On Saturday morning the day after Christmas, eight cheerful and joyfilled Food For Friends volunteers traveled to the downtown Chicago Ewing Annex Hotel on Clark Street. Annex Hotel is a low income Men’s only hotel for mostly homeless men with little or no money, or jobs.
Our mission this day was to celebrate Christmas with 150 homeless men at this hotel. We provided them food, smiles and a reminder of what Christmas is all about.
The men staying at the Annex Hotel had been advised two weeks ago of the special Christmas Brunch. When our volunteers arrived at 10:30am to set up the event, we found that many men were already in line and patiently waiting for 11:30 serving time.
For this event Food For Friends and Lee N Eddies catering joined together as sponsors. The food arrived and the volunteers went to work prepping the serving line. When we were ready to start serving, Dan Herzog, president of Food For Friends, took a moment to remind the men about why we celebrate Christmas. 150 men listened intently as he briefly told them the story about Jesus, his birth and why he came to this earth. Dan’s talk was followed by a Christmas prayer and invitation to the table, not just for this meal but to the table of Christ and to follow Him for eternity.
The serving started. As the men came through the serving line, there were lots of warm smiles exchanged between servers and our “Friends”. The atmosphere in the room was festive as the men had their fill of Christmas ham, potatoes, green beans, meatballs, mac and cheese, bread, Jell-O and cookies. As the event finished and men filed out of the room, you could still see the smiles on both the faces of the men and our Food For Friends volunteers. You can get a feeling for the event by checking out the photographs from this event on our Facebook page at 2015 Dec26 – Ewing Annex Hotel Serving Event.
Food for Friends has committed to continue serving to these men in 2016. Our next serving event at the Ewing Annex Hotel will be Easter Brunch on Saturday, March 26, 2016. Please consider joining us as a volunteer in 2016!