Presenting the 2022 Book of Service
At this year’s 30th annual Mercy Home Tree Lighting, our young people presented the Book of Service to the City of Chicago. The book highlights all of the service projects and acts of kindness our kids have performed over the past year, and is offered as their Christmas gift to the people of our great city. We are so incredibly proud of their hard work and dedication to giving back that we wanted to share this book with you. We hope it will inspire you as much as it does all of us.
Editor’s note: The book as presented to the City of Chicago lists the named residential spaces, (or “homes”) within Mercy Home where our young people live and receive round-the-clock care and support.
This year, Seton Home volunteered several times at The Children’s Farm at the Center located in Palos Park. During their time at the farm, the young ladies helped ensure younger guests visiting the farm had an opportunity to interact with and learn about the many different animals including chickens, pigs, goats, and cows. Part of their duties were also making sure that the enclosures were monitored to keep the animals safely inside when guests were coming and going.
They also enjoy giving back when they volunteer at Feed My Starving Children, where they hand-pack rice, soy, dried vegetables and a blend of vitamins and minerals into bags, which are then sealed, boxed, placed on pallets, and shipped to children around the world. The girls like to set goals and see how many meals they can pack in a visit and strive to either meet or exceed that amount next time.
They always leave these activities feeling proud to give back!
Throughout 2022, the ladies of Walgreen Home participated in several community service activities. Our young women volunteered their services to Feed My Starving Children, where the girls were able to pack food for children living in developing nations.
In addition, the girls volunteered at the Bike the Ridge event in the township of Evanston. They helped with face painting and tattoos, giving out books to younger children, making buttons, and other activities. They also helped harvest produce from Russell Road Farm that was later dispensed back out into the community to help local farmers.
Lastly, our young women volunteered at the Bridge Teen Center where they helped with sorting, cleaning, and pricing donated items. All these opportunities to serve within our community have been enriching and time well spent.
Over the course of 2022, the young women of Couderc Home focused on completing local, national, and global service projects.
In our local community, the girls helped keep our neighborhood clean by working with the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) during their “Clean and Green” neighborhood cleanup weekends.
Nationally, the young women participated in a week of service with Habitat for Humanity in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. There they were able to help contribute to the building of homes for three families during the week.
Globally, the young women packed food boxes at Feeding My Starving Children to be sent to countries around the world.
Being able to serve others brings much joy to the young people of Couderc Home!
Bernardin Home contributed over 42 hours of community service this year. The coworkers and young women utilized their skills and learned new ones, all while connecting with others in the community by participating in the Habitat for Humanity trip in North Carolina this summer. Some of our young ladies also passed out free meals to veterans on Veteran’s Day.
Bernardin Home looks forward to continuing our efforts to give back to the community in 2023!
The young men of Speh Home have looked forward to any opportunity to give back over the past year.
Recently, they made sandwiches for the homeless as part of the Love Chicago challenge, which is an opportunity for our kids to complete acts of kindness for those in the community. The boys were very excited to put the sandwiches together and had good conversations while making them. They were even more excited to hand them out to those in need.
It was a great opportunity for them to be thoughtful of others this holiday season.
Bosco Home has been busy giving back to the community!
Our young men made cards for the coworkers who drive them to school in the morning and gave them the card with hot chocolate sticks, marshmallows, and cups to put them in. One of the young men wrote a card to a Bosco Home coworker to thank her for working at Mercy Home, too!
They also recently made essentials bags for the homeless and hand-delivered them.
The boys are looking forward to more opportunities to give back next year!
Over the past year, the young men in Mahoney Home offered volunteer services to their school communities by engaging as volunteers at school events as well as the bigger Mercy Home community by ensuring our beautiful campus grounds were kept clean.
The young men also came together as a community prior to the holiday season to perform random act of kindness, including:
- handing out balloons with positive messages to Target shoppers and Mercy neighbors
- creating therapeutic self-care goodie bags from World Market for the young people at Heartland Alliance
- donating card and board games to residents of St. Elizabeth’s hospital
- keeping up with the tradition of making handmade holiday cards for refugee and immigrant youth from Heartland Alliance
- organizing and packaging goods at the Rogers Park Free Store in efforts to support Venezuelan refugees who recently came to the area
The generosity of these acts has been impactful on our boys and their ability to continue to carry out more acts of kindness.
Cooke Home has made dedicated efforts to supporting Chicago’s homeless communities by providing them with hygiene kits and food.
They have also created packages with socks, hand warmers, and winter accessories so these individuals can be warm during the winter days.
The boys have also been intentional with making holiday cards for refugee and immigrant youth at Heartland Alliance.
They have been mindful of how grateful they are for the things that they have and extended warm care for others who do not have as much as them.
The young men of Campbell Home have been committed to providing a number of acts of service to the community this past year.
The boys were involved with coming up with different volunteer projects that they could do monthly. Our young men were able to volunteer at The Greater Food Depository several times this year. They also volunteered at World Vision.
Several other projects included clean up at the forest preserve and several Chicago beaches.
The young men of Campbell Home are honored to present these acts of service into the Book of Service for 2022.
As was the case for many, this year was the first time since the beginning of the pandemic in which we were able to volunteer and give back to the community in person.
Almost every week during the spring and summer, we helped assemble food kits and organize food items at the Pilsen Food Pantry. This fall, a couple of us visited World Vision and helped sort and assemble donated items for individuals and families in need.
And not only did we want to give back to individuals in our community and around the world this year, but we also wanted to help animals. Through the YMCA Safe Humane program, we learned how to train and help rehabilitate impounded court case dogs in hopes of them finding a forever home.
And so, on behalf of Sheil Home and the young people of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, we present these acts of service as our gift to the City of Chicago.
Love, Sheil Home
In 2022, the young people in Quille Home gathered to write words of encouragement, gratitude, and appreciation on cards for the Mercy Home coworkers. Each card contained an affirmation, a personalized note, and a chocolate treat. The cards were placed on our coworker’s cars or in their mailbox to act as a surprise at the beginning or end of their shift.
While walking from parking lot to parking lot, the young people also picked up trash off the streets and sidewalk around the Mercy Home campus.
Although the weather has become very cold, the young men and women enjoyed bringing joy to someone else’s day and would like to do more community service activities in the future.