This year Christ the Savior supported two vital ministries in Little Village, a community situated on the southwest side of Chicago.
On Thanksgiving Christ the Savior supported the 3rd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. This dinner is organized in partnership with the YMCA Youth Safety and Violence Prevention (YSVP) team in addition to Padres Angeles. Eddie Bocanegra is the Executive Director of YMCA's YSVP, Chicago's premier violence prevention program working in some of the most difficult neighborhoods on the west side and south side. Padres Angeles is a parent organizing group in Little Village founded by Doris Hernandez with the support of Kathryn Bocanegra following the tragic loss of Doris' son Freddy due to community violence. Padres Angeles organizes community events to support families and promote peace in Little Village.
Over 275 individuals were served an elegant Thanksgiving meal generously donated and prepared by Chris the Savior volunteers. The families who attended the meal were invited on behalf of program participation based on a personal experience of community violence. The evening began with the Akathist of Thanksgiving in Spanish lead by Father John Baker and Deacon Theophan. Following the prayer parish volunteers helped serve the meal. An entire table was dedicated to family crafts engaging children and their parents. A local professional dance group performed Mexican folkloric dance while dessert was served. At the conclusion of the evening parish volunteers and families joined together for board games.
There were many generous volunteers who supported the success of the event. Christ the Savior families even rearranged their holiday plans in order to be able to support the meal. The Thanksgiving meal allowed for a wholesome family gathering that might not otherwise have been possible for many community residents