Thursday, November 24, 2011

What are you grateful for?

On Thanksgiving, people around the country gather around tables filled with turkey, sweet potatoes, pie and more.  Many people take this as an opportunity to reflect on and share some of the many things that they are grateful for.  Here at LPCS, some of our guests have already been reflecting.  We recently asked guests "What are you grateful for?"  Both simple and complex things made the list: The sun.  Health. Family.  LPCS.  Here is a sampling of the responses we received:  

"For the volunteers that bring their smiles."
"Strangers who have become friends."
"That my daughter continues to tell me she loves me."
"Being able to help other people."
"The help being offered from so many people that support homeless people."
"A chance to go back to work and get a place of my own again."

The staff at LPCS is grateful for a supportive community of friends, neighbors, and volunteers who have given their time and resources to ensure that the Lincoln Park Community Shelter continues to help men and women make the life changes necessary to move from homelessness to a home of their own.  From everyone here, thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thank you volunteers!

On Thursday, November 3rd, the Lincoln Park Community Shelter opened its doors even wider than usual to accommodate guests, staff, and volunteers for our annual Volunteer Appreciation event. By all standards, the event was a HUGE success. Hosted by the Graduate Council, the evening featured a wonderful Mediterranean meal, complete with Falafel, home-made Greek Salad, Sautéed Vegetables, Spanikopita, and Greek Chicken. All attendees agreed that the food was delicious! The standout for the evening though was definitely the Cornucopia Cake created by one of the guests. Beautiful AND delicious, what could be better?

Towards the end of evening, we handed out awards to several volunteers who have gone above and beyond in the past year.  Award recipients were voted on by the guests.    The Mission Award, given in recognition of a “hands on” volunteer who has demonstrated a commitment to furthering the mission of LPCS by his/her direct volunteer service with guests, was given to Brad & Karin, a couple who have been serving meals here for over 10 years--most of that time just the two of them! They truly know how to run a kitchen. The Vision Award, given in recognition of a “behind the scenes” volunteer who, through his/her continued active support of LPCS, has furthered the broader vision of LPCS, was awarded to Joel, the leader of our Tech Team, an active Track Activity volunteer, and good friend to guests and staff. Joel has spent countless hours helping maintain our wonderful computer lab, as well as staff computers. We very literally would not be functioning without him and his hard work! The final award of the evening was the Community Partnership Award. Given in recognition of an organization or institution that fosters community and support for LPCS and its mission through collaboration with LPCS, this year’s award went to the ChicagoPhotography Center.  The CPC has been helping many of our guests and grads develop their photography skills, the importance of which can hardly be put into words. This creative outlet has given many people a new passion. This January, for the third time, CPC is hosting a photography exhibition of guest and Graduate work.   Stay tuned for more information!  

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend and help make it such a special evening! We look forward to the next opportunity to spend time with this incredibly supportive community. We could not do what we do without each and every one of you. Thank you to all of our volunteers!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Remembrance

As a Volunteer Manager, I get the joy of getting to know many wonderful people who give their time and energy to LPCS. Sometimes though, my job can be sad as well. Earlier this month we learned that one of LPCS’ long time volunteers had passed away. Jo Ann Bogdanor Hurd Reynolds, aged 71, died October 4 of complications from ovarian cancer. JoAnn had been an LPCS volunteer for many years.

I attended the memorial service for JoAnn that was held on October 29th at Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church. There were about 100 people in attendance from all walks of JoAnn’s life. Knowing only JoAnn the volunteer, it was touching to hear stories from some of her family and close friends. They told of a woman who was known as feisty, determined, very generous, and always well dressed. At LPCS, we knew the generous JoAnn. She helped prepare dinner and sack lunches with members of her church, Lincoln Park Presbyterian. And each month for many years, JoAnn would serve as an overnight volunteer, providing supervision to the 35 guests of the Lincoln Park Community Shelter. Guests appreciated her attention to detail and no-nonsense approach, and she was consistently voted one of their favorite overnight volunteers!

Jo Ann was born in St Louis. She graduated from Ferguson High School and the University of Missouri with a BA in History, and did graduate work at the University of Illinois. She was a member of Alpha Phi sorority. She moved to Chicago where she began a long and valued career at IBM, working at branches in Chicago and Houston and at headquarters in White Plains, NY. She was an elder and choir member at Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church in Chicago, and at Presbyterian churches in Houston and Fairfield, CT.
In honor of JoAnn’s giving spirit, the family requested that in lieu of flowers gifts be made to Lincoln Park Community Shelter, Sarah's Circle, or to any other of the many charities with which she was active. JoAnn is survived by her husband David; brothers John and James; children John, Judith, Susan and Rachel; and grandchildren David, George and Connor.

Thank you for all that you did for LPCS, JoAnn. You will be missed.

--Heather Pressman, Community Relations Manager

JoAnn Reynolds

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What A Night!

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s A Taste of Fall event! As they listened to the acoustic sounds of the Tony Bondi Project, guests tasted the night away, experiencing a variety of yummy treats and cocktails generously donated by our vendors. Staff from Gejas Café, located in Lincoln Park, served up the sweet and the savory with their chocolate and cheese fondues; the lentil soup from Nesh Mediterranean Grill was a huge hit and Death’s Door Spirits brought in the tastes of the season with their autumn themed gin and vodka cocktails. Meanwhile, our VIP guests enjoyed a fun craft cocktail demonstration by Michael Killmer of Templeton Rye. A few bidding wars broke out on some of our amazing silent auction items, including a Chicago Hawks jersey, signed by Duncan Keith. Thank you to everyone who helped raise nearly $17,000 to benefit the Lincoln Park Community Shelter!

A special thanks to all of our in-kind and financial sponsors who made this fantastic night possible!


Bob and Mary DeCresce



Agave Loco Brands
Death’s Door Spirits
Goose Island Brewery
Templeton Rye

Austrian Bakery and Deli
Basil Leaf Café
Geja’s Café
Getta Polpetta
J. Alexanders
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine

The Tony Bondi Project

International Label and Printing Co., Inc.

Paul Saini

Daniel Stober