Christ The Savior
Orthodox Christian Church—Chicago, IL
Diocese of the Midwest, Orthodox Church in America
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Thanksgiving Dinner in Little Village

Dear Christ the Savior Parish Family

Thank you all for your prayers and support of the 5th Little Village Thanksgiving Meal. We are thankful for the generous offering of prayer, financial support, and volunteer time during a week when many have to travel, accommodate their own family, and coordinate hospitality. Your personal and familial sacrifice is much appreciated.

Each year our Little Village Thanksgiving year has grown and changed in different ways. With Father John’s blessing and the approval of our parish council, this year’s Thanksgiving was held in a different location less than 1.5 miles from our previous location. We continued our partnership with Padres Angeles (Parent Angels), a local group of mothers that support families impacted by community violence, in addition to Father Tom Boharic (a local Catholic priest). In addition, this year we expanded to collaborate with Kolbe House, a ministry housed out of Assumption Catholic Church, that supports inmates housed at Cook County Jail and families of the incarcerated living in Chicago.

Not including volunteers, we served meals to 127 people. 100% of the families who attended had either lost a child to violence or have a loved one incarcerated. Even though the event this year was smaller than in previous years, we reached a group of people who often feel isolated and deeply depressed during the holiday season and frequently scorned by the rest of society. If you can imagine when you sat down to eat Thanksgiving, setting one less plate this year. Our meal connected people and created a sense of community at such a time. For many, this is the only Thanksgiving meal they eat. In our previous years as we grew the event larger and larger at St. Agnes, this intentional focus of engaging the most marginalized was somewhat lost.

The professionalism and humble servitude of the volunteers made a deep impression on the attendees and our local partners. We learned a lot in coordinating the event this year and are always interested in learning how we can improve for future years. Your thoughts and input is very welcome—feel free to email Father John or us.

Thank you again everyone for your generosity!

In Christ
Eddie and Kathryn Bocanegra

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