Event Recap: August 7, 2019 – Deborah’s Place Summer Cookout

Thanks to Christina Chacon, Food For Friends Board Member, who sent in the following article providing a recap of the event. For more pictures from this event, go to our album on Facebook titled 2019Aug07 – Deborah’s Place Summer Cookout 

Food For Friends hosted its first summer cookout for the clients of Deborah’s Place (Community Based Services) on Wednesday, August 7, 2019.    It truly was a wonderful day!

The gathering was held in Chicago at Cricket Hill Park (near Montrose Avenue and the Lakefront) on an absolutely beautiful afternoon.   Food for Friends was blessed with 5 volunteers that arrived eager to serve.

To prepare for the event, the staff of Deborah’s Place set up a couple of tents, tables and chairs for the expected guests.   In addition, the staff brought a bunch of games for everyone to try.

Next up was to get the serving line set up with food.  For this event, Food for Friends provided the food, which consisted of hamburgers, turkey burgers, hot dogs, chicken sausage, veggie burgers, potato salad, and all the condiments.   Chef Remicko, a Food For Friends volunteer, and Anna Wilson, of Deborah’s staff, were on the grill and cooked all the food items.

As the food cooked,  the guests from Deborah’s Place started to arrive and our volunteers got busy getting the serving tables ready.  Volunteers Laura and Marty arranged the condiments, cheese slices, potato salad, and drinks while Barb greeted the clients and made small talk as everyone gathered.    Before you know it, trays of hot food were lined up on a table and we were ready to start serving.

A blessing of the meal was given as we all held hands.  The ladies lined up to get food.  As they went through the line there was lots of smiles and thank you’s being passed back and forth.   There was so much food the ladies were hopeful for leftovers, which we had planned on happening from the start.    We gladly packed all the leftovers in to-go containers for them to take back home.

After the meal, the staff celebrated the birthdays of four of the ladies in the program with cake, cupcakes and special gifts.   This was a very nice treat for all the ladies – you could just see it on their faces in their expressions of joy.  The case managers recited nice Birthday wishes to their clients and then everyone wanted to try a piece of the cake!

The clients and staff of Deborah’s Place were very appreciative and grateful for the meal and the volunteers.  The cookout provided a meal along with take-home food to these women who might not otherwise have access to one.   Besides the food, the cookout gave everyone a chance to get out on a nice evening and  strengthen relationships with each other.

The Community Based Services team at Deborah’s Place provides supportive apartments to women who have experienced chronic homelessness and are living with disabilities.  The ladies in the program are low or no-income and receive an array of supportive case management services.

A special thank you to Chef Remicko, Laura, Marty, Barb, and Julissa for carving out some time to serve at the cookout.    We know you had a special feeling in your heart that evening, knowing you gifted these women with food and fellowship.