By: GABRIELLA CRUZ-MARTÍNEZ
Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Chicago Hyde Park Village – a local community-based nonprofit organization focused on helping members of the community remain in their homes -held is fourth Anniversary celebration to honor its members, volunteers, and donors of the community on Nov. 15 at the Hyde Park Bank, 1525 East 53rd Street.
The Chicago Hyde Park Village (CHPV) or ‘The Village’ is part of a nationwide grassroots movement to create “age-friendly” communities and organizations that support individuals as they grow older through diverse programs including education, volunteerism, referrals and services, according to its mission statement.
“We’re here to support our neighbors and encourage residents of all ages to remain engaged and a part of their active community,” said Craig Krell, lifelong Hyde Park resident and volunteer driver with CHPV. “I came to be a part of this initiative through my dad, another lifelong Hyde Parker. This organization not only engages our community as it grows older, but it helps its members to avoid problems that they may face such as transportation, access to information, fraud, loneliness or violence.”
Some activities organized by CHPV include game nights, book groups, special diner outings and weekly yoga sessions.
“I like to take my dad to ‘Men’s Group’ at Piccolo Mondo, an activity the organization holds every other Wednesday. We take our coffee and enjoy the company of the other members of the group to talk as Piccolo Mondo sets up. It’s so nice how they open up their space for us,” said Krell.
One small hurdle the group has faced has been finding a new venue to host some of their activities such as ‘Game Night’, which used to be held at the now-closed Treasure Island basement. According to Krell, other organizations in the neighborhood such as the Hyde Park Historical Society have offered their spaces in the meantime.
“We’re here to celebrate and honor our community tonight,” said CHPV President Gary Worcester. “Since its inception, we’ve now grown to serve 159 individuals in Hyde Park. We hope to continue growing and inspiring others to join in this initiative.”
On Nov. 22, members of the Hyde Park Village will host their 6th Annual Thanksgiving Potluck at Augustana Church, 5500 S. Woodlawn Ave. The event runs from 12:30 to 3 p.m. and is free.
CHPV will provide turkey from Hyde Park Produce and ham. All are welcome and can bring a dish to share to celebrate among friends and neighbors.
“We hope to see our community join us in our upcoming Thanksgiving celebration,” said former CHPV President Margaret Hellie Huyck.
“We’re grateful for organizations around Hyde Park to have supported us and collaborated in our activities throughout the years,” said Krell. “Tonight alone we had so much support from our local restaurants who donated refreshments for the event.”
Some local restaurants and merchants that donated to the event included Chant, Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen, Hyde Park Taco Station, Fabiana’s Bakery, Hyde Park Produce, Piccolo Mondo and more.
For more information on how to become a CHPV volunteer, become a member or view upcoming activities, visit: www.chpv.org.
For any inquiries regarding the Thanksgiving Potluck, contact Augustana Lutheran Church at 773-493-6451.