Your monthly update of the happenings at COOL Ministries, where our mission is to give comprehensive assistance to families in need, by reducing hunger and homelessness while encouraging personal growth and self-sufficiency.

COOL Happenings   |   February 2015

Hi <<First Name>>,

           We hope you are keeping warm during this cold February.   If you are like us, you are starting to dream of spring.   Poet Percy Shelley wrote "O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?"  Here is what is happening at COOL Ministries this month:
Lines form outside Pantry East each day before the doors open.
The COOL Family Housing Program encourages personal growth and develops self-sufficiency in our participants.
COOL is a:
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COOL and several other organizations received funds this month from Help Them to Hope!   We were blessed to receive the same award as last year despite the fact that the overall collection was down from the prior year.   It is truly a blessing each year to open the News Sun every day beginning at Thanksgiving and watch the fund grow throughout the holiday season.   Donors large and small contribute to Help Them to Hope so that organizations like COOL can give hope to our neighbors in need when they find themselves with no place else to turn.   On behalf of all of us at COOL we extend our thanks to the entire community for supporting this cause that helps COOL continue our mission of service to those less fortunate!
SPACE NEEDED:   Anyone visiting Pantry East or the COOL Central Offices knows that storage space is a problem at COOL.   Over the past several years, more and more visitors come to COOL each month seeking help with food.   This means we move more and more food everyday through the small spaces at Pantry East which does not even have a door wide enough to accommodate a pallet.   Though we are moving more food than ever before, our revenue has not increased.   Despite this, COOL distributed 1.25 million pounds of food in 2014 through our doors by hand and cart.   If you know of a possible retail space for a relocation of COOL in the greater Waukegan area, we would appreciate hearing from you!   Meanwhile please keep our space and our volunteers in your prayers as they work very hard every day lifting and moving heavy food boxes in and out our doors. 

We have developed a new weather policy for consistent handling of snow days so that volunteers, staff, delivery drivers and donors will all know whether the pantry and central office are open.   COOL will now close on days when the Waukegan Public Schools close due to weather.   Early dismissals, late starts and other Waukegan School schedule changes will not affect the COOL schedule.   This change has been a big help to the many volunteers working daily at COOL Food Pantries.   Additionally, our visitors will no longer be wasting their time, energy and resources traveling unnecessarily to COOL only to find we have closed due to a weather emergency. 
Upcoming Events:   COOL has partnered with several local restaurants for fund raising to support COOL programs.   You can help COOL to feed the hungry and house the homeless by dining out at Sweet Tomatoes (850 S. Waukegan Rd in Waukegan) on Saturday, April 11th, from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.   Make sure you take a copy of the COOL flyer with you and present it to the cashier to assure that COOL receives a donation from Sweet Tomatoes for 15% of your check.

Also, Panera Bread (6557 Grand Ave in Gurnee) will donate up to 20% of sales to COOL for diners presenting a COOL flyer anytime during their business hours (6 a.m. – 9 p.m.) on Friday, May 15th.

Mark your calendars now for April 11th and May 15th so you remember to dine out and support a great cause!   Copies of the flyers are at the bottom of this e-mail for your convenience.

COOL’s Annual Plant Sale is on schedule for the Saturday, May 9th.   Mark your calendars and plan on getting your Mother’s Day Plants at this annual event held at Bethel Lutheran Church in Gurnee.   Plant order forms should arrive any day and there is still plenty of time to volunteer!
In January, COOL Food Pantries issued food to 6395 individuals with 4872 served at Pantry East and 1523 served at Pantry West.   Due to the cold weather and closing for one snow day, visitation decreased at Pantry East by 179 individuals.   At Pantry West we served 11 additional guests in January as compared to 2014.   Overall, visitation decreased at COOL pantries by 168 individuals as compared to the same period last year.
Our Food of the Month:

* for February is breakfast items

(hot & cold cereal, muffin & pancake mix, etc.)

* for March is tuna
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