Pangea volunteers, through the 501c3 nonprofit Pangea Cares, continues a partnership with Breakthrough on Chicago’s west side by preparing and serving meals at the men’s and women’s centers.

Chicago, IL, August 27, 2021 –(– Pangea Cares, the 501c3 nonprofit arm of Pangea Properties (Pangea), was thrilled to be able to again partner with Breakthrough, an organization hyper-focused in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on Chicago’s west side that provides resources and assistance to those affected by poverty. Founded in 1992, Breakthrough began with Arloa Sutter’s desire to reach Chicago’s most vulnerable by service coffee to unhoused adults on the north side. Now, nearly three decades old, the organization has grown to offer men’s and women’s shelters as well as many other valuable assets for the men, women, youths, and families in the area.

Breakthrough’s mission and core values very clearly align with Pangea Cares’ three pillars of Food & Nutrition, Education Enrichment, and Community Development. As such, Pangea has been proud to support and volunteer at Breakthrough’s Men’s Center in the past and couldn’t have been happier to volunteer there again as well expand to the women’s shelter as well.

The fourth consecutive year of participating in the meal service at the Breakthrough Men’s Center, volunteers gathered to prep, cook, and serve a meal to the men at the center. As one of the last in-person Pangea Cares events before the shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was great to be able to return on July 20. Typically volunteers are able to enjoy the meal together with the group, but safety protocols prevented congregating this time. We hope to be able to safely gather to share the meal next time.

When asked why he decided to volunteer, IT team member Andrey Stryukov said, “I love to help people. It makes me feel happy. And I enjoy cooking, it was a perfect match for me.”

Ronyel Sims, Pangea Leasing Advisor, had a similar experience. “I decided to volunteer because I want to be more active in helping my community,” said Sims. “It felt great working in the kitchen and providing a meal for those who needed it. I had fun working with the team and felt amazing knowing the men were grateful for us coming out.”

This year we were also able to serve about 25 meals at the Breakthrough Women’s Center on August 2. Volunteers prepared a meal of baked chicken thighs and wings, roasted potatoes, corn and spinach, and a side salad, paired with cake and ice cream for dessert, lead by Pangea’s Contact Center Trainer Desiree Campbell. Thanks to Campbell’s leadership, the meal was completed ahead of time to rave reviews.

Danny Zuteck of Pangea’s Acquisitions department attributed much of the event’s success to Campbell, saying that she “was a wonderful head chef with a great menu. She made it really easy for the rest of us to take on tasks since she knew what she was doing and had an organized plan.” Zuteck went on to say, “Some of the diners told me it was one of the best meals they have had at the center, and I really credit Desiree with that. They seemed really appreciative to have a meal that was both tasty and healthy.”

Pangea’s Vice President Derek Reich found that to be true as well, saying that he “really enjoyed the fact that we were able to provide a homecooked meal to those in need, and there were basically no leftovers by the time we were done!”

The Breakthrough meal service is a popular volunteer opportunity each year and Pangea plans to continue planning and organizing the meal services with Breakthrough for years to come.