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!

Scholle Packaging at the Hunger Walk


Cornerstone Community Outreach would like to thank Scholle Packaging for organizing over 35 volunteers to walk on our behalf in the 30th Annual Hunger Walk! In just a few short hours their efforts equated to over 8,200 lbs of food and effectively impacting the lives of hundreds of residents and community members in need this year. Thank you Scholle Packaging and coordinator Nancy Johnson for all you efforts and choosing to walk for a cause!

Happy Father’s Day!

lydell - Copy

The staff, volunteers, and residents of CCO would like to wish you a very Happy Father’s Day! CCO is proud to welcome homeless father’s with children. Fathers often find it difficult to access shelter space because many shelters are designed for single adults, or women with children. It has been our privilege to assist dads with kids as they stabilize their families and work toward permanent housing.

Take a moment to visit Our Stories and scroll down to choose a success story featuring a father who has secured permanent housing for himself and his children. Pictured above is Lydell, a friend and former CCO resident, who worked against the odds to make a home for himself and Little Lydell (also pictured). Take a minute to read their story.

Happy Father’s Day! We hope you have a great weekend!

2015 Hunger Walk – June 18th Update


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

Try an Ice Bath This Weekend! Chicago Marathon Training Tips

Ice Baths

 Do you use ice baths to recover from your long runs and
races? Ice baths may offset any damage done!

The general theory behind this type of cold therapy is that the exposure to cold helps to combat the microtrauma (small tears) in muscle fibers and resultant soreness caused by intense or repetitive exercise. The ice bath is thought to constrict blood vessels, flush waste products, and reduce swelling and tissue breakdown. Then, as the tissue warms and the increased blood flow speeds circulation, the healing process is jump-started. The advantage of an ice bath submersion is that a large area of intertwined musculature can be treated, rather than limiting the cold therapy to a concentrated area with a localized ice pack.

Should you use ice baths as a routine activity to help you recover after your long runs and put you in a better position to get you to the finish line of the marathon? I highly recommend ice baths and have used them myself to prevent damage to the intertwined muscle groups that may not heal by simply placing an ice pack on one area that I have tweaked. If you ask a variety of people, you are likely to receive a varying degree of significance placed on the benefits of ice baths. However, most agree that while it may not be guaranteed to help or outright prevent an injury, it certainly can’t hurt. That said, my recommendation is to treat this much like any other part of your training program: experiment with ice baths for your next few runs or long runs, so you know how your body reacts and how any nagging injuries feel on post-bath runs. Then if you decide to use an ice bath as a recovery tool after your 20-mile training run and after the marathon itself, you can rest assured you have tested it out.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts of ice bathing:

  • DO: Be conservative with water temperature as you get started. Most rehabilitation specialists recommend a water temperature between 54 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider starting a bit higher and inch this downward a degree or two each exposure.
  • DO: Recognize that each individual will have his or her own cold threshold. Play within your personal comfort zone.
  • DON’T: Overexpose! At the recommended temperature range above, 10 minutes should be sufficient. Unless you have history with ice baths, do not exceed 20 minutes.
  • DON’T: Assume colder is better. Spending a prolonged period of time in water colder than 54 degrees could be dangerous.
  • DO: Be aware that moving water is colder water. Much like the wind chill created when you ride, if there are jets in your ice bath and the water that is warmed at the skin’s surface gets pushed away, the resulting impact of the water will be cooler than measured by the thermometer.
  • DON’T: Assume 54 to 60 degrees or bust. Cool water (say, 60 to 75 degrees) can still be beneficial, as can active recovery (very light exercise to facilitate blood flow to musculature)
  • DO: Seek to simplify. Building a personal ice bath daily can be tough, especially if you have a very short window of time to fit in your workouts as it is! Look for a gym that has a cold plunge, or if you live close to a river, lake or the ocean, keep tabs on the current water temperature. I find that filling the tub with cool water and then dumping whatever ice I have in my refrigerator’s bin works perfectly for my ice baths.
  • DON’T: Rush to take a warm shower immediately after the icebath. The residual cooling effect and gradual warming are ideal. Consider initial warming options of a sweatshirt, blanket and/or warm drink – but DO take the shower if you are unable to warm yourself.
Article adapted from Active.com

So jump in!ice

5 Nutrition Tips for Athletes

Nutrition Tips for Athletes

Check out these 5 tips for proper nutrition when exercising at a moderate to high intensity for 90 minutes or more:

1. Load Up on Carbohydrates

Carbs are an athlete’s main fuel. Your body converts them to glucose, a form of sugar, and stores it in your muscles as glycogen. When you exercise, your body changes glycogen into energy. Don’t forget: vegetables and fruits are sources of carbohydrates. Check out our tips on carb loading here!

 2. Get Enough Protein, But Not Too Much

Protein doesn’t provide a lot of fuel for energy. But you need it to maintain your muscles. Find out guidelines on protein intake here!

3. Go Easy on Fat

For long events, such as marathons, your body turns to fat for energy when carbohydrate sources run low. Most athletes get all the fat they need by following the basic dietary guideline to eat mostly unsaturated fat from foods such as nuts, avocados, olives, vegetable oils, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. Avoid fatty foods on the day of an event, since they can upset your stomach.

4. Drink Fluids Early and Often

Intense exercise, especially in hot weather, can quickly leave you dehydrated. Dehydration, in turn, can hurt your performance and, in extreme cases, threaten your life. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink, but instead start your hydration regimen early in the week before a big race or long run. More on hydration for athletes here!

5. Replace Lost Electrolytes

Sweating removes both fluids and electrolytes. Electrolytes help transmit nerve signals in your body. To replenish them, reach for sports drinks. If you’re also losing a lot of fluid as you sweat, dilute sports drinks with equal amounts of water to get the best balance of fluid and electrolytes.


Article courtesy of WebMD.com and Kopf Running


CCO Food Pantry

CCOinfo graphic food

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!