Mission: To help neighbors in need in Edgewater and surrounding Northside Chicago communities.
About the organization: Care for Real was established in 1970 by Rev. William Johnson of the Episcopal Church of the Atonement, Rabbi Herman Schaalman of Emanuel Congregation, and other members of the Edgewater Clerical Rabbinical Association (now called Edgewater Community Religious Association) to provide emergency assistance to victims of fires in "Arson Alley," the Kenmore-Winthrop corridor between Foster and Devon. While the effort was intended to be a short-term solution to a specific problem, it soon became cear there was a need for ongoing safety net services in Edgewater and surrounding communities.
Current programs: Care for Real's programs include a food pantry, a clothing closet, deliveries to the homebound, a pet pantry, a lending library, case management referrals, and an Employment Resource Center that helps clients secure employment and get back on their feet. The organization distributes nearly 1.2 million pounds of food, three hundred thousand articles of clothings, and eleven tons of pet food annually and distributes holiday gifts and books to more than a thousand children, while the Employment Resource Center provides assistance to over three hundred clients.
COVID-19 response: In response to the pandemic, Care fo Real began opened a pop-up pantry to distribute pre-packed food bags with non-perishable groceries. Its clothing closet is closed due to health-safety precautions.
Website: Visitors to the Care for Real website can learn more about its services and hours; check the blog for the latest developments, tips for healthy eating, and recipes; or browse additional resources. They also can find out about volunteering opportunities or support the organization by making a donation, joining a Giving Council, and/or making a planned or tribute gift.
Funding: Care for Real is funded by individuals, foundations, and corporations.