Suddenly in March 2020, POC could no longer physically wipe away the tears of a mother suffering from depression, hold the hand of a hesitant child at the first day of camp, clap for the little ballerina at an ICompete dance recital, or shake the hand of a GED graduate. POC was, however, the smiling eyes over masks and the soothing voice over the phone answering hundreds of calls from community members in need of support. POC offered safe programs for families at the community garden and Edgebrook, and visited former participants for wellness checks. POC reached those most vulnerable, spreading the message that we were open, and prepared to help.

The community was affected in ways that we could not possibly imagine this year. As the Executive Director of POC, this year knocked me on my knees but the goodness of people lifted me back to my feet. The generosity of donors, friends, and strangers humbled me and gave me hope. Over the last year, the busy HANDS of POC staff, Board of Directors, volunteers, and partners HELD up what was important and essential to this community.

From this hope came action:

  • 1,200 people received emergency food collected through 3 neighborhood and church drives
  • 156 families in quarantine received COVID sanitation buckets, delivered by ROLE volunteers
  • 200 young women received essential hygiene products from a community collection
  • 800 children received backpacks filled with new school supplies
  • 3,500 masks given to children and adults and sewn by volunteers
  • 255 students of all ages assisted with technical skills to prepare for online learning

POC is constructing a display at the Community Resource Center in Palatine to recognize all who helped this year. All donors to POC’s 2020 Hope & Peace Appeal Campaign will be invited to submit a photograph of their hands to adorn POC’s hallways with the message of HOPE and PEACE. Their hands HOLD something precious and a symbol of hope, kindness, equity, and unconditional love.

To learn more about POC’s work this year, please visit

In Peace,

Kathy Millin
POC Executive Director

Partners For Our Communities

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