a tree for Outreach

a blog post with a giving idea for Advent 2022

All Souls has a long-standing connection with Outreach, a local Christian organization, whose mission is to “transform lives and communities by creating opportunities where barriers exist; by loving our neighbors in word and deed; and by shining the light of hope on all peoples’ God-given potential.”

Outreach has a number of local ministries throughout the Western Suburbs. Over the years, All Souls has been involved with several of these ministries. One that’s close to home is Hawthorne House, a transitional living home for young women who were formerly homeless. All Souls parishioners, Doug & Sara Zimmerman, are the house parents at Hawthorne House. Along with other Outreach staff, Doug & Sara support the residents as they go to school or hold a job, as well as work on budgeting and planning for an independent future.

Another Outreach ministry that All Souls has connected with is Outreach Community Center (OCC) in Carol Stream. OCC offers after-school and summertime programming for kids. They have tutoring and college search support for middle schoolers and high schoolers. They support low income families in a number of ways, equipping them by creating opportunities.

The Outreach Christmas Store is a one-day event at OCC. This year, the Christmas Store will be held on Saturday, December 10. Nearly 1,000 children will receive gifts. For many kids, these will be the only Christmas gifts they receive, providing needed clothing, educational tools, and fun toys. Parents and grandparents are invited to select and purchase gifts at 50% – 75% off retail prices, meeting a need in a challenging season, while also offering the dignity of purchasing these items for their loved ones.

This year, All Souls Youth are leading our Souls on Mission effort by supporting Outreach. During Advent, you’ll notice a Christmas tree in the Narthex. We hope you’ll select an ornament from the tree. Each ornament has a gift suggestion on it. Some are for Hawthorne House residents. Others are for the Outreach Christmas Store.

Christmas Store gifts can be purchased and brought to All Souls by Sunday, December 4. Hawthorne House gifts can be brought to church on Tuesday, December 6 for our celebration of the Feast of St. Nicholas. If you have questions or the delivery times don’t quite work for you, please contact Fr. Rob Lewis to make other arrangements.