Christmas came early for day laborers receiving much-needed winter clothing on Saturday, December 7, 2019. Thank you to all the seminarians, staff and professors at Mundelein Seminary and parishioners at Santa Maria del Popolo (and their Cub Pack 295), St. Joseph’s (Libertyville) and St. Mary of Vernon who generously donated clothes and money and helped sort, bag and distribute clothes to the poor.
Among the many helped were:
Jose, from Honduras, who is 38 years old with a wife and two grade-school children. His foot is not healing well from a fall and he cannot work because he cannot stand for long periods. His wife cleans houses to pay rent and make ends meet.
Another, lives in a basement with a futon, small refrigerator and hot plate so he can send money home to his mother in El Salvador for medical expenses. He can only get work 2-3 days per week, so, there is no money left to buy warm clothes.
Luis, from Mexico, does gardening work with a landscaping company, but is laid off in winter. He then must find work as a day laborer to support his family.
Jose, from El Salvador, is homeless, sometimes pooling money with other day laborers to rent a cheap motel room to survive the cold night, but this is not always possible.
Seminarians served with Northside Latin Progress, which assists day laborers in Chicago’s Avondale, Logan Square and Hermosa neighborhoods. Churches and their parishioners near these men have a little more than the men.
Eighty-four huge bags of clothing were collected and sorted by 20 seminarians. Three completely full cars provided winter clothing for 70 men. Additionally, two full cars brought clothes to the Franciscans of the Eucharist at Our Lady of Angels for the poor in West Humboldt Park. Finally, two more carloads will go to the homeless on Lower Wacker Drive in December and January. In total, about 175 men, women and children will receive critically needed clothing.
Thank you to all who contributed their time and generously donated clothes and money to our brothers and sisters in need.