Caridades de la Cruz's fifth fair in Des Plaines helps 125 homeless people, and hopefully more
Five years ago, when Edwin Hernandez of Caridades de la Cruz (Charities of the Cross) and several others organized a fair to provide food, clothing, showers and haircuts to area homeless people, about 20 people were served.
Fast forward to Saturday, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe Pastoral Center in Des Plaines is bustling with dozens of volunteers helping more than 125 area homeless people.
Hernandez was hoping to reach 200 people Saturday, but help also will soon come to those who didn't make it to the event.
Hernandez said one group of volunteers helped prepare and collect food and clothing for Saturday's event; others deliver clothes and food on a weekly basis to the homeless in parks and under bridges in Chicago, especially when it's extremely cold.
"In the beginning, we started with 20 homeless in the area," Hernandez said. "Then we decided to go a little farther."
Caridades de la Cruz had about 100 volunteers from 10 area churches to help provide food, clothing and transportation to the Des Plaines location, 1170 N. River Road, on Saturday.
The ministry provides weekly assistance to the homeless.
"Every year, it has grown," said Manuel Padilla, vice rector at Our Lady of Guadalupe. "People have come from Joliet and other places around Chicago. Once a week, they go to give to the homeless food and sometimes clothes."
To volunteer or donate clothes or other goods, call (773) 896-3437 or (847) 294-1806 or visit solg.org