Carlson Community Services is a non-profit community service organization that grew out of the generosity of three brothers, Helge, Carl and George Carlson. In 2004, upon the death of the last brother, a bequest was made to the Irving Park Lutheran Church, where the brothers had been lifelong members.
In 2006, what is now Carlson Community Services was begun with a church grant from the Carlson brother’s bequest. CCS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that reflects the concern that the Carlson brothers had for those in need in their community. It operates independently from the church.
The mission of Carlson Community Services is to connect the Irving Park community with programs that enrich lives through education, culture and service. CCS operates three programs, The Magic After-School Place, Three Brothers Community Garden and the Irving Park Fine Arts Committee.
Today, CCS operates an after school program, called the Magic After-School Place. The program meets five days a week during the school year in the Irving Park Lutheran Church recreation center, located at 4057 N. Harding Ave. MAP offers neighborhood children homework help, a nutritious snack, recreation, music and art.
CCS sponsors the Irving Park Fine Arts Committee, which organizes an artistic series. The goal of the series is to provide the Irving Park community with a variety of high quality professional musical and theatrical events, offered at no charge. The committee also seeks to provide professional Chicagoland musicians, theatrical directors, dancers and actors a venue for performance and artistic growth. Concerts and children’s theater performances are held in the Irving Park Lutheran Church sanctuary.
In 2009, CCS established the Three Brothers Garden, an organic community garden in the West Walker neighborhood. Vegetables harvested are donated to the Irving Park Community Food Pantry. Over 50 volunteers participate in the maintenance of the garden, and since its inception, nearly 6,000 pounds of fresh produce have been delivered to the food pantry.
For more information about Carlson Community Services, contact Liz Mills, executive director, at 773.398.6766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.