Giving Tuesday: Pastor Corey Brooks hopes to raise $10M to complete Woodlawn community center

Renaissance Social Services , St. Sabina Church collect donations for homeless

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Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Pastor Brooks hopes to raise $10M for South Side community center
What is Giving Tuesday 2023? It's a big deal for nonprofit organizations everywhere, including in Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The dream is turning to reality.

Pastor Corey Brooks with Project H.O.O.D. has spent years raising millions of dollars to build a community center in Woodlawn. Now, construction crews are making good progress on the structure.

On the south end of what will be a 90,000 square foot building in the 6600 block of South Martin Luther King Drive, they have been digging the spot where the swimming pool will go. Brooks hopes Giving Tuesday donors will see this and dig a little deeper. A donor has offered to match donations up to $1 million.

"Our goal is to get it matched and get as much as we can raised to so we can build this center debt-free," Brooks said.

Giving Tuesday is a big deal for nonprofit organizations everywhere. In addition to cash, Renaissance Social Services is also taking in donations of clothing, diapers and food, all part of their mission to help the homeless to find housing and get back on their feet.

SEE ALSO | Work begins on new Woodlawn community center, money raised by Pastor Corey Brooks

"Giving Tuesday has been a great movement to help nonprofits who need this support at the end of the year," said Renaissance Social Services Executive Director Michael Banghart.

Father Michael Pfleger's Saint Sabina Church is also working to help migrants and homeless people, hoping to collect not only clothes and food but cold weather gear including blankets.

"We need to make sure anybody who comes to our doors, particularly in this weather, whether in a tent or police station, we need to have help for them," Pfleger said.

Experts say inflation and the economy are part of the reason charitable giving is flat or down in recent years. But according to United Way, the need is greater than ever. They hosted a giving Tuesday event this morning with BMO Harris Bank.

"We're seeing more than 30% of households struggling with basic needs such as health care, housing and food," said Chris Preston with United Way.

Brooks is still hoping to raise $10 million dollars for the community center.

Construction crews are working quickly to get as much work done as possible before the weather turns really cold. And, Brooks is hoping Giving Tuesday will help raise the money to pay for it.