About Ryans Joy

Ryan Rocci was a shining star to everyone he met, bringing compassion and care to those most in need. While he was studying to earn his degree in economics at the University of Colorado, the Burr Ridge native passionately volunteered his time and shared his treasures with those less fortunate. Ryan was an intern for two years in the Catholic Charities development and special events department, lending a hand wherever he was needed. He had a natural curiosity and affinity for understanding the world around him and the causes of poverty. Ryan also completed a medical mission trip to Costa Rica, where he brought joy to the children. The mission served and supported the medical professionals and other volunteers. He was so touched by the organization that he continued to raise money and personal needs items for it upon his return to school.

In memory of Ryan, the Rocci family has committed to providing fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products to every Catholic Charities food pantry on a weekly basis. Often those who visit food pantries are only able to receive donated canned and boxed food. The Rocci family has chosen to honor Ryan’s memory and generous spirit by helping those less fortunate enjoy healthy meals.

Help us feed those most in need!

     $50 Donation provides a basket of fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy

     $100 Donation provides a bag of fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy

        $250 Donation provides a full shopping cart of fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy

        $2,000 provides fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy to all food pantries for a week!

        $8,000 provides fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy to all food pantries for a month!

 Food Pantries

More than a quarter million people rely on Catholic Charities network of food pantries throughout Cook and Lake counties. Families and individuals who have nowhere else to turn and would otherwise go hungry turn to Catholic Charities food pantries when they are at their neediest. Some sites also serve as Emergency Assistance Centers providing rental assistance, clothing, and household items. In addition to financial support, volunteers are always needed.

To volunteer at a food pantry, please contact Catholic Charities Volunteer Relations Department at (312) 655-7322.



 How You Can Help
For more information about the Ryan’s Joy partnership with Catholic Charities:

Call: Joe Rocci at (630) 325-6100


Mail your check (in memo line write "Ryan's Joy"):
Catholic Charities
Attn: Development Department/Ryan’s Joy
721 N LaSalle St
4th Floor 
Chicago, IL 60654

Support Ryan's Joy by clicking here!

“Our pantries are located in areas with households struggling with food insecurity; where food options can be limited and rarely include fresh foods and vegetables. This lack of access to fresh, healthy food has contributed to poor diets and higher levels of obesity and diet-related illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. We are enthusiastic about the variety of vegetables and the fruits we can now offer our clients and are eager to see the benefits of helping the hungry eat healthier.” – Sharon Tillmon, Director of Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance

“I received cabbage, cucumbers, snap green beans and broccoli … please continue to give fresh vegetables, it is healthier.” –Napoleon C.

“I received white potatoes, apples and bananas. Fresh fruits and vegetables are better and make groceries last longer.” – Sarah G.

“I received potatoes and onions and would like to see more fresh vegetables. It is healthier for my family and my husband who is diabetic.” – Bonnie C.

“I received sweet potatoes – they make my meals better. The onions were a nice touch.” – Gloria C.

COVID-19 Services/Response:

Our thanks to the remarkable staff, partners, donors, and volunteers who are helping us meet the needs of those least able to navigate these unprecedented circumstances. We are in your debt.

Service Update:

  • For urgent needs, please call 312-655-7700
  • Meals to go are available at Congregate Meal sites and Senior Centers. Catholic Charities has suspended all senior group activities and adult day care amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Our home care services continue, and are following a more sophisticated protocol as there are seniors who have no one to drop off groceries and provide basic hygiene assistance.
  • Food pantries and evening meal programs will continue to provide food depending on supplies and safe distribution protocols. Please check under Our Services/Emergency Services for locations and phone numbers.
  • Counseling, case management, and other services that can be provided remotely are being delivered accordingly. Please call your case worker or program contact if you need assistance.

How You Can Help:
Due to COVID-19 exposure risks, we are unable to take donations of clothing or food from individuals or groups at this time.  

  • Please consider a contribution. The need for financial assistance and program support for those who were only just making ends meet will grow significantly with lost wages and other impact from the pandemic.
  • Masks, hand sanitizer, paper towels, or bleach wipes are needed and can be dropped at any Catholic Charities location. 
  • When shopping on Amazon, please use Amazon Smile and choose Catholic Charities so we might benefit from your purchase. 
  • Volunteers needed to pack food at pantries.  If you are not in a high risk category and are willing to help, please email Andrew McKernin at amckernin@catholiccharities.net. Protective gear provided. Health protocols enforced. 
  • Thank the human service workers, first responders, and grocery/gas station/coffee vendors in your life and when you see them in action.

For more information on COVID19, visit the CDC website.