising funds and buying toys for the kids at CCO because I feel that every kid deserves to have something to enjoy, even when living isn’t easy. I want to provide kids with toys in order that they may be able to have the fun they deserve.

I’ve done various kinds of volunteer work with CCO. My family and I have given out Christmas presents at CCO for years. As a Boy Scout, I’ve served Veterans Day dinner at CCO’s Veteran’s Recognition Dinner. Last year, I ran a photo booth for the families at CCO for their Fall Frenzy party. Click here to view the photo gallery. I’ve also helped run a cupcake decorating table. At home, I bake cakes that are given to the children sheltered at CCO on their birthday. On the other hand, I have worked on the dirtier side of CCO by helping clean out their donations basement from unnecessary donations. In that same basement, I’ve bagged up clothes and moved them up to their Free Store, where the residents can come and find clothing.

I care about the homeless. They are just people like me and you who have had a harder time in life. Everyone deserves to live in some amount of comfort and not in a shelter. I volunteer for CCO because I feel that homeless people are just people. They can be funny, happy, serious, or sad, just like us. I care about the homeless because they are just people who need a little help moving forward.”

Click here to go to Devin’s Crowdrise fund raising page. 100% of all donated money will go toward purchasing playground toys, toy storage, and a party of the children sheltered at CCO.

Congratulations!

Successfully Housed Family!

Congratulations! It is always a joy to see one of the families sheltered at CCO moving from homelessness to housing! Our most recently housed family is pictured here proudly displaying the keys to their new apartment.

In 2015, 42% of CCO’s total shelter population is made up of children age 17 and under. 37% of these are minors age 12 and under. Providing safe shelter and working with the families that come to CCO is a critical part of our mission.

The National Coalition for the Homeless states that the average age of a homeless person in the U.S. is 9 years old. This number challenges a lot of the typical stereotypes that people associate with homelessness in America. Children who are homeless have special needs. Stability through on-going education, proper nutrition, and development through play space, can help lessen the burden of homelessness.

At CCO, we welcome homeless families of all kinds, mothers with children, fathers with children, couples with children, and three-generational families. Case managers compassionately work to assist families with school transfers or transportation, assessments and referrals for children struggling in an emotional or academic area, and assistance with specific challenges that may arise. We are privileged to take part in the successes of our shelter families. Consider making a donation today and be a part of helping to stabilize and strengthen the families sheltered at CCO! Thank you!

Willow Creek Christmas Celebration!

Willow Creek

Nearly 100 Willow Creek Church volunteers created a fun and festive Christmas celebration for the families at CCO. Some of the moms sheltered with us got manicures and gifts were brought and given to over 130 children. The group brought supplies for each of the children to put together sweet, little gingerbread houses complete with candy decorations and icing. Other activities included, cooking decorating and painting.

Another group of volunteers worked in the Free Store organizing donated items for our shelter guests and neighbors in need. The Free Store offers gently-used clothing and household items that come to CCO through out donors. Hundreds of people get their needs met through the CCO Free Store each year!

Thank you Willow Creek Church!

Coat Angels Warm Our Hearts

The Coat Angels visited Cornerstone Community Outreach once again and brought new fleece, coats, hats, and gloves for all of the children sheltered with the families. A huge variety of colors and style were available for the children to choose from. The Coat Angels made sure that the sizing was right for each child. Parents and children were so excited to have a new, warm, colorful coat to wear for throughout the cold Chicago winter.

One little girl was so pleased with her coat that she didn’t take it off until bedtime. When she woke up the next morning she immediately put it back on and wore her treasured coat for the entire day!

Thank you Coat Angels for contributing to the lives of the children sheltered at CCO with such a practical, yet thoughtful gift!

Sweet Fundraiser

Parker

Seven year-old, Parker Graning, couldn’t believe some children are homeless and he decided to help. He worked with friends and family to set-up a hot chocolate stand that raised $1,000 for the children sheltered at CCO.

It was a pleasant surprise the day Parker came to the shelter to deliver the money he had raised selling apple cider and hot chocolate. The friendly fundraiser was promoted by everyone who participated and the final earnings were “matched” to create the $1,000 donation. Thank you Parker and your generous friends and family!

We are really grateful and encouraged by Parker’s desire to help children at CCO who are homeless. We shelter nearly 150 children with their parents, at any given time. We are privileged to work alongside the families who come through our doors to find permanent housing. While families are sheltered with us, we are grateful to offer tutoring and after-school assistance through Chicago Hopes for Kids.

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Handmade Blankets!

Sweet Blanket Donation!

One outstanding CCO donor has been sewing soft, cute blankets for the infants and toddlers in our family shelter programs. Parents have been encouraged by such a practical yet encouraging gift and the babies love them! It’s another example of people doing what they love and doing good!

Each blanket has a colorful note card attached to it saying,”Dear Mother, This is a Prayer Blanket because while I was sewing it I prayed for you, your baby and family in that God would bless you everyday.”

Nearly 150 children under the age of 18 are sheltered with their families at CCO. Help us continue to provide safe shelter, nutritious meals, and compassionate case management services, to everyone who comes through our doors. Consider donating new or gently-used items or making a monetary donation today. Thank you!

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.

 

Happy Birthday to You!

Birthday Cake

Birthdays are a special time at CCO. Every child who has a birthday while being sheltered with us receives new toys, a cake (of their choosing), and a lot of sweet congratulations! Be a part of making important birthday parties happen by donating new, unopened cake mixes (all kinds), canned icing, birthday candles, and cake decoration. To organize a drop-off time please email Eve at eve@ccolife.org.

Thanks to all our wonderful donors who have dropped off birthday items so far this year!