On Saturday, October 8th, a group of UIC Liautaud students kicked off the MBAA's volunteering program with an evening event to help bring food to the homeless with The Night Ministry, a Chicago-area non-profit that has been serving the community for 35 years. The evening began at the home of Liz Peschges, as the group prepared the chili dinner that would serve about 40 people at the Wicker Park stop of the Night Ministry bus. Also in attendance were Emil Barci, Lesley Cochran, Adrienne Nadeau, David Keating, and Zac Bleicher, the MBAA's Service Chair. From Peschges' house, the group traveled by car with two large pots of chili and the other garnishes. They boarded the bus at 10:30pm and began to dole out food. The group was greeted by the extremely helpful and friendly Night Ministry staff, providing them with tables and eating utensils. They then began the simple process of putting chili into bowls and interacting with those who came out to have dinner. As always when working directly with the homeless, there was a profound sense of purpose in knowing that without the help of volunteers, these folks' meals that evening might have been less appetizing, or even non-existent. It also made those helping more aware of just what is going on every day as people whisk about their normal lives: that just below the surface, there are many people, from all kinds of backgrounds, who are down on their luck and in need of help.
The Night Ministry also provides free health screenings within their bus in addition to providing the hot meals via volunteers. The MBA Association at UIC Liautaud looks forward to their next event with them on Saturday, November 12th.
The Night Ministry Volunteers
~Special thanks to Zac Bleicher for contributing to this post.