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OLA Outreach Center Renovations

Mission of Our Lady of the Angels renovated the former Our Lady of the Angels School to be its new outreach center between 2017 and 2022. The construction of the original 1960 building was funded through donations from all over the country after the tragic 1958 school fire. The school that burned was torn down and this current 1960 building was built in its place.
This extensive renovation project updated the outdated 1960s aspects of the building and re-worked the existing spaces to fulfill 3 main needs:

  • Essentially ground level storage for all of our donations and a new kitchen/ dining room

  • Offices and classroom space for programs for adults

  • Our new 57 bedroom volunteer residence / retreat space

The school building was rededicated on 10/2/22, the 62nd anniversary of the dedication of the 1960 school.

Please check out the INCREDIBLE work that was done to transform the former school into our new outreach center below.
We are extremely grateful to the thousands of people who made this project possible.


October 2, 2022 - We are rededicating the former OLA school on 10/2,2022 and You're Invited!

We are very excited to announce that the former Our Lady of the Angels school building will be re-dedicated on Sunday, October 2 at 10 AM. We cannot do enough to thank the thousands of people who made this renovation project possible!

Cardinal Cupich will preside at a Mass at 10 AM followed by a blessing of the school and lunch.

All are invited. *PLEASE RSVP by 9/1 so we can plan. RSVP:

Of historical note, Sunday, October 2 is also the 62nd anniversary of the ORIGINAL dedication of the new Our Lady of the Angels School building. October 2 is the feast of the Guardian Angels.

September, 18, 2022 - Done!

We are done with all of the renovation work that will be happening before the rededication on 10/2! Thank you for all of the incredible support the last 5 years with this project!

(Spoiler alert- there are some more things to do after the rededication!)

One of the last things done was the floor in the 1st floor hallway/ storage room! Here it is!

July 30, 2022 - Microsoft Helps Out in a Macro Way!

Thank you, Microsoft & especially the Microsoft Community Empowerment Fund, for the very large donation to help us upgrade the Wifi in the former school! We are very grateful for the help!!

May 31, 2022 - Opening of Mission OLA’s Outreach Center (school)- Statue returns!

Click here for a page devoted to full coverage of this big event!

April 3, 2022 - Blessings for the Patient and Persistant

We are hosting our first large event in the retreat center this week! Bishop Bob blessed the building and we are ready to go. Thank you for all of your extraordinary support for the past few months to get to this point. Many more highlights and pictures after we make this event happen. Thank you!

March 20, 2022 - Cleaners Needed - Plenty of Seats for Breaks!

We had our last major moving day of the project on 3/19! Major cleaning is underway. Please HELP on 3/26 with CLEANING. We have over 120,000 sq feet of space to clean! Sign up HERE.

February 28, 2022 - Done..ish

Moving/ cleaning/ moving/ cleaning CONTINUES with extraordinary zeal and excitement! We need YOU on Saturday, March 19 and Saturday, March 26 from 9 am to noon to help us FINISH the building. Sign up HERE.

February 20, 2022 - Penultimate...Please?




Saturday 2/19 was (hopefully) the 2nd to last major moving day for the school project!! We are so grateful for all of the continued help and support.





February 13, 2022 - Help! The End is Near!

Reminder- we need help almost every Saturday in February and March to help us finish. We are taking people essentially every Wednesday as well! E-mail to sign up to help!!

Bishop Bob says "Please sign up to help."

January 30, 2022 - To the Dumpsters!

We threw away several tons of junk from the 2nd floor of the school and prepped MANY rooms on the 2nd floor on 1/29! Thank you to our INCREDIBLE team of volunteers!

We need YOU to finish this project! Please see the calendar page for our February workdays.

January 23, 2022 - Emptiness

What a week! Every classroom has been officially emptied. If you saw how full they were, you know this is a really big deal!
We really need help next Saturday, 1/29 putting garbage in dumpsters, moving furniture, sorting, and cleaning. Sign up on the calendar page HERE.

January 9, 2022 - Opportunity Knocks!

We have 2 official workdays for helping with the renovations (read- cleaning, moving, dumpster-ing)
Saturday, 1/15- 9 am to noon
Saturday, 1/29- 9 am to noon
Please see the calendar page to sign up!

January 1, 2022 - Strong Work!

Lots of progress moving furniture and garbage on the 2nd floor!
We have 3 rooms left to do actual renovations on + then to set up and organize the 2nd floor. We need help on Saturday, January 15 and Saturday, January 29 working on the project! If you can come e-mail Sr. Stephanie at

December 12, 2021 - Second Floor Finish Line in Sight

Happy Gaudete Sunday and feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!

One of the reasons we are filled with joy this Gaudete Sunday is that we are almost done with the 2nd floor of the school. Here is a picture tour of some recent progress!

Thank you for all of your support.

If part of your new year's resolution is going to be working out, mark your calendars to get some aerobic cleaning and moving done here in January. We hope to wrap this up in January!

November 7, 2021 - Showin' the Door!

Renovations of the former school CONTINUE! We are working to patch, paint, and pull electric on the 2nd floor. Here is Bishop Bob admiring one of the newly refinished doors! Thank you for your continued support.

September 25, 2021 - Third Floor Finally Finished!

Thank you to Notre Dame for organizing an awesome service day this week……and thank you to the many donors who have purchased bedding over the past few weeks! We are putting the finishing touches on the rooms on the 3rd floor. We are so excited!
If you’d like to help with the end of the line items, please consider purchasing a towel rack, shower caddy, or garbage cans from the wish list HERE.

September 4, 2021 - Floored!

Larger portions of the school are looking better EVERY week! This week we waxed the 3rd floor hallways, almost finished the 2nd floor café, and the window repairs. Thank you for your continued support!

August 29 - Roomy!

Thank you to the Cenacle Sisters for their incredible donation of furniture from their retreat center. Thank you AGAIN to Fenwick High School’s football team for WEEK 2 of moving furniture!

Almost all 57 bedrooms have all of the major furnishings (desk, nightstand, lamp, wardrobe). Keep checking back to see how you can help with the odds and ends needed to help us finish.

August 18 - Formidable Friars

We are finishing painting the last rooms in the retreat center THIS WEEK!
We cleared out TONS of garbage and unneeded furniture from the 2nd floor on Saturday. THANKS to the Fenwick Friars Varsity Football team it was a piece of cake! Thank you!

July 25 - Finish Line in Sight

We have all 57 bedrooms framed! Still some work to be done, but we are VERY CLOSE to being finished.
Thank you to the MANY people who made this possible!

July 18 - Stepping Up

49 of our 57 retreat rooms have been started! We are hoping to finish the construction by 7/31/21! We are so excited and grateful to our resident summer volunteers, professional helpers, and Home Depot for making all of this possible. Here are a few of the major steps in building a room!

1. Carpet >> 2. Frame the Room >> 3. Hang Drywall >>

4. Tape, sand, tape, sand, tape sand >>

5. Paint >> 6. Clean and furnish!
July 11 - Summer Successes!

Work on the 3rd floor has been fast and furious! We have 7 of 12 classrooms on the move (35 of the 58 individual bedrooms too). We have moved forward on the project every single weekday this summer thanks to the MANY volunteers who have been in to help- thank you!

June 26 - Home Depot Delivers!

THANK YOU, Home Depot, for your extraordinary donations of materials, labor, and monetary support!
We had 50 Home Depot employees here on Tuesday at the pantry, where they presented us with a $5000 check. The group also came to re-paint the pantry on Wednesday. Best of all, they are sending 4 ROOMS worth of material on Saturday, June 26th. This is over 300 sheets of drywall and associated materials.
We are so grateful!

June 20 - Helping Hands

Significant progress over the past few weeks on the school construction project! We are almost done with 4 total classrooms of retreat rooms (20 individual rooms). We are also preparing for the food pantry to re-open indoors.

Thank you to all of our MANY volunteers who have been here to help!

May 30 - Room by Room...

First classroom in the retreat center/ volunteer housing was finished TODAY. First guest moving in Tuesday.

What a journey! Thank you for all of your continued help. 1 of 12 classrooms done (5 individual rooms done, 55 individual rooms to go)!

May 23 - 2 Rooms >> 10 Rooms!

Painting, molding, door frames - finishing converting the first 2 classrooms to 10 bedrooms this week!

May 16 - Rooms within View

Rooms are slowing coming together. Curtain door testing + taping and sanding this week. Painting and furniture next week!

May 2 - Prayer + Persistance = Progress!

Dreams still DO come true, despite 2020 and its aftermath! We finally have rooms in our new retreat center. Thanks for all the support to get to this point.

April 18 - Rooms with Views

Drywall for the third-floor bedrooms is finally here! Thank you to Home Depot for the incredible donation of drywall AND thanks to all who helped us move it up the stairs!

Also- thanks to Fiore Nursery and Landscape supplies for your amazing donation of plants, dirt, and mulch for the side of the church!

April 3 - Windows

Window repair/ replacement began this week! Drywall for the 3rd floor coming next week.

March 21, 2021 - It's Official

We finally got our Certificate of Occupancy! Thank you to the MANY people who helped us on the arduous journey - especially the Chicago Fire Department!

February 28, 2021 - Home Depot Delivers

Thanks to Home Depot, the entire 3rd floor is painted, and carpeting is down! We are waiting for some paperwork + we’ll be onto the next steps of the 3rd floor shortly.

The walls needed a fresh coat of paint and the old school colors and slogans needed to be removed...
Before After!
February 21, 2021 - Carpet Cometh



We've got carpet in our retreat center bedrooms! Thank you to all the volunteers who have been helping with this. This has been done 100% with volunteer labor and almost 100% donated material. God is good!

February 14, 2021 - Painting / Power!
> 3rd floor painting and electric is COMPLETE! Thank you, Home Depot, for sending in your amazing painting crews. We are very grateful.
> We will be laying carpet on the 3rd floor this week. We are very excited.
February 7, 2021 - Drill!

We prepped walls and rooms for the FINAL PAINTING of the 3rd floor, which is starting on Monday!

Janurary 17, 2021 - Retreat Remodeling

We are in the process of designing and starting to set up the 3rd floor retreat center! Can’t wait to have you here on retreat once COVID is over.

Janurary 10, 2021 - Office Overhaul

We are nearing the completion of several different parts of the project! We just finished the overhaul of the offices this week. Keep checking back for some (hopefully) frequent updates.

Janurary 3, 2021 - Hoping to Finish in 2021!

We are gearing up to wrap up this project in 2021! Work on the 3rd floor bedrooms, 1st and 2nd floor bathrooms, and intense cleaning/ setting up will keep us busy until COVID ends!
We are taking volunteers to help with this work almost every Saturday. Please e-mail Sr. Stephanie to sign up at

October 25, 2020 - Bathroom Nears Completion

The 3rd floor bathroom is almost done. We cannot wait for COVID to end so we can have you all over! We will be starting the construction on the rooms very shortly. Look here for a full photo album next week!

October 7, 2020 - Sprinkler System Dedication

Thank you to all who helped with our new sprinkler system- valued at over $400,000! We were especially blessed to celebrate the completion of the project with many representatives from the sprinkler’s union (Local 281), the plumber’s union (Local 130), the Chicago Fire Department, and many more!

We are blessed to honor the lives of the students and the sisters who died here in 1958 with this state-of-the-art sprinkler system. THANK YOU to ALL who made this possible- especially Tom Collins, Joe Albergo, Tom Lia, and Shaun Maher.

Chicago Tribune ABC NBC

September 27, 2020 - Bathroom Almost Finished

Volunteer/ retreat center bathroom should be completed by 10/23/20! We are so excited. Check out this progress!

September 20, 2020 - Ambitious Advancement

Kth Spc

Kitchen Guest kitchen- in progress

Significant recent progress on the Mission OLA school renovation project! The dining room/ kitchen are almost done. The 3rd floor retreat/ volunteer bathroom should be done on 10/23/20. Significant work on the 2nd floor is starting- mainly on the 2nd floor guest kitchen. Here are some pictures of the progress!

Serving area
Newly grouted tile walls 2nd floor retreat presentation room- in progress
Dining room and serving area 3rd floor bathroom
3rd floor bathroom 3rd floor bathroom
September 6, 2020 - Progress Outside and Inside

Big week on the school renovation project! The donation room renovation is well underway, the fences started going up around the green spaces/ parking lots, and we got our stainless steel countertops for the kitchen in! Thank you for your continued support.

August 30, 2020 - Lot Leveled

We’ve also had a MARATHON of construction going on! With work on our new lots, and continued work on the 3rd floor.

August 16, 2020 - Doing Drywall

We now have drywall in the 3rd floor bathroom! Thank you for everyone’s continued support and prayers for the project.

August 2, 2020 - Third Floor Fast-tracked

Electric, floor prep, door frames, and work on the walls continue on the 3rd floor!

July 26, 2020 - HVAC Descends from Above and Drywall from Below

Drilled through the roof for the new HVAC system for the bathroom…..and massive truck of drywall for the 3rd floor!

July 19, 2020 - Bathroom Betterment

Significant progress on the 3rd floor bathroom this week! Electric, more plumbing, and HVAC. Thank you all for the continued prayers and support.

July 12, 2020 - Framing Phase Finished

Framing for the 3rd floor bathroom went in this week! We are MOVING!

July 5, 2020 - More Plumbing

The 3rd floor bathroom is well on its way! Holes were cored and plumbing began this week. This bathroom will be for our 45 bedroom retreat center/ volunteer housing on the 3rd floor of the school.

June 14, 2020 - Walls!

Tear down a wall, build a wall! 3rd floor demo continues. Coring for toilet and shower plumbing will begin this week.

May 24, 2020 - Third Floor Tear Down Goes On
Third floor demo continues! We will be moving towards installing plumbing in the next few weeks.

May 24, 2020 - Final Floor Fix-Up

Nothing is impossible for God! After many delays and difficulties, we are starting the renovation of the 3rd floor of the school building!

May 17, 2020 - Kitchen Inspections Passed

We celebrated Fr. Bob’s 30th anniversary to the priesthood by passing all our kitchen inspections. We passed because the sprinkler’s union finished the sprinklers in the kitchen this week. Thank you for all the continued support!

April 26, 2020 - Dishwasher Delivered

The dishwasher in the kitchen is installed and functional! We can’t wait to get this kitchen opened.

April 19, 2020 - Creating the Kitchen

We are starting to move into the kitchen! Electric supply for major appliances is almost done.

April 11, 2020 - Plumbing Progress

We have potable water! Kitchen plumbing is done. This week kitchen HVAC, electric, gas, flooring, and associated should be complete. Thank you to ALL who continue to support this effort.

April 5, 2020 - Finishing Floor Finishings

We have an epoxy floor in the kitchen of the school! It is almost done and looks beautiful.

March 26, 2020 - Sprinkler System Nears Completion

The sprinkler system is almost finished! Thank you USA Fire Protection and Local 281 for your extraordinary generosity in getting this DONE. We were featured in the USA Fire Protection newsletter as seen HERE.

March 22, 2020 - Construction Moves Forward Through the Turmoil

The construction project is still moving despite all the chaos!
The kitchen and the new office are looking great. Thanks for all of your continued help.

March 15, 2020 - Construction Keeps on Going

Construction is happening and probably will not stop during the coronavirus shutdowns!
This week the ANSUL/ ventilation system for the kitchen was completed! Finishing the ventilation system required a scissor lift, so that was exciting.
The ceiling grid for the kitchen / serving area was installed this week. We are close to having a kitchen!

March 8, 2020 Kitchen Progress / Water on the Way / Office Space

Kitchen construction continues! HVAC system is almost done, plumbing is in, and kitchen fixtures were delivered. Soon and very soon we will have potable, running water. We can't wait!!
We are also starting to renovate the offices in the building so we can move our main offices into the school as soon as 1st floor construction is complete. Here is a picture of the bathroom for the offices.

March 1, 2020 Water Works: Plumbing / Sprinklers

Plumbing roughing went into the kitchen this week! Sprinkler install continued + we are close to having a tentative date for completion of the kitchen!

February16, 2020 Construction in Full Swing

A banner week for the Our Lady of the Angels School renovation project! The sprinklers on the first floor were installed, work on the kitchen re-started, a handmade table for our chapel was delivered, tile/ flooring for kitchen/dining room started, and……to remind us that this is God and not us……the City of Chicago fixed the sinking sewer in front of the building.
Thank you to all who helped us get to this awesome week! Please click HERE for pictures!

February 2, 2020 Progress on the HVAC system/ ANSUL system in the kitchen!

There was progress on the HVAC system/ ANSUL system in the kitchen.

Admin details regarding the implementation of the permit plans have led to some delays. Sprinklers should probably start next week along with some wall construction that needs to be completed to meet code.

January 20, 2020 Winter Inside Work

Tangible progress this week! Work included:
-installing over 70 light fixtures with our friends from St. Joseph College Seminary (Louisiana)
-running hundreds of feet of electrical conduit for the radiator heat sensors
-welding the hood / setting up the ANSUL system in the kitchen
Hope to have more updates, especially about the kitchen, next week!

January 12, 2020 Dumpsters!

Thanks to Flood Brothers we now have DUMPSTERS! This is a revolutionary step for Mission of Our Lady of the Angels that will change the way we do almost everything. We are very grateful for their generosity! We cannot wait to fill them up with construction garbage!

January 5, 2020 Post-Permit Progress

Construction on the kitchen and (hopefully) the sprinklers is starting this week! Here is the official permit hand off, the 1st post permit hammer swings and a picture of the completed chapel during Adoration.

December 8, 2019 Permit Granted

WE GOT THE BUILDING PERMIT! It "only" took a year and a half, but here we are! Thank you to Burnham Nationwide and Ridgeland Associates! We are very grateful for your HOURS AND HOURS of help with the permit. We will be moving forward with construction immediately- so stay tuned.

November 24, 2019 Paperwork Progress

We finally got the signatures on the exemptions we needed to get approval for our new sprinkler system. Thank you for your prayers. There is big talk of a permit this week. Check back here next weekend for an update!

November 17, 2019 New Lights

Thanks Energy Reduction Inc. for helping us get connected with all the ComEd rebates to get all kinds of free lights for the project! THANK YOU!

November 10, 2019 Progress in the Kitchen

Hood for the kitchen stove installed with the anticipation of a permit in the next few weeks. Hoping for an early Christmas permit miracle!

October 14, 2019 Zoning Approved!

We finally officially passed zoning- the most important step in our permit! We are waiting to hear back from the Department of Buildings > we will have a permit!

September 28, 2019 Boilers On > Heat Flowing

The school boilers were on this week and actually produced heat.
THANK YOU to all who helped with and donated to this part of the project!

September 22, 2019 Praying to St. Joseph

If anyone is interested in joining us, we are praying through the intercession of St. Joseph for the expeditious completion of this very long permit process. Thank you for your prayers!

September 15, 2019 Sprinkler System Generously Funded / Chapel Complete

Very exciting news! Our sprinkler system was donated this week! This donation is valued at about $400,000.
Take a tour HERE.

September 10, 2019 Radiators Almost Finished / Big Week Anticipated

Look forward to BIG NEWS next week about the permit status and big “TURN IT ON” moment for the HVAC system!! We are so close.

September 1, 2019 Looking Better Inside and Out / Boiler Boiling

We got the garage door fixed and the awning up this week! The altar also went in the chapel. The boiler actually held and heated water this week. We are on the move!
The permit is SO close to getting approved! Keep praying! Thank you for everyone’s continued support.

August 25, 2019 Boiler Pipe Welding Bringing the Heat

Boiler pipe welding is well underway. We will have a functional boiler for the school building by October 1. Thank you to Wantuck Comfort Solutions, Carrier, and TEC for your continued generosity in this effort!

August 3, 2019 Adoration Chapel Nears Completion
  • Adoration chapel construction is almost complete!
  • HVAC system work is moving forward. It will be complete mid September!
  • The permit marathon continues. Please pray for the quick resolution to the last few issues with our permit.
July 21, 2019 i's dotted and t's crossed...almost

See ya later public notice! We passed at our zoning board of appeal hearing on Friday. 1 more step + we should finally have a permit.

July 14, 2019 Adoration Chapel Progress Continues

Our new altar backdrop and floor were put in this week! We are so excited to have Adoration in our beautiful chapel soon.

June 30, 2019 HVAC Progress - More Radiators! / More Walls!

We have 1 floor of radiators installed and almost 2 floors of radiator walls. Thank you to ALL of the volunteers who have been helping with the radiator walls and for Wantuck Comfort Solutions for their continued efforts on the radiator install.

June 22, 2019 Radiators In / Walls Up

All of the radiators are in the building! Radiator demo is almost complete + install will begin this week. Volunteers have also been very busy building walls behind the radiator areas and the surrounding walls. Thanks to ALL who are helping in this effort.

June 16, 2019 New Boilers!

As many of you know, it has been a very long and time consuming 10+ year path to getting new boilers. The first essential step has occurred- the arrival of the new equipment for the first half of the system! We are SO grateful and excited for all who have helped us take this incredible step- especially Carrier (and staff), Wantuck Comfort Solutions, and our volunteer pipefitters.

June 9, 2019 Volunteers Continue Moving and Demolishing

Thanks so much from our awesome group from St. Francis High School and our resident summer volunteers for all their work with demoing tile, moving junk into dumpsters, and moving radiators this week. Significant progress is only a permit away….

May 26, 2019 Work Continues Despite Permit Delays

While we are waiting for our building permit, we have still been able to continue with several parts of the project, including our new Adoration chapel! We have an artist who has donated his services to hand paint incredible religious art onto the walls of the chapel.

May 12, 2019 Fantastic Fundraising Opportunity

We are very excited to announce that an anonymous donor has stepped forward to offer a $200,000 match opportunity to help fund the school project! If we raise $200,000 he will donate $200,000! This $400,000 will get us pretty close to funding all of the main stages of the project. Donate HERE.
Our goal is to raise $200,000 by 6/30/19.
We’ve already raised $26,400!!!
Please pray for this fundraising campaign!
Donate now HERE. (Other donation methods listed HERE.)

May 5, 2019 Unwanted Surprises Overcome

A week of surprises. We found a lot of issues with the underground drainage system in the school this week. Got it all fixed as we continue to prep for the arrival of the new boiler.
Thanks for all of your continued support - especially as we continue to find expensive surprises like these pipes!

April 28, 2019 Thanks St Clement Parish

Thank you St. Clement’s for all of your amazing continued support of Mission of Our Lady of the Angels! We had over 40 volunteers on 4/27 to help us on the cleaning and moving projects in the school. Thank you for your help.

April 14, 2019 Pantry Continues to Grow / Boiler Disconnected


The Tuesday pantry continues to grow and improve! Here are some highlights from last Tuesday.


This week we also officially disconnected the school boiler from any heat as we get ready to start installing the new boiler very soon! Here is the moment of disconnection.

April 5, 2019 Marriott Managers Volunteer

We had a huge group of general managers from Marriot come to help us demo, clean, and organize in the school! Thank you for helping us make some major progress!

March 31, 2019 Landscaping

The landscaping outside the Mission got a major upgrade this week! Thank you C Thomas Company for donating the trees and awesome landscapers to put them in.

March 18, 2019 Walk-in Fridge Full

The new food pantry continues to expand rapidly! Our 24x12 foot walk in fridge was FILLED for the first time this weekend. Check it out. Keep filling it up everyone! We also need more help packing produce and prepping for the pantry. If anyone would like to help with the pantry/ pantry prep, please e-mail HERE.

March 10, 2019 Progress Everywhere

Progress! Many things this week:

  • Old, nonfunctional boiler was demoed
  • Construction on chapel started
  • Painting in new donation room complete
  • Basement painted, cleared and organized

This project is really going now! Check out these pictures from the boiler demolition.

March 4, 2019 Tuesday Food Pantry Success

The new food pantry was featured on NBC! Check it out HERE. The Tuesday food pantry is really working smoothly now! We’d love your help if you can come. Tuesdays from 7:45 to 12 pm at OLA School- 3814 W. Iowa St. Let us know if you can volunteer HERE.

February 17, 2019 School Renovation Continues

Building permits should be finalized and re-submitted (and hopefully approved) this week! We are continuing to paint and prep for the work that will start as soon as we get the permits.

Please pray that the permits move through the city system quickly this week!

January 22, 2019 New Pantry Opens

We opened the new pantry on 1/22! Check out the highlights HERE.

January 20, 2019 New Fridge and Freezer Up and Running

Our new walk in fridge and freezer are fully functional! They are each 12 ft x 24 ft. Our new pantry is almost set up & is opening on Tuesday 1/22. Join us for the Tuesday pantry sometime! Details about volunteering at the Tuesday pantry HERE.

New Pantry
New Fridge New Freezer
January 13, 2019 New Pantry to Open January 22nd

Big week in the school! The walk in fridge and freezer were installed. Walk in fridge is current ON and holding temperature! The walk in freezer should be working on Tuesday Jan. 15. We also painted the pantry. Thanks UW-Madison for your full weekend in the pantry taking care of this job!
Pantry still opening on 1/22/19.

January 5, 2019 New Pantry Space Ready

We have been prepping for the big pantry move! The walk in fridge and freezer are coming this week.  Here is a picture of the new pantry storage room as of 1/5/19.

December 23, 2018 Walk-In Freezer Space Prepared

Now that Advent is over - we’re ready to get our chocolate calendars out for the WALK IN FRIDGE/ FREEZER COUNT DOWN! Delivery on 1/7/19.
Here is the space for the unit. >>

December 17, 2018 New Pantry Space to Open Soon

The new pantry will be incredible. Check out this blog post from the Greater Chicago Food Depository highlighting the new pantry HERE.

December 2, 2018 New Pantry's Floor Waxed

Waxed floors in the new pantry! New pantry tentative opening date: Jan 22, 2019

November 11, 2018 Tile Installed in Future Pantry Space

We have new tile in the future pantry space! More tile will be laid this week.

November 4, 2018 First Floor Demolition Completed

Floors gone, lockers gone, steps jackhammered!!! 1st floor demolition is OVER!
Time to rebuild…. look for exciting updates soon.

October 21, 2018 New Pantry Work Continues

Our future pantry is looking better (see hallway/ doorway picture)- lots of work to be done in the next few weeks! We ordered the walk-in fridge / freezer this week as well as preparing for the next steps. There should be major movement on the project by Christmas!

October 14, 2018 New Pantry Work Begun
We are back! Wall repair and door instillation on the new pantry started this past week.
September 17, 2018 Paperwork Prayers Needed

The many administrative hurdles we have been jumping through remain!! Please pray that all of our paperwork moves quickly through the various systems it needs to travel through so we can get the first floor improvements going.

September 2, 2018 Landscaping Added

The lots at 3800 W. Chicago Ave now have their flower boxes and new plants! We are excited to have full uses of these spaces starting next spring.

August 4, 2018 Paving Completed

Our new basketball/ parking/ garden area was paved this week! Thank you to the City of Chicago and all who made this possible. More updates on the use of this lot very soon!

July 22, 2018 Bathrooms Improved

We are very grateful for the donated plumbing supplies and labor that have been donated to work on the 1st and 2nd floor bathrooms. We are excited about our highly functional sinks and toilets!

July 15, 2018 HVAC Repairs Needed
We continue to discuss and experiment with possibilities for the replacement/ upgrade of our HVAC system. One of the definite costs is going to be the replacement of most (if not all) of our unit ventilators (special radiators). It’s going to cost about $2000 a vent. There are about 50 vents in the school! Continue to pray for the project. God is very much providing the people we need to continue moving forward.
July 8, 2018 Tribune Tower Donations

We picked up several truckloads of donations from Tribune Tower this week including kitchen equipment and tables and chairs. Thanks to the Tribune and all who helped with the move!

July 1, 2018 Improvements Continue at 3800 W. Chicago

As work continues in the school, we are very excited to let you know that significant work continues to be done on 3800 W. Chicago Ave! This space will be a parking lot/ basketball courts/ garden space. Check out the latest pictures!

June 24, 2018 Demolition & Remodeling
Very busy week for the school construction project! First floor demo is complete, we moved 9 UHauls worth of furniture from DePaul University and 680 N. Lake Shore Dr. to the Mission, first + second floor bathroom repairs started, and we received monetary commitments from several sources for the kitchen. Keep up the prayers, networking, and generosity!! We are very grateful.
June 17, 2018 First Floor Demolition



We started the demo on the first floor of the school last week! It will be completed this week. This demo is making space for our new food pantry space, our new walk in fridge and freezer, and our new donation space.

Before After
June 10, 2018 Basement storage

The first of MANY before and after pictures! This week we got the basement storage room painted. We then moved all of the stuff that needed to be moved for the demolition into the room. Get excited for some demo pictures next week!

May 20, 2018 First Floor Demolition

We have a tentative kick off date for the project! June 16 should be the start of the demo on the first floor of the building. We will be knocking down walls to make room for the new space for our food pantry, giant walk in fridge/ freezer, and donation space.
We currently are running most of our food pantry in the hallways of the school building. We are really looking forward to having a designated room for the pantry. Check out some pictures below of the current pantry. We are serving about 140 families a week! That is more than DOUBLE what we were doing at this time last year.

April 22, 2018 Roof & Demo

Despite the lack of updates, there has been a LOT of background work going on to prep for the school construction project. We are finally ready to actually start doing something in the next few weeks.
Two things are going to be happening pretty soon:

  1. Roof- The school still has the ORIGINAL 1959 roof. It is a minor miracle there is not more leaking. Even with some VERY generous donations of material and labor, it will cost about $90,000 to replace the roof. See pictures of our lovely tar roof.

  2. 1st floor demo- We will be knocking down walls on the first floor of the school to make room for our new food pantry space, donation space, and HUGE walk in fridge/ freezer. More on the demo project in future updates.

January 28, 2018 - Large Food Donation

Incredible food donation!
We were very blessed to receive a surprise call from our new friends from Morton, IL who work with Midwest Food Bank! They dropped off 12 pallets of food & even assembly lined it into the building for us. We would have NEVER been able to receive this donation without the school building!

January 16, 2018 - Tuesday Food Pantry Now in the School

The Tuesday pantry moved to the school building in August. We now serve DOUBLE the people we used to every single month at the Tuesday pantry. Learn more about the future of the Tuesday pantry HERE.


November 10, 2017 - Home Depot School Repainting

Home Depot started this project with a bang by granting the Mission at $25,000 grant and providing ~150 employees to repaint the entire school in 1 day! Here are some highlight pictures and the news story from Telemundo from that day. More pictures of Home Depot volunteers HERE.