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Byram Healthcare holds 7th annual Blue Bag event

On November 17th, we partnered with Byram Healthcare as they organized their 7th annual Blue Bag event. The following is an article submitted by Tom Nichols, Director at Byaram Healthcare. Thanks to Tom and everyone at Byram Helathcare!!   For pictures from this Blue Bag distribution event, see the November 17th Byrum Healthcare photo album on Facebook!

50 Food For Friends Thanksgiving Blue Bags, stuffed by Byram Healthcare employees, await distribution to needy families

Food For Friends…

Byram Healthcare held their 7th annual Food For Friends Blue Bag event this past week!!

We were able to help out 50 families in our community by providing the fixings for a nice Thanksgiving meal.

Throughout the week of 11/12-11/16 we collected more than enough non perishable food items to create our Blue Bags with the 50 turkeys provided by Food For Friends and provide the fixings for a nice meal for a family in need as well as donate some additional food to West Suburban Food Pantry in Woodridge.

We delivered 25 of the bags to families in Woodridge with the help of the West Suburban Food Pantry and another 25 to families in and around Plainfield with the help of the Southwest Community Church of Plainfield.

Tom Nicholls
Director, Byram Healthcare

Food For Friends delivers 15 Thanksgiving meals to Fellowship Housing moms

On November 17th, we delivered 15 turkeys and Blue Bags filled with all the ingredients for traditional Thanksgiving side dishes to 15 moms and their children in the Fellowship Housing program. The following is an article submitted by Heather Corins of Fellowship Housing. Thanks to Heather for the article and the pictures!!

A Fellowship Housing mom and her children pose for a picture after receiving a turkey and Blue Bag from Food For Friends

It was a beautiful snowy Saturday and Fellowship Housing was blessed by Food for Friends by being able to give away 15 Thanksgiving meals to single moms and their children. Several of the moms were going to be cooking their first turkey ever. One of the moms that entered Fellowship Housing in June is planning on hosting her family at her apartment. We were also able to bless some of our graduated moms with a Thanksgiving meal and they were extremely grateful. We are so thankful for our partnership with Food for Friends and how they continue to bless and serve our moms.

Heather Corins
Fellowship Housing Program Director

Blue Bags Event at Christ Redeemer Church in Elgin

On November 176th, we partnered with  Christ Redeemer Church in Elgin on a Blue Bag event.  Volunteers assembled 120 Blue Bags, which were then distributed to needy families in surrounding communities.For pictures from this Blue Bag distribution event, see the November 17th Christ Redeemer photo album on Facebook!

On November 16, 2018 Food For Friends gave 70 Blue Bags to Christ Redeemer Church in Elgin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For one of the blue bag events we have supported this past week, Food For Friends partnered with volunteers from Christ Redeemer church in Elgin to assemble 120 Blue Bags with Turkeys.  This year children wrote Happy Thanksgiving cards which were included in the Blue Bags…. this will be a special message to those receiving the Blue Bags.

The blue bags were distributed on Saturday, Nov 17 to 120 families in Elgin, Hoffman Estates, St. Charles, and other nearby cities.

A special thanks to 1) Raul Villegas for coordinating the assembly of the blue bags, 2) Martin Cervantes for picking up and delivering the turkeys to various locations and 3) Ben Opsahl for participating in the distribution of blue bags.

70 of those Blue Bags were distributed by Christ Redeemer Church directly to local families in their Elgin community.   We would like to thank Pastor Eddie Rivera, Christ Redeemer Church (Iglesia Cristo Redentor) for submitting the following article, which provides some personal stories of families that benefit from the work we do at Food For Friends. For pictures from this Blue Bag distribution event, see the November 16th Christ Redeemer photo album on Facebook!

 

Hello Food for Friends!

Thanks again for another wonderful year event. Iglesia Cristo Redentor of Elgin was able to distribute 70 turkeys and groceries to local family plus the ones assembled by Iglesia Cristo Redentor of Elgin and taken by Food For Friends to other area ministries.

Once again volunteers were very excited and had a wonderful time putting together the 120 blue bags.

Here are some stories.

One family came to the Elgin area displased by natural disaster early in the year. Thanks to Food For Friends and Iglesia Cristo Redentor of Elgin they will have a little more to be thankful for this thanksgiving.

One neighbor had a stroke few month ago and his work hours were reduce to medical requirements of light duty. This thanksgiving they will not have to worry about putting food in the table.

Raul when to reach out to a family and learned their thanksgiving plans had broke due to unforeseen circumstances. The family did have had plans to celebrate thanksgiving this year, but by their own statement in tears, she said “We will be fine now thank you”

Thank you to all that participated in this project from Food for Friend board members and the volunteers that pick up the food.

Days like this today, seeing the smile of families blessed, is what keeps us going fulfilling our calling to serve other.

Attached are some pictures of the event showing the actual food delivery, some children making cards, and the Iglesia Cristo Redentor Elgin volunteers team with some families receiving  the Blue Bags bags.

Thank You!

Pastor Eddie Rivera
Iglesia Cristo Redentor Elgin

Editor’s note: For pictures from this Blue Bag distribution event, see the November 17th Christ Redeemer photo album on Facebook!

Recap: ATTCOM Blue Bag Event

Food for Friends provided 50 turkeys to ATTCOM ,  helping to provide Thanksgiving meals to families in desperate need in a very poverty-stricken and troubled area of the city, Engelwood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the help from your donations throughout the year, 50 families will be blessed this Thanksgiving with food they might not otherwise have had.    With these donations of Turkeys, we are doing a small part to bring families together on this holiday for a Thanksgiving meal.   A simple family meal can strengthen bonds among family members… and that can lead to positive changes in the lives of the next generation and change the course of direction for an entire neighborhood like Engelwood.

Thanks to all of you who “Pay It Forward”!

About ATTCOM   “All Things Through Christ Outreach Ministry” (ATTCOM)  was established as an outreach ministry in 1998 to offer free food and clothing to needy families and individuals in the West Englewood neighborhood of Chicago.  The beginnings of ATTCOM took shape the day its founder, Sam Ella McKenzie, answered a call from God to help those who are hungry, unemployed, and homeless. The community service organization’s presence has grown over the years, and now serves over 150 families each week.  See more at https://www.attcomcharities.org/

 

November 3, 2018 Mobile Food Pantry at The Chapel Church of Lake Zurich a Success!

On November 3 2018, Food For Friends sponsored beverages & a meal to be served at one of our Mobile Food Pantry serving events, hosted by The Chapel Church of Lake Zurich, IL, and supported by numerous Food For Friends volunteers.
The weather was crisp as the bite of winter began to take hold in the Chicagoland area, but the cloudy sky was replaced by the hope and security our guests received by way of the groceries provided.  Over 200 families attended the event, along with 75 spirited volunteers who made the day special through their enthusiasm and care for their neighbors.  It was especially wonderful to see so many high school students participating and leading our guests through out the day.
As part of the day, guests were invited into the auditorium to enjoy warm beverages and a light breakfast snack provided by Food For Friends. They also were able to do some shopping for clothes and toys that were donated by the generous members at The Chapel Lake Zurich.  During this time, our volunteers invested time to connect relationally with the guests, and with each other in hopes of building a stronger support network.  Once the truck arrived, guests were partnered with a leader to push the shopping cart around the Northern IL Food Bank truck and select their preferred groceries.  In all, 202 families received approximately 8,000 meals worth of food to help support the household size of 665.  Of those, there were 324 children supported.
Through our support of these Mobile Food Pantries, Food For Friends helps families take the money they would have spent on groceries and use it to pay other bills, like clothing, housing costs or utilities.  Volunteers left that day knowing they had helped to make a huge impact on the lives of others by providing more than just food.  Food For Friends is thankful for the support and partnership with The Chapel of Lake Zurich and the Northern Illinois Food Bank.  We continue to build on our relationship in finding new ways to bring hope and light into people’s lives through time spent in providing food to those in need.
Check out all the photos from this event on Facebook at our photo album 03Nov2018 – MFP at The Chapel Church of Lake Zurich

2018 Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday Serving Events

Hello Friends, 

We are less than six weeks away from the start of our biggest serving events, 2018 Thanksgiving & Christmas Serving.  This is our opportunity to ‘Pay It Forward’, Get Connected and Give Hope to those in need.  Here is your chance to CHANGE THINGS with your KINDNESS and INSPIRE CHANGE in others who see the good your doing.  Don’t miss out on the JOY serving others provides for you, and the people we serve.  

Our Upcoming Events

  • November 21, 2018 – Pacific Garden Mission Thanksgiving Dinner.   Please note, we have already filled ALL of our volunteer slots for this event!!  We invite you to look at our other wonderful serving opportunities.
  • November 22, 2018 – Elgin Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Elgin, IL    Please note, we have already filled ALL of our volunteer slots for this event!!  We invite you to look at our other wonderful serving opportunities.
  • November 22, 2018 – H.E.L.P.S. Thanksgiving Dinner, St. Charles, IL    –  Please note, we have already filled ALL of our volunteer slots for this event!!  We invite you to look at our other wonderful serving opportunities.
  • November 22, 2018 – Ewing Annex Hotel Thanksgiving Luncheon, Chicago, IL  –  Please note, we have already filled ALL of our volunteer slots for this event!!  We invite you to look at our other wonderful serving opportunities.
  • November 22, 2018 – West Cook YMCA Thanksgiving luncheon, Oak Park, IL     Please note, we have already filled ALL of our volunteer slots for this event!!  We invite you to look at our other wonderful serving opportunities.
  • December 15, 2018 – San Miguel Christmas Luncheon, Chicago, IL  – We are still looking for volunteers
  • December 15, 2018 – Ewing Annex Hotel Luncheon, Chicago, IL  Please note, we have already filled ALL of our volunteer slots for this event!!  We invite you to look at our other wonderful serving opportunities
  • December 15, 2018 – Elgin Community Christmas Dinner, Elgin  – We are still looking for volunteers

How to Volunteer:  Please respond via email, food_for_friends@hotmail.com, or use the sign-up genius link below to register.  We hope you will be able to join us for one of these wonderful serving opportunities. If you can only make it for part of the event, that is fine, just let us know what times you are available so we can plan.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0E4FA4AE28AAFD0-20182

It’s a very rewarding experience you and your family or friends will not want to miss!

If you cannot serve but would like to make a monetary donation, checks can be mailed to FOOD FOR FRIENDS, PO BOX 2423, Palatine Illinois 60078, or visit our website, www.foodforfriends.org and click on the “Donate” button!

Please help us Pay It Forward – Get Connected and Give Hope!

Thank you,

FOOD FOR FRIENDS

Note:  Food For Friends is an official 501(c)(3) Christian organization providing hands-on opportunities to feed the poor who are hungry in the Chicagoland area.

Sept. 22, 2018 – Serving Event Recap – Ewing Annext Hotel

Note:  On Saturday, September 22, 2018, Food For Friends once again partnered with Lee ‘n Eddies Catering to provide and serve a meal to the men staying at the Annex Hotel. The following article was sent in via email by Noah Lee. The Food For Friends Board would like to thank Noah for the great article and all the photos. We would also like to thank all the volunteers who served that day. To see all the photos from this event, go to our Facebook album for this event.

On Saturday, September 22 lunch was provided to about 100 men at Ewing Annex Hotel in Chicago, IL.

We had 6 volunteers representing FFF at this event: myself, my dad John, Helen Cossio, her daughter Gabby, Ed Currie, and Krista Kaplan.

Food For Friends volunteers staff the serving line at the Ewing Annex Hotel on September 22, 2018

We had a great time serving lunch to the men at the Annex Hotel, which consisted of fried chicken, mac and cheese, roasted potatoes, almond green beans, pasta, and hawaiian meatballs.  The fried chicken was a big hit and the men all had a nice time. 

The Ewing Annex Hotel provides affordable temporary housing for men in need.  Many of the men stay at local shelters most of the time and stay at the Annex when they can afford to do so.  The Annex, unlike most  shelters, gives the men their own room so they can enjoy some privacy. 

As usual, the men were very grateful for their meal and gracious to the FFF volunteers.  We have gotten to know some of the patrons at the Annex from our previous serving events and enjoyed seeing them and sharing some time with them.

Special Thanks to Food For Friends and cater, Lee’n Eddies!  

We look forward to serving again at the Annex Hotel in December.

 

Noah Lee

Food For Friends volunteer

Sept. 11, 2018 – 15th Annual Golf Outing Recap

Our 15th Annual Golf Outing fundraiser was once again a success!!!

We kicked off the event with our new theme slogan for the upcoming serving events:  Pay It Forward, Get Connected, Give Hope.

Dan Herzog addresses the golfers before the 15th annual golf fundraising event

 

We had 112 golfers that were blessed with beautiful day.  There was friendly competition on the course and lots of networking going on during the reception and dinner.

Golfers register prior to the start of the 15th Annual Food For Friends Golf Outing

A big THANK YOU!! is in order.  The fundraiser (our only one of the year) helped us raise just under $30,000 to help those in need right here in Chicago.  

We wish to thank all the generous sponsors, golfers and hard-working volunteers who gave their entire day for this cause. You truly did “Pay It Forward”!!

Some other organizations and individuals we would like to thank!

  • Bartlett Fire Department & VFW Post #11018
  • Jennifer Vanslow – National Anthem singer
  • Bartlett Hills Golf Course staff
  • Angelo Valdes – H.E.L.P.S Ministry
  • Pam Orr – Fellowship Housing
  • Barb Gaona  – Volunteer
  • Fellowship Housing and Pacific Garden Mission Speakers
  • Food For Friends golf committee:  Dan Herzog, John Opsahl, Ken Rasbid, Joan Richards, Martin Cervantes, and Christina Chacon.

If you are on Facebook, check out our photo album from the event at 11Sept2018 – Annual Golf Outing

We have already picked out a date for next year, so SAVE THE DATE: 16th Annual Food For Friends Golf Outing – Tuesday, September 17, 2019.  As we look to next year, we need to find a few more volunteers for our golf committee.  It does not take much time and we all have fun preparing and organizing the event.   Anyone interested in volunteering next year please email golf@foodforfriends.org

And remember… Pay It Forward, Get Connected, Give Hope.

Food For Friends Partners with City of Elgin in Kids Back to School BBQ Bash

On August 18, 2018 Food For Friends participated in a very large serving event in Elgin called Back to School BBQ Bash.

On August 18, 2018 from 12 to 5 pm, Food For Friends participate in a very large serving event in Elgin called Back to School BBQ Bash.  This event, which organizers hope to turn into an annual event, was sponsored by several partners. 

Food For Friends provided 12 volunteers and teamed up with Jeff Turner and Dream Foods, City of Elgin to serve Hot Dogs, chips and cookies to over 2000 people. More on our serving experience below.

It was a very warm humid typical August day and people from all backgrounds came to the Elgin Wing Park Pavilion for the event. There was face painting and balloon man entertainment for the kids. 

One draw for all the school children as a back pack give away.  More than 600 backpacks filled with school supplies were handed out courtesy of donations from House of Restoration, Aaron Cobb, state Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin, and Wells Fargo Bank.  Students came in droves for hours to get these backpacks

The excitement was all day long, with several groups providing entertainment at the band shell in front of the food truck.  The singers and dancers were of all ages including children from church groups singing, and different cultural groups singing and/or dancing for the crowds.  The list of groups performing included the Omega Funk Brotherz, Blue Tulip Wranglers, Covington Groove, Ballet Folklorico, Integrity Dance Studio, Elgin Children’s Theatre, Second Baptist Church’s Precious Praise and New Life Covenant Church Praise and Worship

For our part, Food For Friends donated 2500 Vienna hot dogs and Gonnella Baking donated the buns for the hot dogs.  The food line was amazin and continuous from over 3.5 hours at one point from 12 noon until 330 pm before slowing down.  There were a few other food vendors, including a group frying a small amount of fish filets..   All participants seemed to fully enjoy and stayed to eat and enjoy the last of the warm summer days before heading back to school next week.   Left overs went to Local food pantries and service organizations.   

To see all the pictures from this event, head over to Facebook and have a look at them at https://www.facebook.com/pg/FoodForFriendsChicago/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1750810488351123

July 14, 2018 – Mobile Food Pantry Recap – The Chapel of Lake Zurich

Note:  On July 14, 2018, Food For Friends sponsored a Mobile Food Pantry event at The Chapel Church, Lake Zurich, partnering with the Northern Illinois Food Bank. We sponsor these Food Pantry events a number of times throughout the year.  Thanks to Food For Friends Board Member Ken Rasbid for sending in the article below and you can see all the photos from the event on our Facebook Page via the photo album titled 2018-Jul 14 Chapel Church of Lake Zurich.

On July 14, 2018, Food For Friends sponsored a Mobile Food Pantry serving event with the Chapel Church of Lake Zurich, IL.
Through the both financial and volunteer support of Food For Friends, there were 149 families that received a week’s worth of much-needed groceries on July 14 at The Chapel Lake Zurich.

 

While rain clouds threatened to dampen the day, it became clear during the team huddle before the event began that this would be a special day.  Comprised of some first-time and many long-time volunteers, our support group that quickly came together and worked like team that had served together for years as they mobilized around final setup items to prepare for food distribution.

 

As our guests arrived, they were invited into the lobby with a warm welcome where they registered for the morning.  While they enjoyed a light breakfast of fresh fruit, baked goods, juice and coffee, our amazing volunteers took advantage of the time to connect relationally and provide encouragement, until their number was called to shop for groceries.

 

Other volunteers assisted in the experience, where they pushed the shopping cart and walked with our guests around the truck to select food that best met the nutriional requirements of their respective families.
149 families received a week’s worth of much-needed groceries on July 14 at The Chapel Lake Zurich.
Through our support of these Mobile Food Pantries, Food For Friends helps families take the money they would have spent on groceries and use it to pay other bills, like clothing, housing costs or utilities.  Volunteers left that day knowing they had helped to make a huge impact on the lives of others by providing hope to many in desperate need of a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Food For Friends is thankful for the support and partnership with The Chapel of Lake Zurich and the Northern Illinois Food Bank.  Combined we make for a great team and it is a tremendous honor to be in community with organizations who are focused on making a compelling difference in so many lives!

 

Note:  You can see all the photos from the event on our Facebook Page via the photo album titled 2018-Jul 14 Chapel Church of Lake Zurich.