The City of Chicago has occupied rooms for more than 350 asylum seekers at the Selena Hotel, located immediately next door to Fourth Church. Chicago Lights Social Service Center and Fourth Church Meals Ministry are providing services to those who come to the Center and our meals programs.
To support that work, assistance is needed with the following:
Volunteer Spanish-speaking translators are needed Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to assist the Social Service Center in their work with our new neighbors.
Translator tasks, which take place at Fourth Church, include assisting with registration, helping in the Food Pantry and Clothing Shop, and speaking with families to assist with resource distribution.
If you can help, please sign up on our Volunteer Ministry platform, VOMO.
We are very much in need of new or gently used adult clothing, men’s and women’s, both for our new neighbors and for the guests with whom we regularly work.
Donations can be dropped off at the church reception desk between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Sundays through Fridays.
Items can also be purchased and shipped directly from the Social Service Center’s Amazon Wishlist.
Clothes Donation Processors
As the Social Service Center continues to receive donations of adult clothing for guests of the Center, staff needs assistance in processing clothing donations to make those ready and accessible for our guests.
Meals Ministry Volunteers
Volunteers are needed to assist Fourth Church Meals Ministry in preparing and serving meals for our neighbors who are hungry and food insecure.
To learn more or explore the various Meals Ministry volunteer needs, see our Volunteer Ministry platform, VOMO.
Food for Meals Ministry
Fourth Church Meals Ministry welcomes the donation of food items to support the Bag Lunch, Sunday Night Supper, and Monday Night Supper programs.
We cannot currently receive donations dropped off by individuals. Instead, we ask that preferred items be ordered online (referencing the lists posted with one of the following vendors) and have the items shipped directly from the distributor to the church (126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago, IL 60611): Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Costco.
LETTER TO THE CONGREGATION
January 18, 2023
If you have been around the Fourth Church campus in recent days, you may be aware that migrant families from Central and South America — comprising approximately 370 individuals — are currently being offered a place to stay next door to Fourth Church on Chestnut at the former Tremont Hotel (which housed Ditka’s restaurant on the first two floors). They have arrived in the last several days on buses from Texas.
While these families find a place in our city, we are already helping address some immediate needs. In particular, the Social Service Center and Fourth Church Meals Ministry are working with these families to provide them with food and clothing assistance.
To aid in this work, we very much need individuals who speak Spanish to assist with translation. If you can help with translation or know someone who could, please contact Theresa Thornburg, Director of the Social Service Center.
As a church and Chicago Lights we are also in conversation with partners around the city, working to identify ways that we can join together to coordinate and supplement, while avoiding duplicating, efforts to welcome these families, coordinate access to schooling, employment, housing, and more.
As we determine specific ways in which we as a congregation will continue to partner in these welcoming efforts, we will let you know. In the meantime, please join me in holding in prayer these new neighbors in their time of transition, as their long journey brings them to Chicago to seek more secure, safe, and stable lives for their families.
Shannon J. Kershner, Pastor