February 3, 2022. The storm that came through and forced us to close for the first Wednesday since we began also caused us a bit of damage we will have to remedy before next weeks’ operations. Difficulties we must overcome.
Little Birds of the Fields
Holy Praise Tabernacle
22132 Torrence Ave.
Sauk Village, IL
February 6, 2022. In spite of the setback of last week, we will be in operation and pretty much back to “normal” this week. Many thanks to the dedicated volunteers who came out to help repair and rebuild the tent.
February 3, 2022. Just one example of the challenges that must be overcome when you are working with temporary facilities. This tent served us well for over a year. Just more weight than it was designed to support.
Who We Are…
We are a local food pantry established as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We began operation in April of 2020, and have been providing food basics to the residents of the area on a weekly basis, rain or shine. We have been blessed with the ability and support that has enabled us to provide over 250,000 pounds of food as of the end of 2020, averaging 200 families per week.
In 2021, we were able to provide over 12,000- 15,000 pounds of food per week to our patrons and we have been able to increase the number of families served each week to 250 over the year.
2022 ended on an upward trend. We are beginning to see an increase in our clientele and have been investigating our expansion options.
2023 has proven to be an exemplary year so far. Our numbers have increased to average over 300 families almost every week. We still seem to have those who do not believe we are open every week. So far, in the three years+ we have been operating, we have only missed ONE week of operation, and that was due to the unusual weather we experienced in 2022(see above).
A few of the supporters and contributors who help us in our efforts are: AWG, Inc.–Highland Baking Co.–Illinois Partners In Hope–Hands of Hope of Joliet–Carl Buddig Meats–Panera Bread–Strack & Van Til–Smits Farms and many local residents generously donating canned and packaged foods.
December 1, 2021. Once we open the gates, the line moves very rapidly. Most of the wait time is before we open. We average 100 cars in 30 minutes.
We are always looking for donations and volunteers. We operate every week.
Volunteers and donations acceptance begin at 9 AM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Food distribution begins Wednesdays at 12 noon and runs until 2PM, or when we run out of food, whichever comes first.
December 9, 2020. Open the gates and let them in.
November 25, 2020. Day before Thanksgiving. Making sure everyone has a reason to be thankful!
April 29, 2021. Several of our primary volunteers. (L-R) Paulette, Jeannie, Carol, MaryAnn, Sharon, Larry, Pastor John, Scott, Rick. (President Paul is taking the pic.)
November 25, 2020. Just let us know where to put your food.
February 3, 2021. It snowed on our parade a little this week.
March 3, 2021, An example of the gratitude that makes the whole of all the work and sacrifice of our volunteers, and all that must be endured, worthwhile. Note: Letter writer is 9 years old.
July 21, 2021, Little Birds enjoyed a visit from Mayor Jada Curry of Lynwood, IL. (L-R, Paulette Meeks (Secretary), Mayor Jada Curry and Rev John Pitts (Chaplain)
We need Your help…
Because we are a young organization trying to establish our operation and provide a maximum of food to our clientele, we have been putting all our resources into our food pantry operation with little regard for the big variable, Mother Nature. As you can see, we have been forced to operate in some less than ideal conditions. We are committed to distributing food every Wednesday, no matter what, but that means we must endure whatever Mother Nature decides to send our way.
In order to continue providing the services we were created for, we have found we need help in areas we did not anticipate. We need more permanent protection from the elements, both for our products as well as our volunteers. A new structure to provide shelter from the elements as well as storage space for our equipment and food donations would go a long way for our operation.
We rent trucks to retrieve the contributions from our generous providers, so financial help is a priority. We are a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization, so all contributions are 100% deductible.
If you, or someone you know, has access to a dock-height truck, and are able to provide the equipment for a day or two each week, we want to speak with you to see if we can work out an arrangement.
We are a 100% volunteer organization. Our Board of Directors and all workers are strictly volunteer. We have no payroll and no membership fees. We survive strictly through the generous contributions of our constituents and the local community organizations.
If you have any experience with grant writing or grant applications, we would like to speak with you. We would appreciate any and all information that can help us with the application processes.
If you are in a position to help us with any of these projects, we would like to hear from you. Any support you are willing to provide will be greatly appreciated and, of course, is deductible to you.