Chicago Bears players help serve meals to migrant families in Little Village

Evelyn Holmes Image
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Chicago Bears players help serve meals to migrant families
Chicago Bears players made an appearance at a Salvation Army event Tuesday to serve meals to migrant families.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Players from the Chicago Bears partnered up with the Salvation Army to give free meals to migrant families in Little Village Tuesday.

There was a spirit of community as the neighborhood welcomed their new neighbors with a Thanksgiving-style meals for the Venezuelan migrants, such as like Juan Perez and his brother, who now call Chicago home.

"He's so thankful to have this meal, this marvelous meal," Perez said in Spanish.

The gathering was hosted by the Salvation Army at its LaVillita location, has been providing support for hundreds of migrants since August.

"200 people came today from Venezuela and we have big vans," said Nivia Paredes with the Salvation Army. "They bring more people today."

The meal was catered by a local restaurant and featured traditional Venezuelan favorites, such as rice with chicken, yuca and salad.

The Salvation Army plans to provide around 800 meals over the next two days.

"Why not have something special today? But, we still remember our own people," said jessica Martinez with the Salvation Army. "We never forget about them."

The lunch was sponsored by the Chicago Bears and it was made even more special when some of the players showed up to help serve the food.

"It's really heartwarming to see all the kids and the families and everybody eating and enjoying themselves and having a good time and also us interacting with them," said Bears wide reciever Velus Jones Jr.

Invited guests also got vouchers for warm winter coats and will eventually receive other essentials.

The giving will not stop there. On Wednesday, there will be three more Thanksgiving-style dinners planned for the migrant community, and on Thanksgiving, there will be a traditional dinner for everyone.