CCO Sponsorships

Sponsor services and events at CCO

Become a sponsor for our many services and events that CCO provides to our clients. We have sponsorships available for services such as laundry, transportation, toiletries, bedding, and meals. CCO also hosts several events and celebrations throughout the year that provide joy and encouragement to our residents. We need your help to purchase food, decorations, prizes, gifts, and other supplies.

Sponsorship Tiers

Choose what level of sponsorship that fits in your budget and with a tax deductible donation, you can partner with CCO by providing funds towards a specific event or service.

Diamond Sponsors

Become a Diamond Sponsor with a tax deductible donation of $10,000 or more. Diamond Sponsors receive:

• Recognition in our E-newsletter to volunteers and donors
• Your Logo or name on ALL printed material for events that calendar year.
• Personalized plaque recognizing your organization or an individual.
• Organization or individual name on sponsorship page with clickable logo linked to your website.
• Social Media “Thank You!” Post

Platinum Sponsors

Become a Platinum Sponsor with a tax deductible donation of $5000-$9999. Platinum Sponsors receive:

• Personalized plaque recognizing your organization or an individual.
• Organization or individual name on sponsorship page with clickable logo linked to your website.
• Social Media “Thank You!” Post
• Recognition in our E-newsletter to volunteers and donors

Gold Sponsors

Become a Gold Sponsor with a tax deductible donation of $2500-$4999. Gold Sponsors receive:

• Appreciation gift
• Recognition in our E-newsletter to volunteers and donors.
• Organization or individual name on sponsorship page with clickable logo linked to your website.
• Social Media “Thank You!” Post

Silver Sponsors

Become a Silver Sponsor with a tax deductible donation of $1000-$2499. Silver Sponsors receive:

• Recognition in our E-newsletter to volunteers and donors.
• Organization or individual name on
cornerstone sponsorship page.
• Social Media
”Thank You!” Post

Bronze Sponsors

Become a Bronze Sponsor with a tax deductible donation of $250-$999. Silver Sponsors receive:

• Organization or individual name on
cornerstone sponsorship page.
• Social Media
”Thank You!” Post

New Sponsorship Opportunities

Bring the Happy and Sponsor a CCO Event!

Cornerstone is rolling out new sponsorship opportunities and packages for events at CCO. Events and celebrations are an important part of the wholistic care that CCO provides to our clients. Become a supporter of Easter Baskets, Back to School, Halloween and Christmas events at CCO. You can . Backpacks, shoes and socks for Back to School; costumes and prizes for Halloween; Christmas gifts for each child, parent or guardian, man and woman sheltered at Cornerstone.

Easter Baskets

Easter is hopping our way! Click here to visit the Easter Amazon Wish List and shop for Easter goodies that will put smiles on the faces of children staying at CCO with their parents. A simple Easter basket with treats and toys could create a delightful memory for a child at CCO. 

Back to School

Every year Cornerstone hosts and event for our resident children who are returning or just starting school. CCO provides the students with new items such as backpacks, school supplies, shoes, underwear and socks. Giving them a fresh start for the new school year. Cornerstone has set up an Amazon wish list for the needs of this event. Go here to purchase items to give these kids a new start on their school year.

CCO resident children receiving school supplies and new backpacks at The Cornerstone Community Outreach Back to School Celebration.

Back to School Party 2024
August 14, 6:30PM – 8:30PM

Back to School Amazon Wish List

If you would like to sponsor this event beyond the Amazon Wish list, please refer to our sponsorship page for sponsor tiers. Monetary sponsorships for this event needs to be received by June 3rd.

Halloween

For children and their families at CCO, being able to participate in national celebrations is so important to bring normalcy and connection to society around them. Every year Cornerstone hosts a fun Halloween party with costumes, games, treats and dancing! It is a good time for all. If you would like to help with this event, please go to the Amazon Wish List and purchase items like costumes, treats, prizes and games.

Family Halloween Party 2024
October 29, 6:30PM – 8:30PM

Halloween Amazon Wish List

If you would like to sponsor this event beyond the Amazon Wish list, please refer to our sponsorship page for sponsor tiers. Monetary sponsorships for this event needs to be received by September 24th.

Christmas

Christmas is a time to reach out and share love and compassion with each other. CCO makes it a point to collect wish lists from the children to try get them a gift that they would want. We also proved gifts to the parents to give to give to their kids and each other. An army of elves organizes, sorts, wraps and distributes presents to families and single residents. If you would like to contribute to our Christmas efforts, go to our Amazon Wish List for children and adults, there you can support us by purchasing gifts, gift cards, wrapping paper, tape, and decorations. If you would like to volunteer go to our volunteer page for more information.

Family Christmas Party 2024
December 20th, 6:30PM to 8:30 PM

Christmas Children’s Amazon Wish List
Christmas Adults Amazon Wish List

If you would like to sponsor this event beyond the Amazon Wish list, please refer to our sponsorship page for sponsor tiers. Monetary sponsorships for this event needs to be received by October 14th.

2023 Christmas Photo Album

Smiles and laughter abound! The Holiday Season was filled with hope and joy at CCO! All Cornerstone shelter guests were remembered thanks to our outstanding donors, volunteers, and staff. Many thanks to everyone who made the season bright for children and adults experiencing homelessness! It’s a joy to see the celebration and fun flow over into 2024!

Photo Credit and Many Thanks to Nathan Cameron.

Sandra’s Path to Peace

“The path to peace is a lifelong journey. Sometimes you’re on a paved road. 

Sometimes you’re walking on a gravel or dirt road.

 It’s still your journey. It’s not just for a bit of time. It’s for a lifetime.”

Sandra

“My daughter Isabella was only 11 years old when we had the most surreal conversation of her young life. It was a Saturday morning in June of 2021. Secretly, we discussed the abuse we faced daily. We were no longer going to be told we were worthless and substandard. We decided it was time to leave my husband and California behind. Together, we looked at a map of the United States and chose Chicago.

From that moment forward, we quietly and methodically carried out our escape plan. Isabella and I came back from the laundromat with fresh, clean clothes. We folded and placed them carefully into Isabella’s dresser we had emptied earlier. To anyone looking on, it appeared that we were doing regular household chores. Internally, we were fighting a storm of fear mixed with absolute determination as we prepared to go. It was all done in stealth mode, very fast, very ‘hush-hush.’ When my husband left Monday morning, we took the clothes, identification, and precious photos out of Isabella’s dresser and put them into our suitcase. Lisa, Isabella’s beloved teddy bear, came along with us. We were moving halfway across the country, leaving the certainty of pain in California. The uncertainty of the unknown lay ahead. Inwardly, we felt a gentle gust of hope roll over us as the bus carried us away.


I was only seven years old when my mother died. She passed away two days after my youngest sister was born. It was as if a bolt of lightning had struck our family. In a flash, everything changed. I had grown up with abuse from my stepdad. When my mom died, my two older siblings and I were shuffled back and forth between our three aunties’ houses. My three younger siblings, which included my baby sister, were put with their biological grandmother, my stepdad’s mom. She was a violent woman and thought my younger siblings should never see us. We only lived five houses away from each other in a small Mississippi town, but we were a world apart. Sometimes my little brother would sneak over to see us. She would come flying down the road beating him and dragging him all the way home. He just wanted to see us. These memories of fractured relationships have stayed with me. They influenced the decisions that have formed my future. 

Scarcity also played a role in my life. My upbringing was impoverished. Everyone I knew was struggling to get by. I’m not ashamed of my background. I believe it’s what made me want to go into social work. I felt driven to be part of the solution and help others. I worked hard in school and went on to college. I graduated from Mississippi Valley State University with a degree in Social Work. Through college, I learned to set goals and achieve them. My friendships became like family. I began to grow a strong support network and understand its importance. As I worked toward my degree, I could feel the variability and chaos of home replaced by a set routine with some sense of order. I understood that my life experiences could help and benefit others. Little did I know that in the future, the splintered pain of the past would grow into a vast support network for myself, Isabella, and other families with similar experiences.


The Greyhound arrived at the Chicago Station. Isabella and I were free from our life in California. Tired and apprehensive, I held onto the hope that in Chicago, we would find a home where we wouldn’t endure endless criticism and torment. I found a rooming house-type situation on the Southside of Chicago. It was just a bed. No meals. No help. We had to walk several miles to a dollar store to buy food. We had arrived in a food desert. It was tough. I knew we needed to get out of there and find a place that offered us some assistance and practical support. From my phone, I Googled “Homeless Shelter for Families.” Cornerstone popped up, so we got on a train and headed to the north side. Hannah Shelter had space for us! The kitchen had put a few plates of food aside. That night we dined on spaghetti, coleslaw, and chicken. We came hungry, the food was good, and we were glad to have it.

I was 35 when we arrived at Hannah Shelter. Most parents living there were in their early 20s and had younger children. The younger moms came to me for advice. I worked in social services in Los Angeles. I was glad to offer help, encouragement, and resources that could get us on our feet. We were in it together. It felt good to use my education and work experience to help others. 

While living at Cornerstone, I was allowed to train as a Life Coach. The training empowered me to start my own life coaching business, Path2Peace. Subsequently, Chicago Hopes asked me to facilitate parent support groups for the moms at Hannah Shelter. Chicago Hopes (CH) is a non-profit that provides academic support, mentorship, and services to parents and children experiencing homelessness. CH offers these essential services inside Hannah Shelter, so it is accessible for shelter guests. One day, I was meeting with the Family Engagement staff person,  I told her, “Your job is so cool. I would love to have your job.” Then she left! Chicago Hopes offered me the job. That’s how I became the Family Engagement Administrator! They only interviewed me as a formality. The job was always mine. I continue to do parent workshops, but I love my new position. It was another opportunity to uplift young moms recovering from homelessness, poverty, and abuse.

Isabella and I spent this Thanksgiving with my baby sister and my other siblings. My baby sister and I have been talking a lot. We hadn’t had a relationship until last year. Now, we’re making up for lost time! We weren’t able to be sisters before but we’re grown now. We don’t need someone to tell us whether we can talk to each other. Nobody is going to whoop us for behaving like sisters. And that’s what we are. 

Like our first meal at Cornerstone, our first meal in our new home was spaghetti. I felt gratitude and immense pride as we set up our new place. I knew it would be a home filled with love and safety, a true home. After a year in our basement apartment, we were able to move up to another unit in the same building. We cleaned out the old space and gave thanks. It cared for us that year that we lived there. That year of new beginnings and new relationships on our path to ever-growing peace and connection. 

I recalled the field trip we took to the zoo just a few days before moving from the shelter into our apartment. I felt free at the zoo with the moms and kids from Hannah Shelter. It was a warm summer day, and the sky poured. We all began screaming, laughing, and running in the rain. It seemed like everyone felt a surge of joy and peace at that moment. No matter what we had all been through, we were together. We supported each other through the hard times and the good times, too. I felt like the deluge ended all the pain and mistreatment. It was the end of homelessness and the end of being abused for Isabella and me. It was a perfect way to end it all.”


“She was bent but not broken.

She fainted but did not fail

and rose to the challenge to overcome each obstacle thrown her way.” 

– Shirena Houston, Hannah Shelter Program Manager, when asked to comment about Sandra


“I want to thank my Program Director and Case Manager,

Shirena Houston,

and the Cornerstone Community Outreach staff

for your love and support during one of the lowest moments of my life.”

– Sandra


This true story was written from conversations between Sandra and Beth Nicholls. 

Names have been changed. 

Winter Gear from Turtlefur

In August, CCO received a box of hats and neck-warmers from Turtlefur as a part of their Project Warmth. All the staff in the office was so excited not only to receive quality winter hats and neck warmers for people experiencing homelessness, but to receive them early before the cold season starts.

It’s hard to think about the cold winter months when beaches days and backyard BB-Qs are still happening. The reality is that many people don’t start thinking about providing winter gear to people experiencing homelessness until the weather has already changed. It is possible to get snow in late October in Chicago and with many coat and winter gear drives starting in November there is sometimes a gap in our available cold weather clothing and coats.

If you are considering a coat drive for CCO, think about starting it in September. As fall blows in with colder temperatures the need for coats, hats, scarves and gloves comes as well. If you would like to drop off donations of winter gear, contact out Donation Center to schedule an appointment.

Through Turtlefur’s Project Warmth, people who have purchased Turtlefur products can add the hashtag #projectwarmth to photos of themselves wearing their Turtlefur products, tag @tutrlefur, and share to the social media platform of their choice. Turtlefur will then donate a hat or neck warmer to people in need. Thank you Turtlefur for providing quality winter gear to people experiencing homelessness in our programs and thank you to all the individuals who participated in Project Warmth.

Go to Turtlefur.com to find out how you can participate in Project Warmth

No Gift Too Small

Eve Haycock, Naomi Program Director, was visiting friends and a young lady found out she worked at CCO. She was very curious asking many questions about the shelter and the people living there. This young person was moved by Eve’s description of CCO’s work with people experiencing homelessness and wanted to donate something to encourage and help the residents. She gave Eve the sketchbook she had been drawing in all year to encourage people to have hope in hard times. Then she gave all the money she saved over the summer from her allowance.

We at CCO are so grateful for this young ladies gift. It may seem small on the surface but the gift of hope goes deep into the hearts and lives of those who have little. This donation of hope may be the best gift we have received all year. Thank you.

CCO Back to School Rally 2022

Thanks to the amazing CCO staff, East Bank Club and Grace and Truth Church volunteers, donors, and partners; the children at CCO enjoyed a Back to School rally with games, activities, treats and a reptile show. Celebrations are so important at CCO and this rally is a great way to encourage and prepare kids for a new year of learning. It’s an opportunity for families to have some fun, get new school supplies and get excited for the coming school year.

On Wednesday afternoon, the kids had a pizza party with a reptile show hosted by Alison of Curious Creatures on Broadway, providing an opportunity for kids and families to experience and learn about animals in person. Local cartoonist, Tim “Spike” Davis, drew cartoons for the kids to color. Anna Ingerson did face painting, Isaac Ingerson did balloon twisting, and the staff facilitated more fun and games. 

Along with fun the kids received a backpack, school supplies, and new shoes thanks to our many donors and partners. Chicago Public School and DFSS provided basic school supplies for each child and CCO donors supplied backpacks and supplemented other supplies. We partnered with several local businesses to collect backpacks and supplies. Combined with donors purchasing items from our Amazon School Supply wish list and financial contributions through our GoFundMe page, CCO was able to outfit each child with a backpack, new shoes, and supplies for the school year. 

Thank you to East Bank Club and Grace and Truth Church for volunteering. Thank you Everybody’s Coffee, Uptown Farmers Market, Hearthstone and Terrace, Uptown Underdawg, Immanuel Anglican Church, and Emerald City Coffee for collecting backpacks and supplies. Thank you to all our donors who purchased items from our Amazon Wish List and gave financially through our GoFundMe. You are helping to ready our students for school and giving them another step towards quality education.

A Little CCO Ingenuity

CCO is excited to partner with individuals and organizations to find creative solutions to everyday problems that our staff and clients face. Recently, CCO received a large donation of restaurant, wire shelving from Starbucks through Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago. Even after the CCO kitchen and pantry were outfitted with new (to CCO) shelves, there were still many shelf parts left. The CCO staff found themselves trying figure out what to do with the extra shelf pieces and had a brilliant idea. WARDROBES!

Finding robust, spacious and hygienic storage for our client spaces is a tall order and most options are unavailable to CCO. With a few modifications, the CCO staff was able to construct wire rack wardrobes from the Starbucks shelving for our clients. The new wardrobes are being placed in the family rooms at the moment but we would like to expand their use to all CCO client living spaces.

Thank you to Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago and Starbucks for providing the materials and thank you to the CCO staff for providing the ingenuity and manpower to make this improvement to our clients lives.