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Addams Security Officer Spearheads Effort to Provide Dinners to Needy Families

Mark Crawley teamed with the DuPage Township Food Pantry and supplied a dozen Jane Addams Middle School families with a holiday feast.

security officer Mark Crawley readily admits “it breaks my heart” to see families in the community go without a good meal on Thanksgiving.

So he decided to do something about it.

“One day the idea just popped into my head. Let’s see if we can feed some of our families,” said Crawley, a resident who volunteers at the Food Pantry.

After conversations with and Addams social worker Colleen Porritt, Crawley coordinated things with DuPage Township Community Outreach Advocate Shirley Grzenia who oversees the annual Thanksgiving Dinner Giveaway for more than 1300 families.

When it was all said and done, 12 Addams families had a 16 pound turkey, a 10 pound bag of potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, bread, a pumpkin pie, hot chocolate and some Ghiradelli chocolates.

“I know what it is like to have to do without. I’ve been in that position myself before,” said Crawley, who came to a little over two years ago after a career in law enforcement and fire safety. “This is our community. These people are our neighbors.

“I don’t have any kids,” Crawley added. “I like to think all 18,000 kids in the district, especially the 800 at Jane Addams, are my kids.”

Mary-Kay Barrett December 05, 2011 at 02:57 AM
Colleen Porritt is a wonderful individual who always go over and beyond!! I can't believe the amount of time and effort she puts in. She has two children of her own and she spends countless hours helping others. Her two children; Jameson and Killian and hundreds of her students donated 90 plus pounds of candy from Halloween to the troops as well. Colleen is an angel!!! God bless!!!

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