Mellissa Montezuma

St. Sabina Annual Christmas Feast for the Homeless and Elderly

Experiencing the Christmas Eve service with the Faith Community of St. Sabina is a night not soon forgotten. Christmas carols begin fifteen minutes before the 10pm mass, which starts with a pre-service pageant and light show. And if you’re wondering why the midnight mass begins at 10pm, well, you’ve never been to a St. Sabina service. This spectacular and festive gathering breathes new meaning into what so many believe to be the holiest night of the year.

But the real spirit of Christmas at St. Sabina can be found on the afternoon of Christmas Day, at the annual Christmas Feast for the homeless and elderly in Bethune Hall at St. Sabina Academy. From noon to 2pm, home-cooked Christmas meals are served free of charge, with transportation provided to and from some shelters. Cash and food donations are being accepted now to make this year’s feast possible, and the church is also looking for people to help with decorating and cleaning up. Contact the church office if you’d like to help or be helped: (773) 483-4300. (Nicole Bond)

St. Sabina Academy’s Bethune Hall, 7801 S. Throop St. Wednesday, December 25, noon–2pm. (773) 483-4300.

Mind + Hand

Mind + Hand is a nonprofit technological career-training center in West Elsdon, named by the Weekly as one of our “Best of the South Side” winners in 2018. They recently hosted a coding bootcamp teaching students to code in Swift, a coding language used for iOS apps, and have announced upcoming apprenticeship programs in digital marketing, data analytics and UX design. But Mind + Hand isn’t limited to technical skills; they’ve also hosted workshops on topics like LinkedIn, career interviews, and college applications, helping people land the opportunities that Mind + Hand has helped them become qualified for. They also provide an open, free space for community members to hold meetings, get work done, and work on crafts and projects in their “makerspace.” They accept donations, but they’re also looking for support through in-kind contributions and volunteers. If you have some old craft materials or computers lying around, consider dropping them off with Mind + Hand—get a head start on your spring cleaning while supporting a good cause. And if you’re interested in lending your expertise, they’re always looking for professionals who are willing to share their skills with the community. (Sam Joyce)

Mind + Hand, 5400 S. Pulaski Ave., 2nd floor. Monday–Friday, 9am–8pm.

Roseland Christian Ministries

The lights of Michigan Avenue (and the many excellent stores we’ve recommended in our gift guide) offer a variety of opportunities for holiday shopping, but if you’re looking to get your shopping done while also giving back to the community, don’t miss the Roseland Christian Ministries Thrift Store. For twenty years, RCM Thrift has offered clothes, furniture, housewares, board games, books, accessories and more—something for everyone on your list. An excellent selection is paired with excellent prices; most clothes are just one to three dollars. The store is staffed by volunteers, so every dollar goes to supporting Roseland Christian Ministries’ programs: a food pantry, a free lunch program, and a shelter for women and children. (Sam Joyce)

Roseland Christian Ministries Thrift Store, 33 E. 111th Pl. (773) 468-0262. Thursday–Saturday, 10am–4:30pm.

Deborah’s Place

Located in Garfield Park, Deborah’s Place provides housing, wrap-around services like job preparation training, and a caring environment for women experiencing homelessness. The organization was founded more than thirty years by a group of volunteer women, but people of all genders are welcome to help out at Deborah’s Place. Volunteers can assist residents and visitors by serving meals, landscaping and cleaning spaces, facilitating games like bingo, and sorting physical donations to the organization. To start volunteering, simply fill out their Volunteer Sign-up form or contact the External Relations Manager at (773) 638-6538. You can also make a holiday donation of linens, cleaning supplies, or non-perishable foods by dropping your items off at 2822 W. Jackson Blvd. between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday. (Lucia Geng) 

Deborah’s Place, 2822 W. Jackson Blvd. (773) 772-5080.

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