Second-year forward will serve dinner at city’s Pacific Garden Mission’s Gospel League Home
Deng to Provide Thanksgiving Dinner for 400 Chicagoans
November 17, 2005 – Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng will visit Pacific Garden Mission’s Gospel League Home (Chicago) on Wednesday, November 23, to serve a Thanksgiving dinner he has purchased to the 400 visitors expected at the home that evening.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m. Deng and Bulls mascot Benny the Bull will serve the traditional turkey dinner followed by dessert and the distribution of Bulls gifts from the star forward. The Gospel League Home is located at 955 West Grand Avenue in Chicago.
“My athletic abilities have opened many doors of opportunity to me,” said Deng. “Along with playing in the NBA, I am fortunate to be in a position to genuinely help others and I intend to take full advantage of that opportunity.”
“The holidays can be extremely difficult for those who are struggling because they are a time for celebration, giving thanks and sharing,” he continued. “My goal is to remind these people that they are cared about and give them hope that there are better days ahead.”
With the assistance of the Chicago Bulls, Boston Market, Eli’s Cheesecake and Point Imaging, all patrons visiting the home on November 23 will be provided with dinner, dessert and Bulls novelties in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Deng will continue what has become his holiday tradition of giving in December by planning a shopping spree for local youth.
During his career, Deng would like to use his experience to inspire hope and hard work in young people who must overcome significant obstacles in order to lead productive lives.
Like Luol, there are plenty of great young people – in this city and throughout the world – who are building brighter futures through grit, focus and steadfast resolve. To help them, he plans to establish a Fund that will recognize and reward their efforts. Over the next year, Luol will be giving serious thought to the Fund’s mission and the grantmaking activities that will best support it. For now, he is delighted to do what he can by participating in uplifting events such as this one.
Since 1877, Pacific Garden Mission has been a refuge for those weary of struggling through life’s storms. Countless millions have come to the “Old Lighthouse” in Chicago seeking food, shelter and clothing as well as medical and dental care. Many also come seeking the answer to their ongoing struggle. They leave having found new life through faith in Jesus Christ. The Gospel League Home was established in 1941 to specifically address the needs of homeless women and children. It provides dorm-like housing for approximately 150 women and serves between 5,000 and 7,000 meals each month.