Churches offer holiday assistance to those in need
Last updated 11/26/2019 at 4:07pm | View PDF
HCS Family Services' annual turkey dinner distribution might be one of the most well-known Thanksgiving outreach efforts in Hinsdale, but it's certainly not the only one.
Several churches also are involved in helping those in need this season.
Families at Hinsdale United Methodist Church packed up 25 boxes of food and 25 hams Saturday to bring to the Olivet United Methodist Church in the West Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago.
The relationship with the Chicago church began about 10 years ago, said HUMC member Dan Irwin, who is involved in this ministry.
"Chicago is a city that has a lot of problems and West Garfield Park in particular has a lot of problems and the people of that church - many of whom have moved away but still attend that church and still serve that neighborhood - want to be able to provide for the people to have an enjoyable holiday.
"That means a lot for me to do that."
The ministry has grown over the years, and now HUMC members deliver food boxes three times a year (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter), purchase warm clothes for kids at Christmas and donate school supplies before classes begin. Irwin's wife, Bobbie, made blankets and helped collect more than 100 items - including winter coats - for a new warming ministry this year.
"It's really rewarding," Irwin said.
At Union Church of Hinsdale, a special Thanksgiving offering will support The Night Ministry, said the Rev. Michael Solberg, senior pastor.
The organization "provides food and other services as a way to get people who are chronically homeless in Chicago to be more open to transformative care," he wrote in an email. "We have supported them for many years."
Other churches are offering support between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Many parishioners at Grace Episcopal Church are making extra turkeys for clients of the Trinity Soup Kitchen in Aurora, said Allison Peters, communications director.
"We are on a rotating schedule of churches who serve there and that's our next date, so we're asking people to start preparing them now," she wrote in an email.
Covenant Church of Hinsdale is busy collecting blankets for its annual blanket drive.
New or used blankets of any kind - lap throws, baby blankets, spreads sheets and towels - will be collected and then passed on to needy families in the inner city on Christmas Eve.
Donations may be left inside the main entrance at 412 S. Garfield Ave. by Sunday, Dec. 8.