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Care For Real : Nonprofit Highlight

Care For Real's Pack the Car

Care For Real’s Pack the Car

You may have noticed a car that sits for hours at Clark and Berwyn the last Saturday of every month (and more-so during holiday season), that appears as if it is packing the entire inside of the vehicle for an epic road-trip. This regular event is commonly referred to as ‘Pack the Car’ for local nonprofit organization Care For Real. Located in Edgewater and intended for low-income neighbors that live in the community who are in need, Care For Real brings help to people who need it the most. The organization provides clothing, on-site food distribution, deliveries to the homebound, a free clothes closet, food and supplies for pets, as well as a case referral program to connect people with the services they need.

Community residents Steven Pryor and Gregg Rojewski have been working with CFR for several years and in 2008 they decided to start Pack the Car as an immediate and direct way that the Andersonville community could donate and support the organization. January 2009 was the first Pack the Car food and clothing drive and it was a huge success. “Most of the people who visited us that day knew about Care for Real but were unaware of how to donate directly to them. We simply provided a more convenient way to donate by parking our car in a central, high-traffic location,” Gregg recalls. People in the Andersonville and Edgewater neighborhoods like to know that their donations are going directly into the hands and homes of people who can use the support. Care for Real is such a huge part of the Edgewater and Andersonville community, and yet they have a very low profile.

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In the year 2013 they…

  • Distributed more than 1,000,000 lbs. of food

  • Had more than 6,000 client visits to the clothing closet

  • Provided food and supplies to more than 3,000 pets

  • Distributed school supplies to 450 neighborhood children

  • Provided enough food for clients to prepare 400,000 meals

  • Gave toys to more than 600 families during the Holiday Toy Drive

  • Assisted 650 clients through their Jobs Program

Pack the Car has continually increased the amount of households served annually. There were 31,874 in 2009, and 53,576 in 2012. About 60% of the people Care for Real feeds are either seniors or children under the age of 18. The downturn of the economy has moved many households from middle-income to low-income, and thus Care For Real serves an incredibly important need. Please feel free to drop by and donate non-perishable food, gently-used clothing or personal care products items to the the Saturday Pack The Car event that happens monthly and on a year-round basis. Look for the yellow sign attached to the car located at the northeast corner of Clark and Berwyn the last Saturday of every month from 9:00 am – noon.


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