Chapter Challenge

Ascension of Our Lord
Metropolis of Chicago

 A simple gesture of fellowship and goodwill can change the life of anyone you meet.  At the Ascension, we understand that there are many people who are struggling and are in need of basic necessities as well as spiritual support. Our "Fill the Bag" project is a simple template that can be reproduced around the country-- and even around the world.  As our Lord and Savior provides for us, we hope that our bags will provide love and hope to those in need.

 What: To create and distribute various types of bags, filled with items specific to meet the physical and spiritual requirements of individuals in need

 Where: At this time, the project extends to residents of Lake and Cook Counties in Illinois, including Chicago

 Why: There is a need to provide people in these areas with basic necessities as well as spiritual support

 When: Year-round

 How: The Ascension Philoptochos will partner with the Ascension Parish Family.  Additionally, a major software corporation, SalesForce; a local retailer, Sunset Foods; and local scouting groups will partner with us to collect items needed for the bags. We will then coordinate our efforts with the Lake County Courts, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Capt. James Lovell Veterans Hospital, and various non-profit organizations that will direct us to those in need. There will also be groups of volunteers from our various church ministries (including parishioners, Philoptochos members, and youth) formed to make the bags, fill the bags, and deliver the bags.

 5 types of bags will be filled and distributed throughout the year:

 Child's Book Bag-We will be hand-making children’s book bags and filling each with books for children at the Lake County Courthouse Kids Corner. Kids Corner provides safe and enjoyable waiting area for children who are in the Lake County Courthouse to testify or whose parents or guardians are conducting court business. Some of these children may never have previously owned book, and the program in Lake County gives them this opportunity.

 Matthew 19:14 "Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and stop keeping them away, because the kingdom from heaven belongs to people like these."

 Feed the Hungry Bag-We will obtain reusable bags from Sunset Foods in Lake Forest and fill them with food items. We will deliver these to local families as well as distribute to each attendee of the Metropolis Feed the Hungry program on the day that the Ascension is serving (last Tuesday in April yearly).

 Matthew 25:35 "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink."

 Prison Ministry Bag-The Philoptochos membership will hand-make bags that have been approved by the Lake County Jail/Halfway House and deliver them to inmates who need and request scripture. These bags will include a prayer book, bookmark, and other items that may be requested.

 Matthew 25:26 "...I was in prison and you came to visit me."

 Veteran Bag- Canvas bags are filled with essentials for veterans in treatment at the inpatient center for PTSD. Bags include undergarments, baseball hats, and various toiletries.

 1Timothy 2:2 "For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty"

 Bag of Comfort- Drawstring reusable bags will be filled with items such as socks, scarves, blankets, bandages, tissue, and various food items for distribution to those living on the street and in various homeless shelters.

 James 2:16 "And one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?"


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