Women at Fourth
   Annual Projects and Programs

Our name communicates our mission to connect with God, with each other, and with our wider community. It reminds us that we are a community of women who care for and nurture each other, deepening relationships with one another and with God through ongoing programming and special events.


Annual Programs
Timeframes listed are for the most active phase of the project; many of these have significant planning that starts one to two months in advance of the active phase.


Back-to-School Supply Drive
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Christmas Wishes Gift Project
Cocoa and Cookies Advent Reception
Women’s Winter Retreat
Hygiene Kit Collection
Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month


June–August: Back-to-School Supply Drive
Women at Fourth, in conjunction with the Mission Committee, coordinates this donation drive for students whose families have difficulty buying the necessary tools for learning. Join in the fun of collecting and distributing school supplies for youth connected with the Chicago Lights Tutoring and Urban Farm programs and select community organizations.

Coordinators are responsible, along with staff person Anne Ellis, for managing organization of this project. Coordinating roles include: shoppers/sales, inventory, packing days, distribution days, publicity, and Sunday Coffee Hours.

Volunteers are needed to staff the Coffee Hour table collecting supplies, sort and inventory supplies during the week, pack backpacks and boxes for the various programs/agencies, and staff the distribution days at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm.

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October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month
In October, Fourth Church renews its commitment to raise awareness of and prevent ongoing domestic violence. Women at Fourth participates in this observance by distributing information, providing support, and attending the annual candlelight vigil on Oak Street Beach.

People interested in working on events connected with Domestic Violence Awareness Month should be in touch with Anne Ellis (312.573.3369).

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October–December: Christmas Wishes Gift Project
This project provides gifts to 800 children and youth who might not otherwise receive a present during the holiday season. Women at Fourth helps collect donations, hosts gift-wrapping parties, and distributes gifts to kids connected with the Chicago Lights Tutoring program as well as community organizations.

Coordinators are responsible, along with staff person Anne Ellis, for managing organization of this project and publicity/marketing. Coordinating roles include: Sunday Coffee Hours, inventory, wrapping party, and Tutoring party days.

Volunteers are needed to distribute lists at Coffee Hour, collect gifts at Coffee Hour, sort through gifts and reconcile them against the original requests, enter data, shop for gifts as needed, and wrap gifts for distribution.

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December: Cocoa and Cookies Advent Reception
Each year following the Festival of Advent Lessons and Music, Women at Fourth hosts this well-loved reception, serving hot cocoa and providing homemade cookies.

The Chair is responsible, along with staff person Anne Ellis, for managing organization of this project and publicity/marketing. The Chair also oversees the different tasks on the day of the event.

Volunteers are needed to bake cookies, make cocoa and whip cream, set up Anderson Hall, serve the cocoa and whipped cream, restock cookie trays, and clean up Anderson Hall.

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Jan–Feb: Women’s Winter Retreat
This winter retreat provides opportunity for women at Fourth Church to deepen their spiritual life and to connect with other women. Participants enjoy a weekend retreat that features guest speakers, time for reflection, fellowship, and worship at Fourth Church.

The Planning Team is responsible, along with Anne Ellis and Nanette Sawyer, for choosing a theme and a speaker, determining the agenda and final worship service, and managing organization and publicity.

Volunteers are needed for registration and hosting fellowship tables.

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April–May: Hygiene Kit Collection
Hygiene kits are assembled for distribution to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

Coordinators are responsible, along with staff person Anne Ellis, for managing organization of this project and publicity/marketing. Coordinating roles include: Sunday Coffee Hours, shopping, and packing days.

Volunteers are needed for kit assembly and Coffee Hour tables.

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April: Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month
Women at Fourth partners with local and state organizations in the churchwide observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. Volunteers bear witness to the issue of child abuse by participating in a press conference, a prayer service, and tying blue bows to the trees along Michigan Avenue. In addition, members of Fourth Church typically host a presentation on some aspect of child abuse prevention during the month.

Volunteers are needed to assist with handing out bows on Blue Bow Sunday (the Sunday before the prayer service), tying bows on Blue Bow Day, making snacks for Blue Bow Day, hosting tables at the presentation reception, and removing bows at the end of the month.

For more information, please click here.

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In addition, Women at Fourth sends out notice of other service projects and fellowship programs throughout the year and encourages its membership to attend.