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Women Who March, Part 2: Meet 5 Women of Change

Meet Samella McKenzie

Founder & President, ATTCOM

I was first introduced to Samella (or ‘Mom’ as she is referred to by all) and her work about 10 years ago. My husband worked with her son early on in his career and became fast, longtime friends. To meet the McKenzie’s is to become part of a (very) large warm, generous, faith-inspired family.

Samella is the mother of 10 biological children, although I would say she has hundreds of “children” that have been touched by her kindness and so revere and honor her.

For over four decades she has given her time, money and every available resource to serve low-income families and children as well as the homeless and disabled of the West Englewood community of Chicago.

Over the years my husband, Jeff and I have volunteered our time and skills (I offer up my branding and marketing expertise and Jeff as an inspirational speaker and mentor) to get the word out about the enormous needs in the community and the impact Samella and her family are making.

In 1973, she and her husband, Rev. Cartha McKenzie, Sr., opened Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church. In 1998, Samella was compelled to open the church doors wider and founded, All Things Through Christ Outreach Ministries, Inc (ATTCOM) and began feeding and clothing the needy and homeless.

For the first year, she funded the resources out of her own pocket and serviced more than 100 families on a weekly basis. As Samella was blessed to garner financial support from private donors and fundraising, the pantry grew and now feeds and clothes nearly 200 families a week.

Through the pantry, Samella was consistently exposed to women burdened with challenges and unmentionable crises.

With their needs taken to heart, she sought to champion another change – to build a resource center for women of all ages in the West Englewood community to give HOPE to those in need.

This by far is Samella’s most monumental endeavor and although she is now in her eighties, she is resolute in bringing her vision to life.

“Hope lies in the eyes of those who dare to see God’s vision and in the hearts of those with the courage to make that vision a reality.” -Samella McKenzie

To learn more or to get involved, visit their website.

Advance to the next page to read about the final featured woman of change, Emily Burley.

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