Our History

COOL Ministries is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, was founded by people from six Lutheran Churches in the Waukegan/North Chicago area in 1982 and incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1983. The First program was the COOL Food Pantry, opening its doors in January 1983.

In January 2007, a partnership with Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ingleside, led to the addition of a satellite pantry, COOL Pantry West, which is located in the church and manned by congregational volunteers.

The pantries provide food for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with specialty foods for cardiac and diabetic diets. We offer ethnic foods and foods for those with allergies. In 2011 the Pantries served 39,709 individuals with food enough for 476,508 balanced meals.

The pantries are supported by the entire Lake County community including churches, individuals, government, corporate and foundation grants. Our programs are also supported by the United Way of Lake County.

COOL began the Transitional Housing Program in October of 1988. The purpose of this Family Housing Program is to provide case management to homeless families in need of life re-structuring. Along with case management, we provide a clean, safe place to live, counseling, life skills training and other support services which collectively work to enable guest families to transform their lives and make a smooth progression toward self-sufficient living. COOL provides Phase I rent and utility paid housing for up to 12 months while families work to save enough money for a home down payment or first and last months rent upon leaving the program. Phase II is the same as Phase I with the additional of a low monthly rental payment.

Guest families must be motivated to follow their individual goals plan in order to reach success in every category of their lives. Families must maintain a job, save money, receive counseling, attend money management classes, and acquire better domestic skills and parenting skills. Following the policies and guidelines is mandatory and enables families to achieve successful problem solving skills, such as attaining dependable transportation and adequate childcare, allowing them to progress more quickly and achieve goals more rapidly.

2015 Name Change

The COOL Board of Directors recognizes that COOL has grown substantially over the years. Member churches and supporters are increasingly diverse and though COOL Ministries was founded by a small group of Lutherans in 1983, COOL is now a major Social Service agency serving all of Lake County Illinois. In February of 2015 by unanimous vote of the  Directors serving on the COOL Board the official name of the organization was changed from “Christian Outreach of Lutherans” to “COOL Ministries” in recognition that our supporters are not only Lutheran, but come from all walks of life and are as diverse as the clients we serve!

 

 



Serving Lake and
McHenry Counties

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COOL Central Offices
127 W. Water Street
Waukegan IL 60085
Phone: 847.662.1340
Fax: 847-662-1255
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Pantry East Waukegan
123 W. Water Street
Waukegan IL 60085
847.662.1230

Hours:
Mondays: 1:00-5:00 PM
Tues, Wed, Thur & Fri
10:00 AM-2:00 PM
One Saturday per month
call 847.662.1230 for details
You must arrive 15 minutes prior to closing to receive food.

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Pantry West Ingleside
25519 W. Highway 134
Ingleside IL 60041
847.270.0411

Hours:
Mondays: 1:00-5:00 PM
Wednesdays: 10:00 AM-2:00 PM
One Saturday per month
call 847.270.0411 for details
You must arrive 15 minutes prior to closing to receive food

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Family Housing Program
127 W. Water Street
Waukegan IL 60085
call 847.662-1340
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Thank you Thrivent Financial!

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AMAZON SMILE
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You can now support COOL Ministries every time you shop online at AmazonSmile. Visit smile.amazon.com and select Christian Outreach of Lutherans as your charitable organization, and 0.5% of every eligible purchase will be donated to COOL.

Your Amazon account (and Amazon Prime membership) will operate exactly the same on AmazonSmile, but the donation will only occur if you shop using smile.amazon.com.

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JOIN IGIVE
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It is so easy to support COOL Ministries every time you shop online at thousands of websites using IGIVE. Visit http://www.igive.com and select Christian Outreach of Lutherans as your charitable organization, and money will go automatically to COOL! You Shop. Your Charity Gets Money for Free! COOL Ministries is a registered cause at igive.com It's easy to join and it's free.

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Thank You Kraft Volunteers!