Giving Tuesday is Here!

It’s Giving Tuesday! Join CCO for a day of giving! Giving Tuesday follows Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. It’s a global event that’s intended to highlight ways to get involved and give to charitable organizations. Please join us in supporting CCO’s mission to “address homelessness, provide shelter, accept people, and help them find a home.”

Here are a few ways you can give…

Your financial gift will provide warm, nutritious meals, a safe shelter space, and supportive care to the families and single adults at CCO. Donations allow CCO to keep the doors open to welcome those experiencing homelessness today and tomorrow.

Christmas is on its way! We want everyone at CCO to be remembered and blessed this festive season. This year, we have two wishlists, one for the children at CCO and one for the adults. You’ll find Barbies, Lego sets, art supplies, and so much more for the kids. The adults have asked for bath sets, games, slippers, winter wear, and other wonderful gifts. Please consider making a purchase that will brighten someone’s Christmas at CCO!

Join us in raising funds for a new pair of shoes for each child at CCO. Every autumn, families sheltered at CCO, go to a local department store and the kids get to choose their own pair of new shoes! You can give to this important fundraiser by sharing it on your social media account and encouraging your friends and family to donate!

Are you hoping to get fit in 2022? If you are, Team CCO is for you. Team CCO is Cornerstone’s charitable fitness team. Team members raise funds to support CCO’s mission while pursuing their fitness goals. Team CCO events are already scheduled for 2022. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Shamrock Shuffle 8K, and the Chicago Tough Mudder obstacle race are a few of the great opportunities to give to CCO.

Get the word out about the good things that are happening at CCO. Consider sharing a Facebook or CCOlife post on your social media page. It’s an easy way to raise awareness and support Cornerstone’s mission.

We are Thankful for You!

Happy Thanksgiving from the staff and shelter guests at Cornerstone Community Outreach! Today we are thankful for you, our CCO supporters. If you have given financially to the important programs and services at Cornerstone, we thank you! If you have volunteered your time and energy to CCO, we thank you! If you have donated new or gently used items to CCO, we thank you! We can’t do this work without you.

84,381 meals have been served from the CCO kitchen so far this year. Today the families and single adults at Cornerstone will be enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Your support makes nutritious meals at CCO possible.

Are you looking for an easy way to give? Visit Cornerstone’s Christmas Wishlist while you’re relaxing over the holiday weekend. Your gift will help brighten the holiday for someone at CCO. Thank you!

85 Homeless to Housed & 84,381 Meals!

This week is Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week which is an annual program that draws attention to the hardships of hunger and homelessness in America. Charitable organizations across the country use this week to raise awareness about their efforts to alleviate homelessness and hunger in their communities. Cornerstone Community Outreach (CCO) has been a participant for nearly 5 years.

Please join us in celebrating the 85 households who successfully moved from homelessness to housing so far this year! Families of all sizes, as well as single adults, have continued to find the shelter, support, and care that leads to housing success. Just one person stepping out of homelessness and into their own apartment is a cause for celebration. However, we want to truly rejoice with all the families and single adults who now have a place to call home!

Over 84,381 nutritious meals have been served from the CCO kitchen so far this year! The children sheltered with their family at CCO receive the energy and nourishment they need for play, academic, and creative activities. Each is important for childhood development and breaking the limits that keep young people from reaching their full potential. The CCO kitchen serves meals to everyone regardless of age. We are grateful to the kitchen staff who provide meals and serve them in a way that communicates respect and consideration for all shelter guests.

Your partnership and continued support allow CCO to provide essential shelter and nutritious meals to those experiencing homelessness. Please consider making a donation today that will help break the cycle of poverty tomorrow.

An Advent Calendar that Benefits CCO!

Ever since Cornerstone Community Outreach opened its doors over three decades ago, we have always sought to be a light in the Uptown neighborhood showing care and respect to those that are in need, whether that be a place to stay, a warm cup of coffee, or fare for public transportation to go to doctor appointments, housing appointments or important meetings.  

Community engagement comes in all forms. It can start with a smile, supplies for the midwestern seasons, and a willingness to be around people that are not similar to you. Community involvement in the past has come in the form of fundraising for the needs of Cornerstone through running races, getting groups of people to build playgrounds for the children residing at our shelter.

Through the efforts of Wilson Abbey and Everybody’s Coffee, an Advent Calendar was created based on the annual window art that graces their buildings. All of the proceeds of the Advent Calendar will be supporting Cornerstone. Due to the support of Chicago’s largest Advent Calendar, a client in the single women’s program was able to receive much-needed medication that medical insurance wasn’t able to be cover. It is so encouraging to know that a purchase of a product that brings joy to others is also giving someone the opportunity to be healthy, happier, and in a more stable situation.

We know there are more stories to come in this upcoming holiday season. 

  • Tressa Davis, Staff Contributor

Click here to purchase this beautiful box set. You will be redirected to the Everybody’s Coffee website where you can make a secure purchase. Consider making a purchase that will truly have meaning for yourself, your friends and family, and those sheltered at Cornerstone.

Veterans Deserve Better

In 2017, Uptown and Cornerstone sadly lost one of their regulars; a veteran of both the war in Vietnam and the mean streets of Chicago. Through all his trauma and tragedy, I will always remember Dan as a peaceful soul who loved to read novels and chill out with a couple of his buddies. Even though it came to him, Dan was someone who make every effort to steer clear of the drama. No matter what was going on, I always loved to bump into him and have a good chat with my older buddy! 

I knew Dan in many circumstances, over many years. I knew him at the shelter, I knew him as he slept behind the CVS, I knew him when he stayed at Friendly Towers, I knew him when he slept under bridges and I knew him when he got his final apartment. I walked with him throughout his complicated and emotional journey; it can be a tough and joyful experience to walk with someone through their homelessness, their evictions and their eventual housing. This is especially true for someone who served his country and was left struggling with trauma that never escaped him. Even though he was homeless on and off for over a decade, “chronic homelessness” shouldn’t have been Dan’s reality and it shouldn’t be the reality of any veteran; every veteran deserves better than that! 

I’m happy to say, Dan lived his final years in his own crib, but getting him there was long, complicated and tiresome! Red tape had to be cut, pressure had to be placed in the right places at the right times and everyone had to refuse to surrender. It took too long and without people on the ground rallying around and for him, Dan would have become just another forgotten fella in an ocean of ignored people. Dan fought the fight, he persevered and finally got the place he deserved, where he could quietly chill, watch old westerns and read countless novels. 

Rest in peace my friend; you deserved better, but now you’re in the hands of the One who makes everything right!

  • J. Nicholls, staff contributor

CCO Halloween Party Photo Album!

Scroll down the page to learn how you can help children at Cornerstone get new shoes and Christmas gifts!

So many important characters showed up at the Cornerstone Halloween Party! Wonder Woman, Spiderman, a red dragon, a fireman, Venom, and many more excited trick-or-treaters dressed up for the festivities. Everyone enjoyed the creepy crawly decorations and delicious baked goods. Each child got a goody bag filled with glow sticks, vampire fangs, and of course sweet treats. Families at CCO were able to have a Halloween family portrait taken. A good time was had by all!

Fabulous events like this one couldn’t happen without our team of volunteers and donors. We would like to say a special thank you to Cake4Kids, who provided all the delicious baked goods. Yum! A huge thank you goes to Northwestern Medicine Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff, especially Sue DiSilvestro, who coordinates this outstanding group of volunteers. The wonderful volunteers from Blocks 2 Cities helped make the party marvelous. Also, a dedicated group of individuals volunteered their time and expertise, such as Tim and Amy Davis, Donna Hall, and Sharon Sims. And we can’t forget to thank the dedicated staff at Cornerstone who work to make each party special with personal touches and a “can do” attitude!

Would you like to support the children sheltered at Cornerstone? Take a moment to visit our Christmas Amazon Wish List or our Kids New Shoe Drive. These are just a few ways you can make the holidays and every day better for kids at CCO.

Coming Soon! New CCOlife Website

The new streamlined look and thoughtful layout would not be possible without the brilliant web design team at nine3nine Creative. Their work has been done at no cost to Cornerstone. We’re deeply grateful for the creativity and skill that made the new website possible. Thank you, nine3nine Creative!

An Advent Gift with a Heart

The generous and inventive folks at Wilson Abbey and Everybody’s Coffee have created a gift that supports Cornerstone and celebrates the holiday season! For several years, the Wilson Abbey has displayed Chicago’s Largest Advent Calendar (see image below). This year Wilson Abbey and Everbody’s Coffee has produced a beautiful home-size version of their amazing advent window displays. In the spirit of Christmas, they are donating 100% of the proceeds to support Cornerstone’s shelter guests, programs, and services.

Each set has 25 stunning advent cards with a seasonal work of art on the front, an inspirational quote on the back, and a display stand. You will also have the knowledge that your purchase helped provide safe shelter for those experiencing homelessness this holiday. It’s an original way to celebrate the holidays and give to those in need!

Click here to purchase this beautiful box set. You will be redirected to the Everybody’s Coffee website where you can make a secure purchase. Consider making a purchase that will truly have meaning for yourself, your friends and family, and those sheltered at Cornerstone.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to the creative Cornerstone supporters at Everybody’s Coffee and the Wilson Abbey! Thank you for using your talent and vision to benefit those experiencing homelessness.

If you’re interested in learning about more of the good things happening through Everybody’s Coffee click here.

2021 Back-to-School Party!

The new school year started off right for the children at Cornerstone! The CCO back-to-school party kicked off the school year for all the children sheltered at Cornerstone. Uptown Underdawg’s provided delicious gelato. The kids and adults alike enjoyed the fun and educational elements of JG’s Reptile Roadshow reptilian petting zoo. A talented henna artist was kept busy creating beautiful designs for the kids and the art station was hopping with fun activities. DJ Bialach provided the dance tunes. Last but not least, Everybody’s Coffee mixed up delicious caffeinated drinks for all to enjoy.

The event took place during Uptowns Art Week hosted by the Uptown Chamber. Thank you to each of the volunteers, staff, and organizations that made this party possible!

Cornerstone provides essential shelter and critical services for families experiencing homelessness. Please consider making a donation today. Thank you!

DIY Fundraiser with GoFundMe!

Sometimes life gives us a creative way to support others. So we encourage you to create your own fundraising page and inspire your social networks into your own passion.

GoFundMe allows individuals to fundraise on behalf of Cornerstone Cornerstone Outreach, using their platform.

To start a new fundraiser on behalf of Cornerstone, go here:

CCO GoFundMe charity page