Interested in learning about new opportunities to help others? You can volunteer for an ongoing effort or get a taste of trying something new.
Housing Forward Hotel to Home kits assembly, through late August. Housing Forward needs volunteers to sort household items into 110 Hotel to Home kits. The agency has been housing clients in hotels during the COVID-19 pandemic instead of having them stay in emergency shelters. Now it is moving 110 men, women, and families from hotels into apartments. Thanks to so many at First United who purchased items or donated money for five complete kits in moving Housing Forward clients into their permanent homes! Housing Forward seeks volunteers to sort items on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Oak Park Temple, 1235 N. Harlem Ave. There are two shifts: 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. To sign up as a Hotel to Home kit volunteer, contact Enid Johnson, Housing Forward volunteer and community outreach manager, at email@example.com. And you might be interested in a news story about Housing Forward and its Hotel to Home project that ran on WGN News.
Gun violence prevention Zoom webinar, Aug. 19. The group God Before Guns will sponsor the next in its series of “courageous conversations” to discuss alternatives to firearms for personal defense. After the 2013 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., gun violence prevention activist Lori O’Neill co-founded Alternative Defense Strategies LLC, a nonprofit education and advocacy group. She and several family members developed and patented a non-lethal violence response product, Safe Zone CM, for schools, faith organizations, and businesses. “Activism to Invention” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19. You can register at this link. Previous conversations are available at this link.
Community Renewal Society Adult Education Series, Aug. 20. The Community Renewal Society is offering free Zoom webinars and teach-ins, some in conjunction with McCormick Theological Seminary. A teach-in on the proposed Pretrial Fairness Act will be 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20. You can register at this link.
Fourth Sunday Offering, Aug. 23. Each month, all undesignated money in the offering plate goes to a specific beneficiary supported by First United, often one of our mission partners. This month’s Fourth Sunday Offering on Aug. 23 will benefit the emergency shelter program run by Housing Forward. Normally, this PADS program would be a rotating emergency shelter at different churches or synagogues. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, homeless clients have been staying in local hotels and are being moved to apartments. But the interim hotel housing program needs to continue for clients as they enroll in homeless services. Funding the hotel placements has been expensive, and your donations will help Housing Forward with those expenses.
NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, church is being streamed at 11 a.m. Sundays instead of being held in the Sanctuary. Giving online and marking the donation for the Fourth Sunday Offering, texting FIRSTUNITED to 73256, or mailing checks to First United can take the place of the in-person Fourth Sunday Offering, at least for now.