Uncle Pete Ministries
To serve the less fortunate, creating awareness and hope for those in need.
To unite people who have means to those who do not. This will be accomplished through: sack dinners, collecting can food, school supplies, warm clothing, warm sox, etc. Nurturing parishes and organizations to engage in repetitive small giving to create the habit of giving, caring for others, and forming relationships.
To unite the ideas of faith and volunteerism to help care for the less fortunate; so as to move people more toward Christ.
Pete Zonsius, Uncle to Sister Judith Zonsius, OSB
Through his many trips to the Westside of Chicago, Uncle Pete, as he was known to all, realized that more and more people were homeless, in shelters, or living on less than adequate wages to support their families. Seeing this great need, he organized some of the members of his parish, Saint John Brebeuf (Niles, IL), and got them involved making sack dinners once per month for eight months of the year. He felt, “it is hard to see people so much in need, and not respond”. He knew if he could help mobilize various groups of volunteers, that each could do something to contribute, even in a small way. He believed that together small efforts can add up to make a significant impact on the daily needs of people who are hungry, right here in our area. Over the years, through Uncle Pete’s example and vision, these acts of mercy have continued and grown. Under the direction of a small group of core volunteers, who have maintained the relationships which Uncle Pete developed, Uncle Pete Ministries continues to add on new groups of volunteers and supporters.
West Side's Uncle Pete from YouAndMeThisMorning on the U.
Where are the Sack Lunches delivered?
In addition to families in need across Chicago’s West Side, those who we serve include:
Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens
St. Martin dePorres, Our Lady of Angels, Marillac Center, St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Sylvester, Mother Teresa Sisters of Charity and Cornerstone Community Center
Shelters and Housing Facilities
Franciscan Harrison Shelter, Eddie Beard Veterans House, Grace House, St. Leonard’s House, The Boulevard, Covenant House, Pioneer House, the Franciscan Day Program
Women and Children
Deborah’s Place, Madonna House and House of the Good Shepherd, Marillac Project Hope, Sarah's Circle
Senior Programs and other
Our Lady of Angels, Marillac Center, YMCA residences, people in tents under the viaducts
Organize a Sack Ministry Event
Sack dinner making is meant to be a ministry, not an event. You might think of an event as a car wash to raise money. A ministry tries to focus on the why of the activity while doing it. In order to build a sense of community, those like you would invite others to participate. Uncle Pete's Ministry wants to position the work to be done by acknowledging the presence of the Lord. This is usually done thru a short prayer, composed by one of you, recognizing what the work is and who is to benefit, asking God to bless the work and the recipients. Being organized, assigning responsibilities, and most importantly, being accountable for your personal contribution is also key. Finally, helping others feel dignity through this act of service is of the utmost importance.