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Community grateful for Maria Pappas’ efforts

By Kathy Headley

Many of us who spent time in the neighborhood during the 1980s will remember 3306 W. 63rd St. as the home of the Southwest Parish and Neighborhood Federation, a not-for-profit community group whose efforts made possible anti-solicitation rules, the Southwest Home Equity Assurance Program and a Senior Escort Service, to name just a few.

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Pausing for a photo at last week’s event are (from left) Aber Abu Eid, head of the SANAD Food Pantry; Hassan Nijem, Honorary Cook County Deputy Treasurer; Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and Fatima Abu Eid, founder and president of SANAD. –Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Kathy Headley

For the past 20 years this month, SANAD, a not-for-profit social service agency, has made 3302-6 their home. Their “Pay It Forward” Center was built around the simple idea: we can all change lives. Here they assist residents with a wide range of services, which have included CEDA, LIHEAP, a once-a-month food pantry to block parties, COVID-19 testing–and most recently, property tax assistance.

Last Friday, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and Honorary Deputy Treasurer Hassan Nijem brought Pappas’ analysis workshop to SANAD. Setting up outside the office, a long line of homeowners, many of them seniors, waited patiently to see if they were owed any refunds and to assure any exemptions due were included in their property tax bill.

“We want to help communities as much as we can,” Pappas said.

For many, it was worth the wait. In the three-hour period from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., $61,375 in refunds were issued.

“This was such an incredible opportunity to provide for the community,” said Aber Abu Eid, who runs the food pantry for SANAD. “Thank you so much to Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas.”

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