By The Hand, a nonprofit organization that serves more than 1,700 kids in under-resourced neighborhoods around Chicago, is receiving a transformative $1 million donation from the Kenilworth Union Church’s Gilbert and Marlene Bowen Christian Outreach Fund. The donation will allow By The Hand to address food insecurity in the Chicago neighborhood Altgeld Gardens, home to the largest “food desert” in the city. With this grant, By The Hand will create The “Gil and Marlene Bowen Fresh Food and Nutrition Center.”
The new center bears the names of the Rev. Dr. Gil and Marlene Bowen, the church’s minister emeritus and his wife who inspired the fund and who’ve made it their mission to support service, youth programming, and education. The Bowen Fund was created in 2007 through the generous donations of 675 Kenilworth Union families in honor of the Rev. Bowen’s retirement after 37 years of ministry in the church.
Kenilworth Union Church says By The Hand was selected to receive the gift because it is a faith-based organization focused on youth and children that benefits the larger community. By the Hand was a 2012 Make It Better Foundation Philanthropy Award winner and continues to make significant impact within some of Chicago most critically under-resourced communities.
Kenilworth Union Church, a 130-year-old nondenominational church in the suburbs of Chicago, currently has relationships with 40 not-for-profit human service organizations in the Chicago area. In the past 10 years alone, the church has given $4.3 million in grants to these agencies. The church’s annual Outreach Benefit, which this year highlights Sarah’s Circle, a Bottom Line, and the Josselyn Center, will be held on Friday, April 29. You can help support Kenilworth Union Church’s outreach support by buying a ticket to the benefit, making a donation, or learning more about Outreach programming.