Illinois first family's Thanksgiving Day
spent assisting less fortunate
Send a link to a friend
[NOV. 26, 2004]
CHICAGO -- On Thanksgiving
Day, Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his family visited families staying at
the Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Lodge in Chicago before
traveling to Springfield to help serve dinner at the St. John's
The governor's family distributed
hundreds of winter clothing items, including coats, hats, gloves and
mittens, to children staying at the Booth Lodge and to children
visiting St. John's Breadline in Springfield. The winter clothing
items were donated by employees of various state agencies.
The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth
Lodge is a haven for families and individuals who are temporarily
homeless because of eviction, disasters such as a fire or flood,
loss of utilities, domestic violence, or other crises. The Booth
Lodge provides shelter for up to 120 individuals each night.
During their visit, the governor
read stories to the children, and the first lady donated 130 books
as a continuation of her literacy campaign. Her effort began during
the summer months when she partnered with First Book and
HarperCollins to launch the First Book Summer Reading Initiative,
which distributed 100,000 new books to children from low-income
[to top of second column in
Families at the Booth Lodge enjoyed
a Thanksgiving dinner of turkeys, stuffing, mashed potatoes and
gravy provided by Jewel Osco.
In Springfield, the governor and his
family helped serve Thanksgiving dinner and greet visitors at St.
John's Breadline, an outreach center serving the Springfield
community. The center anticipated serving between 760 and 1,000
meals on Thanksgiving Day. This year, the Illinois Department of
Corrections donated a substantial part of the Thanksgiving meal,
providing 40 turkeys, 40 pies and canisters of coffee.
[News release from the