Category Archives: News

Thank you Chi-Town Jazz Festival and Founder John Moulder!

Thank you Chi-Town Jazz Festival and Founder John Moulder!

We are so grateful to John Moulder and the Chi-Town Jazz Festival for your generous support of Care for Real. It’s an honor to be a beneficiary of the festival. Your contribution will help us continue to provide the highest level of free programs and services to our neighbors in need.

Chicago Uptown Lions Club supports CFR Annual School Drive

Chicago Uptown Lions Club supports CFR Annual School Drive

Care for Real sends out a big thanks to President Tim and all our friends and supporters at Chicago Uptown Lions Club for collecting over $500 to help us with our Annual School Drive. Executive Director, Lyle Allen, joined the group at their monthly meeting at Francesca’s Bryn Mawr where they presented us with their generous contribution!

  • lionsclub



Care For Real Sets June Food Assistance Record, Cash Donations Critically Needed

Care For Real Sets June Food Assistance Record, Cash Donations Critically Needed

Edgeville Buzz

It was a record-setting June this year for Edgewater’s food pantry, Care For Real at 5339 N. Sheridan Ave. Not only did they provide 125,000 lbs. of food to more than 5,389 folks in 2,947 households last month, they also distributed more than 11,000 articles of clothing.


Established in 1970 by Rev. William Johnson of the Epsicopal Church of the Atonement, Rabbi Herman Schaalman of Emanuel Congregation and other members of the Edgewater Clerical Rabbinical Association, Care For Real has since grown to be one of Chicago’s largest food and clothing distributors to those in need. In 2007, they were serving approximately 10,000 people annually. However, after our country’s financial collapse, they have seen their numbers steadily grow and expect to serve 100,000 by the end of 2016.

According to Lyle Allen, Executive Director of Care For Real, the June increase in the number of people needing assistance has many reasons. He said, “Seniors have experienced cuts in a number of programs. Families are turning to us because kids are out of class for the summer and many children count on the two meals they receive when schools are in session.  Basic costs of living and running a household are on the rise. And so many social service agencies are closing their doors or eliminating staff and programs causing a real struggle for us as we try our best to keep up with what has become a daunting time for our own organization.”

Though food and clothing drives have been successful for the organization – cash, corporate and foundation donations have sharply decreased. The reality is, the much needed financial donations are crucial to the organization’s survival as they continue to survive on a shoe string budget.

Allen explained, “While we are grateful for food and clothing donations, we also need financial contributions in order to operate. Day to day operations are overseen by a team of four and a few hard working individuals in the back that see we keep up with the labor intensive and other grueling requirements associated with running our food distribution programs.  We need cash donations. And we need them now.”

Even though these crucial funds have dwindled, Care For Real still provides the assistance so many of our neighbors need. The work is emotional, physical and non-stop, but the team at the organization keep the less fortunate in the community hopeful with every food and clothing distribution.

“The love we receive from our community is astonishing.  We really are a family coming together in these turbulent times to feed our community with compassion and commitment”, said Allen. “Sometimes you wonder about your life path and where things are taking you. I’m lucky that I found my way to Care for Real.”

Care for Real accepts donations online at

Contributions can also be mailed to:
Care for Real
5339 North Sheridan Rd.
Chicago, IL 60640
Attn: Lyle Allen

Allen can be reached by email at or by phone 773-769-6182.


A Community Comes Together with Love: Care for Real Distributes Special Baskets for Eid


A Community Comes Together with Love: Care for Real Distributes Special Baskets for Eid

July 6, 2016 is Eid al-Fitr, the “festival of the breaking of the fast” and celebrates the end of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims worldwide.  It is marked by generosity and hospitality.    But for those of limited resources, Eid can be a bittersweet time for they don’t have the ability to buy – and share – the foods that are traditional for the holiday.


For the 15th year, Care for Real, Edgewater’s food pantry and one of the largest pantries in the Chicago area, will celebrate Eid by distributing special food baskets to its Muslim clients on Thursday, June 30.  Some 80 families are expected to receive baskets of halal meats, flour, sugar, vegetable and canola oil, milk, couscous, yogurt, honey, walnuts, sliced almonds, dates, pine nuts and fresh fruits and vegetables this year.

“At Care for Real, we want to provide our clients with more than the basics, to help them celebrate those events that are important to them,” explained Lyle Allen, executive director.   “The Eid distribution is a wonderful coming together of Care for Real and the Muslim community that is so rich a part of our neighborhood.  In these divisive times, we think this is more important than ever.”


Call Bar hosts CFR fundraiser, June 18, 9:30pm

Call Bar hosts CFR fundraiser, June 18, 9:30pm

Ashley Morgan presents ‘Queen’s Choice – A Drag Review’ benefiting Care For Real.

When: Saturday June 18th. Seating 9:30, show to follow
Where: The Call in Andersonville

Join Ashley and The Call Girls for a night of theatrical drag entertainment! The cast will be performing numbers suggested by their fellow cast members. You’re not gonna want to miss this!!

Your donation at the door goes completely to Care For Real along with the proceeds of the shots sold during the show by our shot seller!!

So come out to The Call, help us raise funds for a WONDERFUL cause, enjoy a GREAT show, and then dance the night away on Andersonville’s LARGEST dance floor!

31st Annual Hunger Walk Registration Now Open

31st Annual Hunger Walk Registration Now Open

Please join Care for Real at the 31st Annual Hunger Walk on June 25, 2016. The walk will be at Jackson Park, 6401 S Stony Island Ave, this year. If you want to walk for Care for Real you can go to and click on the orange ‘Register to Walk’ button. The walk is 100% free as long as you use the Promo Code: A00022. You can click on Enter Promotional Code and put in the code there. The Greater Chicago Food Depository will donate $12 credit to Care for Real for every walk registered, so get your team together! You can register up to 10 people at a time. If you can’t make it to the walk, but still want to help you can click on the blue ‘Donate to this Fundraiser’ button instead.

Registration opens at 7:00am with the walk starting at 8:30am. Please remember to register online in advance of June 25 and bring the ticket with you on the morning of the event. If you forget your ticket you will be asked to complete another registration form on-site.
If you have any other questions or want to donate to Care for Real, please visit our Hunger Walk page.:


22nd Annual Edgewater Neighborhood Garage Sale Saturday, June 4, 9:00am-4:00pm

22nd Annual Edgewater Neighborhood Garage Sale Saturday, June 4, 9:00am-4:00pm


EPIC 2016



The 22nd annual Edgewater Neighborhood Yard Sale sponsored by a record number of eight block clubs will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 pm. Saturday, June 4, no rain date.  Boundaries:  Foster to Devon on the south and north and Clark and Sheridan on the west and east.   Over 200 households are expected to participate in the annual community-wide undertaking which has evolved into an Edgewater tradition.

Locations are in garages and front, side and rear yards and maps of all locations will be distributed at participating households day of the sale and also will be posted online.  To accommodate those who drive to Edgewater for the annual sale, St. Andrews Greek Orthodox Church is providing free parking at its Hollywood/Sheridan lot.

For the second year, Special Services Area 26 (SSA), managed by the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, will organize sidewalk sales on the Broadway corridor and the intersecting business districts of Devon, Granville, Thorndale, Bryn Mawr and Berwyn.

Yard Sale deals will be offered by theatre companies, antique stores, health and wellness businesses and additional retailers.  A list of participants also will be distributed to browsers and buyers the day of the sale.

Four group sites are available to participants who are unable to sell where they live.  They are the Barr Funeral Home parking lot at 1228 Granville; parking lot at 6044 N. Winthrop; Church of Atonement at 5749 N. Kenmore and Swift School at 5900 Winthrop.

For links to register for the sale, e-mail

A record number of 12 non-profit organizations are participating in the sale this year.  They are and their locations:

Berger Park Advisory Council, 6205 N. Sheridan

Care for Real, 1254 W. Elmdale

Check Your Ability, 1228 Granville

Chicago Friends School, 5944 Magnolia

Chicago Police Department 24th District CAPS program, 1242 W. Elmdale

Families Together Cooperative Nursery School, Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1500 W. Elmdale

Granville United Methodist Church, 1307 W. Granville

St. Gertrude’s Church, 6200 N. Glenwood.

Swift School Parents Advisory Council, Pivot Arts, Rivendell Theatre, 5900 N. Winthrop

Here are special activities planned by non-profit participants:

  • Check Your Ability, an organization for the disabled, will sell handmade totes.
  • Chicago Friends School will offer a petting zoo from 1 to 3 p.m. and sell homemade bakery goods, proceeds going to Heartland Alliance for refugee services.
  • Pivot Arts will culminate a week-long festival with a 1:30 p.m. parade on Winthrop between Thorndale and Ardmore and performances on the Swift School playground from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
  • St. Gertrude’s youth group will sell hot dogs and chips from 1 to 3 p.m. to benefit an annual mission trip.
  • Swift School’s Parents Advisory Council will conduct a rummage sale in the school cafeteria.

For the first time this year EPIC Block Club sellers are contributing one item to a Care for Real table at 1254 Elmdale, all proceeds going to Edgewater’s food and clothing pantry.

The eight sponsoring block clubs are BARGE Neighbors Community Organization, Edgewater Beach Neighbors Association (EBNA), Edgewater Glen Association (EGA), Edgewater North Neighbors (ENN), EPIC Block Club, North Edgewater Beach Association (NEBA), Northeast Organization of Neighbors (NEON) and TAHBS Citizens Council.  Edgewater Beach Apartments, the co-op at 5555 N. Sheridan rd., also is participating for the fourth time in 2016.

Crew Bar + Grill names Care for Real MillerCorps Summer Beneficiary!

Crew Bar + Grill names Care for Real MillerCorps Summer Beneficiary!

Thank you Mark Robertson, Mike Sullivan and the entire Crew Bar + Grill team for choosing Care for Real as your MillerCoors beneficiary – for the second year in a row! While you are out and about this weekend (and all summer long) make sure to stop in and drink up for a great cause.

City Lit Theatre Hosts Care for Real Fundraiser Sunday, June 5, 3:00pm

City Lit Theatre Hosts Care for Real Fundraiser Sunday, June 5, 3:00pm


Hauptmann by John Logan

Directed by Artistic Director Terry McCabe

The Sunday, June 5th, 3PM matinee of HAUPTMANN will be a special performance that highlights Care for Real, our beloved local food pantry.  There is a special ticket price of $20 and City Lit will split the proceeds from the special ticket with Care for Real.

Tickets for the HAUPTMANN Care for Real Sunday are now available two ways:

  1. Via the City Lit website –– When on the web site, hit the purchase tickets button.  Then select the 6/5 matinee which is the Care For Real performance.  Then put in the special promotion, “CARE” and the $20 ticket comes up for purchase.
  1. Call City Lit at 773-293-3682 and purchase.

The 30th anniversary run of Hauptmann previews this week at City Lit. Four members of previous Chicago productions return from the world premiere that played at what is now the City Lit stage and two people involved in the 1991 revival at Victory Gardens are returning to play a part in this wonderful revival.   Jerry Bloom and Terry McCabe from the Stormfield production, and James Dardenne and George Seegebrecht from the 1991 revival at Victory Gardens.

On April 3, 1936, Richard Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby. He was innocent. In the moments before his execution, surrounded by guards, he relates his story in flashback. Woven into the telling are Hauptmann’s flaws, which makes us unsure we can trust him.

By the Tony award-winning author of Red, Hauptmann has hundreds of productions around the world. City Lit’s production reunites the play with its original director,  on the same stage where it premiered thirty years ago.


Edgewater Beach Community Gardens Ground Breaking Ceremony, Saturday, May 7

Edgewater Beach Community Gardens Ground Breaking Ceremony, Saturday, May 7


Join us Saturday, May 7 at 10:00am, for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Edgewater Beach Community Gardens.  Honored to have 2 garden plots dedicated to Care for Real helping us provide locally grown fresh produce to the nearly 6,000 we feed each month. Invite, location and more info below!

Care for Real joins Chicago Market CoOp this Saturday, May 7

Care for Real joins Chicago Market CoOp this Saturday, May 7

Join us on Saturday, May 7th from 2:30-5:30 p.m. when Chicago Market will host its third Co-op Pop-Up market with some of the region’s finest growers and producers. The market pops up at The Belle Shore, 1062 W, Bryn Mawr, a beautiful historic building in the Bryn Mawr Historic District at the heart of Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood.  Vendors will bring the season’s finest, including lots of fresh produce, bread and grains, and meat and also be featuring tomato seedlings and potted plants. All vendors align with Chicago Market’s Values.


Thrive Wormcastings – Organic fertilizer produced from earthworms
Metropolitan Farms – Produce and herbs
Radical Root Farm – Produce
Karma Kombucha – Kombucha
Rumi Spice – Saffron from Afghanistan
Collective Resource – Compost and recycling service
Meliora K – Sustainable laundry detergent and cleaning products.
Baker Miller – Bread, cookies, pies, and milled grains
Mint Creek Farm – Grass-fed meats
Lonesome Stone Milling – Cornbread and pancake mix, various types of flour, and local berries

Care for Real will also be on site collecting cash and food donations! 





Saturday, April 23 really was A TAIL TO REMEMBER. We are overwhelmed by the support. Thank you to everyone who helped make the event such a huge success. We exceeded our fundraising goal allowing us to provide the highest level of service to those in need of our beloved and impactful Pet Pantry Program!