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How You Can Make a Difference This Holiday

Updated on January 4, 2013

Annual Food & Toy Giveaway

In the heart of the south side of Chicago resides a small organization assigned to a large task, as part of its name states, servicing the community. Every year in November and December, the Paul Hall Community Service Center opens its doors at its original location at 9039 S. Ashland Ave. to give those less fortunate an opportunity to afford a grand meal for the holidays. Every year is not promised, but still every year, the founder and overseer, Bishop Paul J. Hall, pushes, pleads, and pokes at the hearts of citizens near and far simply asking for help to feed those in need.

The Paul Hall Community Center has a varying history, beginning as a drum and bugle corp. in the basement of a housing project building, then finally heading to its first location before becoming a church . Bishop Paul Hall has dedicated his life to helping youth and the less fortunate beginning in the sixties when he was only twelve years old. With the help of some great leaders, Bishop Hall tread through and rose in the city of Chicago as a great leader in his own right, saving youth and making a difference in the lives of many families. Now in his sixties, Bishop Hall does not feel it is time to retire from helping others, but to press harder to meet his goal of helping 2,500 families. His goal was even more pressed by the recession and the unemployment rate increase. With the holidays approaching fast, the community center and its volunteers are working elfish-like to help Bishop Hall help a mother and father watch the glow of their children’s faces as they see gifts with their name on Christmas morning. They enjoy the "thank you" and smiles received from those who stand in a long line in the cold and sometimes snow; just to receive the makings of a holiday dinner and much more.

Chicago Defender 1983.  One of many news articles covering the Paul Hall Community Service Center food giveaway.
Chicago Defender 1983. One of many news articles covering the Paul Hall Community Service Center food giveaway.

Since beginning his crusade to help the needy, Bishop Hall has received a massive amount of support. With the overflow of food arriving mostly on the day before and the day of the Christmas Eve giveaway, Bishop Hall vows, "I will not eat until I can feed 2,000 families.” Most holidays, that is exactly what happens. Once Bishop Hall goes on television and radio to call for help, he touches people like Mother Teresa did and the donations start flowing in.

One year this major call for help is what provoked one man to drive more than one hour in the cold and snow to donate what he could. The year after that, this same man started a movement at his job which just so happens to be a well-known hotel. Now, every year this hotel excitedly makes the mission of Bishop Hall, their mission as well. With the help of the hotel and other regular donors, Bishop Hall has been able to provide quite a bit of food to many people. Yet, a few cannot do such a large mission alone. The community center still needs help. Every holiday season, donations begin trickling in as early as September. Yet, Bishop Hall and his volunteers are still never sure of the result until the last bag of food goes into the hand of the last person in a line that typically stretches two city blocks no matter how cold and snowy the weather.

One truck full of donations in 2011
One truck full of donations in 2011
Food bags prepared to be filled
Food bags prepared to be filled

How You Can Help

Make a Donation

If you are in the Chicagoland area,

You can help the Paul Hall Community Service Center’s “Mission to Feed 2,000 Families” or “Adopt-a-Family” by bringing non-perishable food items, toys, new or like new coats to 10140 S. Halsted St. Or call (773) 298-1209 to ask how you can help make a difference this holiday. Paul Hall Community Service Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization. All contributions and donations are tax deductible.

In your own town,.

Find an organization to donate clothes/coats, toys, or food or simply volunteer your time.

Make it Your Own

Start a mission at

  • your office
  • your church or organization
  • your local school
  • your neighborhood

It does not take much if everyone gives just a little.

Toys collected from donors
Toys collected from donors

Two Locations, One Service

The Paul Hall Community Service Center

9039 S. Ashland Ave.

Chicago, IL 60620

10140 S. Halsted St.

Chicago, IL 60628

Phone: (773) 298-1209



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