Our speaker last night, Bill Curry from Breakthrough, was really interesting. The program has a number of components, from mentoring youth to working with women in crisis (whether those involved in drugs, prostitution, abusive relationships, or other crises) to working with men who are currently homeless. Bill and his family decided to live in the neighborhood where they work—right here in East Garfield Park. They’ve been building community with a really diverse group of people for several years now, and they love it. It was interesting and inspiring to hear him talk about his life and work here.
Today two of our groups went places where other teams had been before: Club Learn and the Gads Hill preschool. At Club Learn we played jumprope and tag and super heroes, we helped kids learn their alphabet and practice reading, made an octopus craft out of coffee filters and tissue paper, and watched the Little Rascals. It was quite a day—and it was hot, too! I haven’t heard yet from the group at Gads Hill preschool, but I suspect they spent time playing with kids!
Our third group (Scott’s team) spent the morning exploring Chinatown and trying new foods—bubble tea smoothies and squid! In the afternoon, they went to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, where they beat the record for the amount of Cheerios repackaged (they come in huge boxes and the volunteers scoop them into 1-pound boxes/bags to be given away to hungry people). They worked hard and fast!
Tonight we have some free time so we are headed to Millennium Park, where we will hear the Grant Park Orchestra perform Beethoven’s 7th symphony while we eat a picnic from Cosi, and then we’ll watch the fireworks from Navy Pier before coming back to the church for another night of sleeping on the floor! Tomorrow we have groups scheduled at St. Vincent’s (the big warehouse for the thrift stores), Cornerstone (a family shelter), and Open Lands (an urban garden). Should be a great day!