News & Notes: October 2018
October was a very active month for our children and staff! From soccer tournaments and chess competitions to mural painting and business classes, there are lots of exciting things to share with you. Keep reading for the latest happenings at CAC!
Make this Christmas brighter for our children!
This Christmas you have the ability to make the season brighter for so many. Chet said it best: "your giving helps them know they are not left out, but cared for, and that they are part of a world that has reasons to celebrate. This taste of love and joy goes a long way to show them that beyond the lights and trees and ornaments, there is a deeper, life fulfilling reason for our celebration." 

For those of you who have already contributed, thank you! There is still time to support our Secret Santa Christmas program! It is a blessed thing to give, to lift the spirits of our neighbors, to come alongside of parents and caregivers during this time. 

There are two ways you can help!  First, you can shop for a child. Contact Ms. Clause (aka Margaret McCurdy) at  ilslsgrl@yahoo.com  or 
217-416-8181  - she will send you the wish list of a child or children and details of the process. Or, you can simply give online at  www.cacesl.org/christmas .
Bringing education closer to our community!
Last month we announced a new initiative to offer a high school diploma program at CAC! God has blessed us with this opportunity to serve our neighborhood, and we believe it will benefit many who were unable to complete high school. The program is self-paced and available anywhere there is internet!

Additionally, our East Side Entrepreneurs youth business class has been hard at work on their "Christmas on the Beach" jewelry collection. We have shells and coral pieces from our travels along with an assortment of precious and semi-precious stones, some of which were purchased from The Bead Place, while the rest comes from Turkey, North Africa, and Central America.

The money raised goes towards the youth starting their own businesses here in East St. Louis after completing the course next May. We plan on having everything ready for Black Friday! If you are a small business owner who wants to share your knowledge and experience with our kids, contact Seth Hamilton at 618-874-5615 or seth.hamilton@cacesl.org.
Community beautification one wall at a time!
Thanks to East Side Aligned and ESTL Performs, CAC is one of the youth groups bringing more beauty to the community by participating in the painting of several murals at the Katherine Dunham Museum, under the direction of a local artist. The mural is visible to all who pass on the Metrolink!
Coming together for chess!
Recently the CAC Chess Team, along with several other after school programs, came together at the CAC and hosted a guest speaker. Mr. Coleman talk about the benefits of chess in his life and how the game continues to effect him! Afterward the children enjoyed food provided by Mr. and Mrs. Holt and then played Chess. What a great game to learn for the foundations of life!
Introducing: The CAC Panthers!
CAC children are playing soccer! Of course, those that have been following us know this already, but we wanted to highlight two of our stars: Serenity and De'Carlos. They are competitive yet kind, skillful yet gritty, and passionate yet controlled. They are East St. Louis Soccer, and they are the Christian Activity Center's Panthers!

As a reward for their work at practice yesterday, they were able to pick from an assortment of old soccer jerseys from Coach Matt's closet.
Last weekend we competed in the Belle Claire Cup which was a "recreational tournament". Coach Matt called it a recreational tournament because he found out that many of the teams that CAC played against had been together for 5+ years compared to our 1.5-2 months of practice. Although the score lines would reflect great defeat, what stuck out to him was a great resilience, love for the game, and a camaraderie that happens only when you're in the trenches with someone else which transcends the game itself.  

This not only stuck out to Matt as the coach, but also the parents and coaches of the teams we were playing. So much so, we got invited to play in a competitive league next season!

Did we lose? O yea. Will we be back? You better believe!
Beautiful Costa Rica: Report Coming Soon!
Last month several of our children and staff traveled to Costa Rica for a service trip! Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for a full report on the "News & Notes" blog, but in the meantime, here are a few pictures from the trip!
Christian Activity Center
Caring for kids in East St. Louis
540 N. 6th Street | P.O. Box 2525 | East St. Louis, IL 62201
618-874-5615 | www.cacesl.org