Fifty years ago, in 1971, the Edgewater Clerical & Rabbinical Association Episcopal (precursor to today’s ECRA) and member congregations such as the Episcopal Church of the Atonement and Emanuel Congregation came together to organize emergency assistance to residents of Edgewater whose homes had been destroyed by a series of fires. Meant to be a short-term solution to an urgent crisis, it soon became clear that food insecurity went far deeper into the community. Our neighbors needed a safety net, and that safety net evolved into Care for Real.
Fifty years later, a global pandemic revealed just how many of our neighbors were on the precipice of food insecurity: in 2020, we registered 143% more households to receive groceries for the first time at our Edgewater pantry than we did in 2019. That number is only increasing, along with the number of household visits for groceries at the pantry and our Rogers Park pantry. But this isn’t the time to be discouraged. This is the time to celebrate all that our community of donors and volunteers—people just like you—have done to support their neighbors over the past fifty years. It’s also the time to create our vision for the next fifty years—and we need your help.
Our 50th anniversary was the perfect time to undertake a strategic planning process that will map out the future of Care for Real and explore new and innovative ways to support our community. To launch our effort, starting today we aim to raise $50,000 in 50 Days to both honor our anniversary year and give us immediate resources and serve our community in new and better ways. Below you can listen to our clients, volunteers, and donors share what Care for Real has meant to them over the past fifty years.
At this pivotal moment, we need your support to help us realize our vision for a thriving community where all have access to healthy food and feel supported, respected, and deserving of care. Will you join us?
P.S. At small organizations like Care for Real, gifts of any size truly matter, and we are so grateful for the past generosity of our friends. But to celebrate our 50th anniversary, will you consider a gift of $50? $500? $5,000?