Chicago News

St. Vincent de Paul's Outreach Luncheon and Resource Fair part of the "Santa Mike" series

Saturday, November 16, 2013

An annual event helping the homeless and at-risk, got an overwhelming response from the needy Saturday at an event 43 years in the making continues to help Chicago's

Hundreds of needy people lined up for the free help.

Some have been here many times before. Others, like Barbara Khan, never needed the help until this year.

"It's hard when you're a single person on disability," she said. "You try to get as much as you can as far as help is concerned."

St. Vincent de Paul's Outreach Luncheon and Resource Fair is part of the "Santa Mike" series.

One man named Mike, with one mission to help others.

"Just wanted to do a simple act of kindness started out small and this is one of the things we developed from that day," organizer Mike Sturch said. "The first party we had for the homeless we had eight men and two volunteers, 43 years later we have 1,000."

People received an early Thanksgiving meal, a shower, clothes, shoes, haircuts, even check-ups from medical professionals, all for free.

Each person that walks through the door gets their own personal guide, walking them through the process, getting them all the help they need.

Santa Mike and his 400 volunteer elves will also give out hundreds of toys to children and throw a holiday party for the elderly.

One hundred percent of any donations they collect go back to the community.

They rely on the goodness of others, and hope people open their hearts to help in any way they can so they can keep this long tradition of helping others going.

"The organization will serve 650 homeless people Saturday.

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