Building bridges in Chicago, USA13 April 2013
We gathered at 2525 West 71st street, at the Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center, on Chicago’s south side. From 7am to 9am, the Youth for a United World and members of Mosque Cares (adults and youth) worked together to pack 150 lunches, ‘survival kits’ (toiletries), and sort men/women’s clothing to distribute to homeless Chicago residents. At 9am we departed in 5 vehicles and visited Pacific Garden Mission (Chicago’s largest overnight shelter) and Chicago Department of Human Services at 10 S. Kedzie to meet those seeking emergency shelter and interim housing. One vehicle also visited a women’s shelter on the city’s west side. The afternoon was fruitful, not only because we reached several dozens of homeless Chicagoans, but because our focus was on building relationships. New relationships began with those that gave and those that received, but also among us that came together to serve the poor. Many thank you’s, smiles, and handshakes were exchanged with our new brothers and sisters – a reciprocation of the basic needs like food, clothing, water, and personal hygiene products. In the end, it clearly wasn’t a charity project, but the cultivation of joy, community and growth of the human family. Join us again this summer!