Assistance League of Chicagoland West collaborates with local social service agencies year round to give new kitchen equipment to families in need. The Hinsdale based organization has distributed 14 sets of kitchenware since June 1 through its Operation New Start program and expects to reach 100 for the 2011-2012 year.
Operation New Start distributed 73 kitchens last year to families transitioning from homelessness or shelter living to transitional housing through Bridge Communities, Inc., CHAD (Community Housing Association of DuPage), Family Shelter Service, Catholic Charities, HCS Family Services and DuPage PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter).
Recipients receive over $400 worth of new kitchen essentials, including dinnerware and flatware, cooking and baking equipment, cleaning supplies and the choice of two small appliances.
Collaborators report that their clients are surprised by the completeness of the kitchen donations and in their words, “feel valued and happy that others think they are worth a new beginning. The kitchenware does more than provide nourishment, it helps rebuild lives.”
“One mother who was homeless for two years wished we could have seen her children’s faces when they opened the boxes. It was like an early Christmas gift,” said Heather Laughman, ONS co-chair along with Mary Parsons, both of Hinsdale.
“One goal this year is to help our clients eat healthier food,” Laughman said “We hope to work with one of collaborators in their nutrition program and have started including the cook book The Best 1001 Short, Easy Recipes with our kitchens.”
ALCW, a 501(c)(3) organization generates funds for Operation New Start and other programs through Books & Brunch, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 8 at The Abbington in Glen Ellyn. For information, go to alcw.org.