God's Gang

Subtitle

History

God's Gang is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening the residents of the community with an all volunteer, staff. We promote self-esteem and providing support to youth driven sustainable agriculture projects and initiatives. Perceived by many as a new organization, God's Gang was established by Grand Boulevard residents and St. Mary's A.M.E. Church members over thirty years ago. It has been maintained and supported primarily by donations and volunteerism.

In the middle 70's, God's Gang initially invited youth to St. Mary's AME Church on Sunday mornings for a nutritious breakfast. Some of the kids began to sing in the choir and dubbed themselves God's Gang. The group hosted an emergency feeding program they called Mother's Cupboard Food Pantry.

Today, God's Gang supports a variety of activities that enable youth and adults to choose a life of self-help at the same time they contribute to strengthening their community. Through Planting Dreams, youth are engaged in urban agricultural, landscaping activities and crafts. SSUGA, the South Side Urban Gardeners Association provides family and senior citizens opportunities and assistance to develop neighborhood/ backyard gardens. The Energy Action Network assists with applications for CEDA and Weatherization programs for the entire family.

There is no 'typical' God's Gang volunteer or member. Our members span birth to nearly 100 years old. They work, attend school, raise their children or grandchildren, sometimes all of the above. Members and supporters of God's Gang serve as tutors, farmers, trip chaperones, teachers, choreographers, and tour guides. They dig holes, build greenhouses, pick the vegetables, feed the chickens, ducks and geese and teach youth to catch fish. Working with the Red Cross Fire Stopper program, they conduct fire safety inspections and distribute a safety kit. Working with community pantries and block clubs, they distribute organization produced herb bottles and as part of the Energy Network, and Citizens Utility Board (CUB) they distribute weatherization kits.We help community members who want to start their own growing sites, we provide a view into the past at a local Chicago school with our heritage and legacy displays and historical re-enactments in period dress and presentations.

God's Gang provides teens with urban farming, employment and training, life skills through their After School Matters Planting Dreams group, and cultural awareness programs, mentoring, and recreational activities for the youth and families. The purpose of this is to develop and implement an independent and all-encompassing urban agriculture program as a means of enhancing food security, economic self-sufficiency, and positive youth development for impoverished members of these communities. Run by the children and families it serves, the organization promotes food security, economic self-sufficiency, and positive youth development

God's Gang was founded to provide an alternative to negative youth influences in Chicago south side neighborhoods, God's Gang ongoing objective is to present nutritional and entrepreneurial experiences for its members.   

GOD’S GANG NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT


God’s Gang is a 501(C)-3 not-for-profit organization founded to promote self-esteem, entrepreneurial training and opportunities for personal growth for youth through sustainable agriculture projects and initiatives. As a direct food supplier through urban farming, we provide agricultural training to youth and families. families. We serve ethnically diverse, low-income Chicago  residents. 


GOD’S GANG NEEDS YOU!!!

Have you been searching for a charitable organization to support? God’s Gang is just the organization for which you have been looking.

We are appealing to you as a current or future friend of God’s Gang to join us as we move forward.  We need your assistance in reaching our objectives

  • to “enlarge our territory”
  • to expand our services
  • to reap a greater harvest of nutritional foods  for those in need
  • to continue to develop well-rounded, progressive young people ready for success. 

 

More than twenty five years ago, GOD'S GANG was founded on the premise of"Raising Village Children Higher".  Seeing children enter the doors of St. Mary's AME church without shoes and proper clothing, GOD’S GANG founder, Carolyn Thomas set about making a positive difference in the lives of families in the CHA Robert Taylor housing project at 52nd and State Street, Chicago. 

The Robert Taylor housing project is no longer on the horizon, but the needs still exist.  Our ongoing objective is to meet needs of Chicago and her neighbors.  Needless to say, the mission has not changed in purpose but in scope.

 

  • GOD’S GANG youth are ready to lead and anxious for the challenge.
  • GOD'S GANG youth understand the value of strong personal character, strong family ties, and a strong work ethic. 
  • GOD'S GANG has involved more than 700 families from the Grand Boulevard Community as service providers and consumers, providing job training at five different sites.
  • Targeting grass roots education, our programs include (but are not limited to:

Farms  We farm in backyards, park spaces, and through the generosity of farm owners – Joyce Mims of Hidden Haven Farms in Union Pier, Michigan and Carzella Pritchett of Karaal Farms in Dawson, Wisconsin – in traditional farm settings.  Planting Dreamsprovides families with opportunities to establish micro-farm enterprises. 


Exhibits  - The Evolution of a Village exhibit begins in Mother Africa and combines the teachings of history, stewardship of the land, the understanding that we came from a race of princes and warriors and that we are born survivors. It is an educational opportunity to teach African American children to learn and appreciate their history.  It provides  countless opportunities for positive peer interaction and discussion.

Recycling 

GOD'S GANG has been the past recipient of endowments from individuals and organizations that understand and appreciate our vision; but with so many more needs to be met, God’s Gang needs you!


Planting Dreams, The Agricultural Arm of God's Gang

 

Planting Dreams, the agricultural arm of God's Gang, is a direct food supplier through urban farming, and training, serving ethnically diverse, low-income residents primarily in Chicago's Southside communities.

We have established satellite farms in Union Pier, Michigan and Dawson, Illinois for the purpose of training, food production and expansion as additional farmers are trained.


Planting Dreams continues to develop and support member grown efforts to grow food in their backyards and on vacant neighborhood lots, providing supplementary sources of food supply



Green Cheeks Library


Heritage Exhibits

The Evolution of the Village exhibit begins in Mother Africa, and combines the teachings of history, stewardship of the land, the understanding that we came from a race of princes and warriors and that we are born survivors. 


The core of this exhibit was created in 2005 with a nod to the Milwaukee Holocaust Museum to recognize our beginnings. 

 

Will to Adorn


Green Cheeks is providing Chicago area field research for the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, for “The Will to Adorn” project, which explores the significance of adornment and the dress arts in the African-American community. 


Energy Action Network - God's Gang


Residents who meet eligibility criteria for the programs will receive assistance.



ENERGY ACTION NETWORK INFORMATION - CITIZEN UTILITY BOARD

God's Gang Energy Action Network

1033 E 95th St

Chicago, IL 60619

773.213.-0229


 


 

God’s Gang Collaborative Network


  • 114th & 113th Prairie Block Club
  • After School Matters
  • Shedd Aquarium/ BOSS Community Council
  • CEDA
  • Chicago State University
  • Chicago Wilderness
  • Coalition For Improved Education in South Shore --  C.I.E.S.S.
  • CPS / Bright Elementary School
  • CPS / Curtis Elementary School
  • CPS / Gompers Elementary School
  • Citizen Utility Board
  • Eden Place
  • Energy Action Network - CEDA
  • Garfield Park Conservatory
  • Hidden Haven Farm
  • Karaal Farm
  • Heifer Project International
  • National Juneteenth Observance Foundation
  • Pembroke Family Farm Network
  • Roseland Pullman Urban Agriculture
  • S.O.N. Foundation
  • Serenity Farm
  • Smithsonian  Institute For Center For Folklife and Cultural Heritage
  • South Side Urban Growers  Association (SSUGA)
  • American Red Cross Team Firestoppers
  • Training and Educationala Resources for Children (T.E.R.C.)
  • True Fellowship MBC
  • U of I Master Gardener Program
  • UrbanFarm South
  • Accelerate 77- -- Institute For Cultural Affairs
  • Zanzibar Gardens

 

Advisory Board


  •     Latrece Glenn Thpmas    Director, God's Gang  
  • Chavette  Allen-El            
  • Mardine McReynolds    


  • Carolyn D.Thomas   Director, Energy Action
  • Marcus Thomas       Director, Planting Dreams
  • Evona Hill                 Director - Beloit WI
  • Erma Robinson         Director -
  • Robert  M.Douglas    Director -Outreach
  • Carzella  Pritchette   Owner - Karaal
  • Joyce Mims              Owner  - Hidden Haven -Owner
  • Scott Parker             Owner- Urban Farm South