Community Outreach Projects
The Community Outreach committee of The Woman’s Club of Evanston coordinates, manages and implements community service projects for our entire membership. Every member is asked to serve in at least two community service events. As a Club, our members give more than 5000 hours of community service each year to various projects.
The Woman’s Club of Evanston believes that every girl in Evanston, regardless of her means, should be able to attend her senior prom. In that spirit, we created Dreams Delivered. Each spring our historic clubhouse is transformed into a very special prom boutique. New and nearly new formal dresses, shoes, jewelry and accessories are provided free of charge to any Evanston Township High School girl. Over the past 9 years, Dreams Delivered has outfitted about 600 ETHS students.
WCE members sew and knit layette sets for the Infant Welfare Society of Evanston Family Support Program, sew small pillows and bra inserts for breast cancer patients at NorthShore University HealthSystem’s hospitals, and make totes for walkers that are given to the North Shore Senior Center and Misericordia. All sewers and knitters are welcomed. We meet once a month from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. with a break for lunch together. Welfare Sewing was an original project of the WCE 125 years ago when members sewed baby blankets, among other items. The tradition continues today with our dedicated and skilled volunteers.
Adopt-A-Room – Agency Partner: YWCA Evanston – Mary Lou’s Battered Women’s Shelter
WCE “adopted” two rooms at the YWCA’s Battered Women’s Shelter where WCE volunteers refurbish, clean, paint, provide new furniture, window treatments, bedding, lamps, carpeting, toiletries, bathroom supplies and accessories for the family living in the room. The YWCA Evanston/North Shore provides the only comprehensive residential domestic violence program in the northeastern Chicago metropolitan area and serves both women and their children.
Deacon’s Closet – Agency Partner: First Presbyterian Church of Evanston
First Presbyterian Church is part of a consortium of shelters in Evanston that seeks to care for our homeless neighbors, providing a friendly atmosphere and giving them a safe and warm place to spend time, especially during the winter months. First Presbyterian has a gently-used clothing boutique that serves the homeless. WCE volunteers assist with sorting of donations and assist clients with clothing selections.
Soup Kitchen – Agency Partner: First Presbyterian Church of Evanston
Souper Saturday is the embodiment of the vision of First Presbyterian members who wanted to serve meals to those that do not have a home or are struggling to have food as if it were served in their own homes.
Evanston School Children Clothing Assistance (ESCCA) – Agency Partner: Evanston School Children Clothing Assistance
WCE volunteers serve as “personal shoppers” to guide children through the process of selecting clothing. Volunteers also help sort donations when needed. ESCCA was started to serve school children so that they do not miss school because they do not have adequate winter clothing. ESCCA provides donated and new clothing to District 65 children in need.
Family Focus Holiday Toy Drive – Agency Partner: Family Focus
Family Focus helps Chicago-area families living in low-income communities give their children the best possible start in life. The goal of Family Focus is to do whatever it takes to help families gain the confidence and skills to be the parents they want to be. WCE members serve as “Secret Santas” and purchase new toys and gifts for the benefit of children and families. Family Focus provides a list of children or families and their gift preferences.
H.O.W. (Housing Opportunities for Women) Holiday Party
Since 1983, HOW has been a leader in permanent solutions to homelessness with a mission, “Empowering women, children and families to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.” WCE hosts an annual holiday party for the children and families at H.O.W. The children are regular participants in the HOW after school programs. Lunch is served and the children make their own stuffed animals, participate in craft activities, play games and receive goody bags. Cookies and gingerbread houses are decorated and Santa makes a special appearance at this fun event. 95% of the women coming to HOW for housing, come from an emergency shelter or other temporary placement.
Bundled Blessings Diaper Drive and Diaper Sort: Agency Partner Bundled Blessings and First United Methodist Church:
Bundled Blessings supplies diapers to families in need through partnerships with local social service agencies. The pantry works with nine partner agencies serving up to 420 children in Evanston and surrounding communities – distributing up to 20,000 diapers each month. It is the only diaper pantry in Evanston. The WCE partnered with Bundled Blessings in 2019. Members gather on a specified date to collect and sort diapers.
YWCA Ricky Byrdsong Race Against Hate: Agency Partner YWCA/Evanston North Shore:
The Race Against Hate honors the legacy of Ricky Byrdsong, former Northwestern University men’s basketball coach, who was murdered in 1999 by a white supremacist. Proceeds from the race go toward YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s work to prevent violence and promote racial justice through its newly created Equity Institute.WCE Members work a water station for 5k/10k runners walkers as well as participate in the race.
MLK Day of Service: Agency Partner: Northshore University HealthSystem, Cradles to Crayons, United States Marine Corps:
Members and their families made Valentine Cards and mini care packages for deployed military and the pediatric population (age Birth-17) in the United States Marine Corps and NorthShore University HealthSystem.
Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth to 12, living in homeless or low income situations , with essential items they need to thrive at home, at school, at play.