Winter is nipping at autumn’s heels, and with the Thanksgiving holiday and the top of the month coming up, some families and charitable organizations are struggling to keep up on all manner of bills. Areas in the American North are suffering hardest, as temperatures drop and the need for gas and electricity rises, and despite the good cheer of the season, these are tenuous times for many.
Two women’s shelters in Chicago’s southwest side have been hit by massive bills in the recent months, whether they’re for gas, electric, or building code fines from the city of Chicago. The city settled with both Clara’s House and Clara’s Place for a percentage of their fine, but it took an anonymous donor to keep the shelters’ gas going.
Now it’s taken Detroit Pistons point guard and Chicago native Will Bynum to keep the electric going. After personally paying for their $3,000 electric bills, Bynum will host a Thanksgiving dinner for both shelters on Thursday. Wendell Hutson at DNAChicago, via Piston Powered, has the report:
Bynum spokeswoman Shawn Zanotti confirmed that Bynum and his Chicago-based Reach|Teach Foundation, would sponsor an evening dinner after he makes the check presentation.
"He will present Ms. Kirk with a check to show his support for what she is doing to help so many women and children," Zanotti said.
Bynum, who once lived in Englewood and attended Crane High School, said his efforts go far beyond money.
“This is bigger than just paying an electric bill and giving dinners to those in need, it is about me seeing a need and doing my part to help," Bynum said. "I want the homeless and battered women who are living in the shelter to know there is someone who cares, that the situation can and will get better."
Clara Kirk, the founder of both houses, told Hutson that it takes $650,000 a year to run the two shelters, which why every bit of Bynum’s generosity helps. The Pistons point guard told DNAChicago that he wrote the checks because “Clara doesn’t turn anyone away and because “she keeps the doors open with the heart to help, not knowing how the bills to operate will stay on. It’s an honor for me to help.”
If you would like to make your own donation, alongside Will’s, you can visit Clara House’s website here.
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