Shelters and kitchens around Evanston bring holiday spirit to all

Mac Stone, Feature Editor

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Whatever holiday you celebrate, shelters and kitchens around Evanston are making sure that the happiness is spread to everyone.

Whether it’s through soup kitchens and food drives, or through simple ideas like decorating, plenty of shelters around Evanston are doing their part.

This is the case of Hilda’s Place, a transitional housing facility located on Chicago Avenue that provides overnight shelter for their clients. Hilda’s Place runs soup kitchens throughout the year, along with a holiday celebration every year. Guests are entertained and are fed a free meal.

“We’re doing a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings,” Hilda’s Place coordinator Maggie Bruce says. “We’re also going holiday caroling. In the past, we’ve passed out hot chocolate. It should be lots of fun.”

Hilda’s Place is one of many shelters that provide free meals to everyone in the holiday spirit, giving a sense of community and family to everyone involved.

“We’ve been doing our holiday celebration for about 10 years, and I can see how the residents really feel like it’s their family,” Bruce says. “We’re singing together, we’re eating together, we’re having fun together, it really has a family appeal.”

Hilda’s Place is not the only place celebrating the holidays around Evanston. ETHS, though it’s not a shelter, has been celebrating for several weeks. The annual holiday gift drive that was run by the Community Service Club wrapped up last week, and it was a huge success.

“This year, we’re distributing gifts to five different organizations,” Wernikoff explains. “We got the wish list from the organizations, and they all have different items and things they need. We try our best to collect all those items.”

There are still plenty of other holiday celebrations being run at shelters and kitchens around Evanston. One more example can be found at Soup at Six, which has soup kitchens every Tuesday afternoon, starting at 4:30.

“We always have a special dinner the Tuesday before Christmas,” Soup at Six events coordinator Julie Cowan says. “It’s also interesting because we always get a whole lot more volunteers for the holidays, which is really nice, it’s helps a lot.”

When it comes to holiday traditions and spreading the holiday spirit, you should look no further than the shelters and soup kitchens lining the streets in Evanston. Whether it be a transitional home, a soup kitchen, or our very own school, they all work for one great cause, to help the community and to spread the holiday spirit.

To see volunteering opportunities at Soup at Six, please visit soupatsix.org. For Hilda’s Place, please visit connect2home.org.