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Dec 5, 2023

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Salvation Army Store Marks
Anniversary By Celebrating
Polish Heritage

Chicago, IL – June 25, 2016 — The Salvation Army in Lincoln Park will celebrate the third anniversary of the transformation of its family store at 2270 N. Clybourn on July 23 with a host of special programs, food, sales, a fashion show and celebrity guests including author and sustainability advocate Wanda Urbanska and Chicago street performer “Machete” Mike Malinowski. 

“We are extremely excited to highlight the work of two Polish-Americans who represent differing ends of the Polish cultural and artistic spectrum,” says Major John Aren, leader of the Army’s 22-store consortium of Family Thrift Stores on Chicago’s North Side. “We celebrate Chicago’s Polonia on this great day at America’s No. 1 Family Store.”

Ms. Urbanska, the Harvard-educated author of numerous acclaimed books on simple living, led the campaign to secure the Presidential Medal of Freedom for the late Polish Catholic Resistance hero Jan Karski from President Obama in 2012. She will speak throughout the day about the vital link between sustainable living and purchasing used — “Purchase with Purpose” — as well as about the impact of her Polish heritage on her values and career. Ms. Urbanska will make two presentations on the main stage, “Purchase with a Purpose,” at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. At 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., she will discuss and autograph her book, The Heart of Simple Living: 7 Paths to a Better Life, in the Book Nook. At 10 a.m., she will present, “The Power of Being Polish,” at the Book Nook. Ms. Urbanska produced and hosted America’s first national television series promoting sustainable living, Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska (viewable on Copies of her book, The Heart of Simple Living, will be on sale for $10.00 — half off the list price of $20.00.

“Machete” Mike Malinowski — the charismatic 23-year-old Chicago street performer and metal guitarist whose breakout performances on the Blue Line and in clubs around the city have made headlines in the music scene — will perform under the tent from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mr. Malinowski, who expresses himself and his difficult journey growing up in foster care through his music, remains captivated by his heritage. “Malinowski in Polish means raspberry — as an artist I’d take Malinowski any day over Mike Raspberry,” he says. “I’m young; I’m Polish; I want to learn more about what it all means.”

The day-long Family Store celebration will commence at 8 a.m. at the 2270 N. Clybourn Family Store with a $.69 cent sale on all Tan tags and 25 percent off all Green tags and 50 percent off all White tags and a spin of the wheel for even more savings. The day will include summer blow-out sales, live music, finger foods from local vendors, a bounce house and face-painting for the kids, along with a spectacular summer fashion show.

The Second Stage opens at noon with local artists and testimonials from men in recovery from addiction. The fashion show begins at 4 p.m., featuring outfits curated by local designers from Family Store boutique finds. Under the White Tent, customers will walk a 24-foot runway complete with music and lights. Silent bids will be accepted during the show and the outfits will go home with the highest bidder. Others will win door prizes, such as gift baskets, gift certificates, hanging plants and the grand prize of a big screen smart television set.

The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) is the only non-government funded rehabilitation center with services supported entirely by the revenue from its 22 Family Thrift stores.

This great family day at the family store will offer something for everyone, according to Major Aren. Still, he says, he’s especially excited to turn the spotlight on a remarkable and courageous ethnic community. “My mother was Polish,” he says. “I’ve always had a special place in my heart for my Polish customers. July 23 is about recognizing — and saluting — our Polish friends and neighbors, along with all good friends of our store.”

-Wanda Urbanska