Free Hot Dogs, Shampoo, Notebooks, and Prayer
On a recent Sunday afternoon, a Salvation Army canteen parked in front of the Evanston Corps Community Center, where officers served hot dogs and hamburgers, and gave out items such as shampoo and notebooks. Driving by, it would have been easy to miss the significance of what was happening here: a community helping its own.
Knowing that the financial hardships from the pandemic still linger, officers at the Evanston corps spent weeks gathering personal care items and school supplies, all donated by members of the community. In the end, they collected more than 700 hygiene items and 400 school supplies.
“We would especially like to thank our community members for coming on board and helping us help our neighbors in need with some essential items in this difficult season,” said Lieutenant Macy Gantner, Corps Officer for Congregational Life at the Evanston corps.
On September 19, she and Captain Christina Champlin invited anyone living in Evanston to stop by the corps, grab some lunch, and help themselves to shampoo and toothpaste, pencils and notebooks, calling it their Helping Our Community distribution. There was also a bouncy house for the kids and a sign offering “free prayer.”
The officers, as well as the soldiers (church members) and advisory council members who helped at the event, were delighted when 26 families, representing more than 80 individuals, attended. In addition to expressing gratitude for the items, many attendees voiced interest in learning more about the youth programming, church services, and other assistance available at the corps.
“We were excited to share these items and let our community know we are here for them,” said Captain Christina Champlin, Corps Officer at the Evanston Corps. “And we look forward to continuing to find new ways to serve."