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DAILY DIGEST: Do Good

Written by on March 24, 2020

Hey! Chicago

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary efforts.  We’ll be scouring the interwebs and tweets every day to bring you a daily digest of good things to do for yourself and your community.  Have a tip for something we should add to our daily digest?  E-mail us at info@vocalo.org.

Do Good #228: Virtual Music Festival For Minneapolis

On Saturday, May 30, The Peace Poets will be hosting a virtual music festival to benefit communities impacted by COVID-19, frontline workers, and two organizations in Minneapolis responding to the protests and murder of George Floyd. It will be from 1-7pm ET and feature performances by Tef Poe, Ty Defoe, DJ Sarouna, DJ Rebel Betty and many more! Learn more and tune in hereSK

Do Good #227: Shop Local, Support Music Venues

Artist Maura Walsh has grown rather popular for the printing of her “Tiny Guide to Chicago’s Best Music Culture Spots.” So popular indeed that she has decided to have all the proceeds go to record shops and music venues across the city. Buyers will even have the option to choose what venue to help. These tiny books may fit in the palm of a hand, but their positive impact can be enormous. LM

Do Good #226: Become A Beer Hero

In an effort to encourage the continued sale of local breweries impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, Big Teeth Productions is offering a free “Beer Hero” shirt. To claim one, you must first purchase from selected Chicago breweries, keep your receipts and send it to Big Teeth. After a week or two, you will receive your free shirt. The shirt will act as a nice reminder that you too can do your part to help local business. LM

Do Good #225: Celebrate Englewood Eighth Graders

There is a lot of focus on Chicago’s high school and college graduates right now, but we must remember that leaving middle school can be just as big of an accomplishment for our young students. The annual Englewood Back To School Parade has been cancelled, but eight graders can still be honored by getting a backpack full of supplies to prepare them for next school year. Plus, Englewood middle school students can receive a car parade celebrating their graduations! To sign up, click the link here for the survey. LM

Do Good #224: Successful Duckling Hatch

Professor Emeritus Jerry Coyne is the resident duck caretaker on The University of Chicago’s campus. Even while the rest of the city was on lockdown, he was given special permission to come back to campus while this year’s eggs hatched. For the fourth year in a row, Coyne was able to help keep every duckling of the two duck broods alive. Check out his full story on ABC7 ChicagoSK

Do Good #223: Information YouTube Channel For Refugees

Emma Yaaka works is a refugee medical case manager at Hartland Alliance. He’s also a part-time YouTuber. His channel, WordOut, gives refugees the information they need to navigate a coronavirus-world. Yaaka himself was born in Uganda and came to America in July 2017. He was already planning on making a YouTube channel specifically tailored to refugees before the pandemic hit, which made his work feel all the more urgent. Check out his videos here and read more about his story in the Chicago Reader. SK

Do Good #222: Support Independent Chicago Media

The Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA) tries to lift up their 60 media companies and nonprofit newsrooms through partnership. Now, you can join in on supporting Chicago journalism and free, unbiased news through donating! Give to savechicagomedia.org through June 5, to help keep independent journalism in our city going strong! Click here to learn more and read CIMA’s story. SK

Do Good #221: Free Meals From Mi Tocaya

The beloved Mi Tocaya Antojería Mexican restaurant in Logan Square has partnered with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association to feed families in the community. The program comes as a result of The Power of 10 initiative. Meals are being given away at local public schools which you can view here, in the restaurant’s feature by Book Club Chicago. And for exact pickup times and locations, visit the Neighborhood Association’s Facebook page. SK

Do Good #220: Pints Through The Mail

Soon, you’ll be able to receive pre-made cocktails from your favorite restaurants and bars directly to your home alongside your deliveries. The organization Cocktails For Hope pushed for the state government to pass a bill allowing alcoholic drinks to legally be delivered, and a House bill allowing it was passed this weekend. As soon as it’s in effect you’ll be able to keep supporting your favorite watering holes. LM

Do Good #219: Watch Free Music Documentaries

You’ve probably exhausted the list of available movies to watch on the big streaming platforms, and Riot Fest knows this. They’ve searched the internet and compiled a list of movie documentaries that are available in their entirety for free. LM

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There are more than 50,000 plants that Chicago Park District was meant to plant all across the city, but with the lockdown in full strength, these plants haven’t found a home in the soil yet. Luckily, these plants are now available for purchase through the Garfield Park Observatory so you can bring the beauty of the city straight into your home. LM

Do Good #217: Englewood Job Fair

The popular Englewood job fair has been going on for years, and they’re not stopping. Especially now when jobs are scarce and limited, the job fair is a great opportunity to meet potential employers. The fair will be hosted virtually this year, so check it out! LM

Do Good #216: Learn To Cut Your Own Hair

There has been a rise in DIY haircuts lately, and while some of us (like myself) have resorted to the resigned buzz-cut, styling one’s own hair is not easy. Some stylists and salons have been virtually teaching customers on how to work their own hair at home and save them potential “do” catastrophes. LM

Do Good #215: Dad Joke Of The Day

In Edgewater, Yair Bernstein tapes a new dad joke onto his window each morning. It’s gained the attention of his neighbors and those walking past, to the point where he’ll hear yells for a new joke if he leaves one up over the weekend. In a longer story for the Chicago Tribune, Bernstein said he hopes the jokes create just that…hope, and a positive butterfly effect. And it appears his mission has flown higher than he ever expected. SK

Do Good #214: Using Art To Cope

In Pilsen, the National Mexican Art Museum provides a free art program and internships for teens in the area. One student of the Yollocalli program, Ash Vasquez, has been turning her pandemic anxiety into art. It’s both a coping mechanism and a way to reach out and connect with others. The teen, who does a lot of work with mixed mediums, told Localish that she wanted to “make art that people could relate to about being stuck inside.” SK

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Do Good #113: NMAM Queer Prom...Virtually!

The National Museum of Mexican Art isn’t letting a pandemic dampen their shine! The 17th Annual Queer Prom will still take place on June 12, just virtually! LBGTQ youth and allies are all invited to a night of music, dancing and more from 8-10:30pm. You can visit their website for more info or to make a donation (as the museum is donation-funded and could really use our help right now)! SK

Do Good #212: Support Chicago's Senior Citizens

The elderly among us are some of the most vulnerable members of our population right now. Chicago’s chapter of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly is doing what they can to care for our senior citizens. From contactless food drop offs to raising awareness, you can support their cause by donating hereSK

Do Good #211: Running Laps For The Elderly

You might have heard of Captain Tom Moore across the pond. The 100-year-old British man has raised millions of pounds for healthcare workers and is set to be knighted by the Queen. Here in Chicago we have our own lap-hero! A young man named Jay has begun running 20 laps on his building’s roof every single day, to support the elderly of our city. He lost his own grandmother to the pandemic and wants to help give back to others. SK

Do Good #210: "Frida Kahlo: Timeless"

When the College of DuPage, located 25 miles outside of the city in the suburb Glen Ellyn scored a Frida Kahlo exhibit, it was one of the biggest events to hit the campus. But then, the coronavirus hit. Now, the school says they’ll be hosting the artwork next summer in a revamped exhibit and all of the tickets previously bought will be accepted, or refunded. We’ve all had to adapt during this pandemic…but it helps remind us that we’re all in this together as well. Keep an eye out for next year’s event as “Frida: 2020” transforms into “Frida Kahlo: Timeless.” SK

Do Good #209: At Home Safari

National Geographic is encouraging families to host their own neighborhood safaris in the time of the pandemic! Their idea is to have kids make safari art that is then hung outside of the house (on the front door, apartment balcony, on the sidewalk with chalk, etc.), to create a unique safari stop! Then there’s plenty of socially-distanced stops for the neighborhood to explore – it’s fun AND a ways to get outside and get some exercise! Visit NatGeo@Home for coloring pages to print. SK

Do Good #208: Positive Messages In Sweet Treats

In Naperville, Wilton Brands backing company is trying to spread positivity and remind people they’re not alone. They started the #SweeterInColor campaign to encourage bakers (including those who may have just picked up the hobby during quarantine) to write positive messages on the sweet treats. To enter, use colorful products to write something uplifting, then post on Instagram or Twitter with #SweeterInColor and tag @wiltoncakes! SK

Do Good #207: T-Shirts For Small Businesses

When the pandemic first hit, Barrel Maker Printing jumped into action. They launched an online store that partnered with iconic small business in Chicago and either got artwork from the businesses themselves or paired them with artists. With the art, they created a line of custom T-shirts for each business and has since donated $10 directly to the company for each purchase. After huge success in the first phase, which raised more than $3,000 for each business, Barrel Maker has no plans on stopping. SK

Do Good #206: Lyric Opera Virtual Show

Theaters around Chicago have gone dark for the past two months, but that hasn’t stopped one group of teens from performing. “Empower youth,” a singing, dancing and acting program for 30 African-American teens had been preparing for a June 4 show. The program was put on by the Lyric Opera and the Chicago Urban League, who said they knew that while postponing the show wasn’t an option, giving up wasn’t either. Now, the group is rehearsing online for a virtual show. While it won’t be the same, it is a stunning reminder of how adaptable and willing we can be, in the face of hardship. SK

Do Good #205: Pop-Up Pantry

We’ve previously talked about the need for volunteers at Care For Real, a Rogers Park/Edgewater food pantry. Now, they’re opening up their first pop-up pantry! At the United Church of Rogers Park, from 12-2pm on Tuesdays, community members can come pick up canned goods, meat, dairy products, rice, beans and fresh fruit. SK

Do Good #204: Neighborhood Dance Party

Every night at 6pm, a group of neighbors in Rogers Park head out to their porches and join in on a socially-distanced dance party! From funk music to Disney sing-alongs, anything can be played. It’s all about coming together (safely) and releasing pent up energy from the day. While the group doesn’t know how long they’ll continue their evening parties, they’re enjoying every moment they can right now. You can read their full story hereSK

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Do Good #203: SocialWorks Sworkshops

Join SocialWorks Chi as they host the final Sworkshops Sessions with some of their good friends (and some of the best people in the game)! Tonight, May 21, Tara Carsnar will be talking passions, projects, and progress from 6-7pm. Then from 9-10am tomorrow, May 22, Cierra Burton will be leading energetic power yoga. Later on, from 1-2pm, Nikko Washington will be talking art with constraints, and then from 7-8pm, The Era Footwork Crew will have a Footwork 101 lab session! Visit their instagram or their website for more information. SK

Do Good #202: Small Business PPP Help

The Chicago Community Loan Foundation wants to help the area’s small businesses in applying for the paycheck protection program! You can register for the initial, 30-minute call at this link, and then will have a second call after completing the PPP application. This is for any Chicago nonprofit and small business and the call center will be in operation Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm from may 18 until May 31. SK

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Do Good #201: Radiothon For Music Venue

The small venues that have marked the Chicago live music scene are struggling for their lives right now. Venues like Metro, Subterranean, Thalia Hall and more than 30 others face potential closures if nothing is done to help. In an effort to support these places, WKQX will be hosting a 34 hour-long radiothon tomorrow, highlighting these 34 different venues, tell their story and raise funds for them. Give them a listen starting tomorrow and help keep Chicago’s independent music playing. LM

Do Good #200: Take A Virtual World Architecture Tour

The influence of Chicago extends far beyond its borders. As part of WBEZ’s What’s That Building? series, you can take a virtual tour around the world, and learn about the impact that this city has had on architecture throughout the world. Plus, it’s a great way to feed into our wanderlust. LM

Do Good #199: Virtual Andersonville Midsommarfest

The biggest event of the year in Andersonville, Midsommarfest, has been postponed from June to August. But the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce doesn’t want residents to wait that long. As something to keep us excited until the festival in August, Andersonville is organizing a virtual Midsommarfest celebration, including artist performances, talks and more. Go to this website for more information or click below! LM

Do Good #198: Peggy Notebaert Newsletter

Despite museums being closed around Chicago, many are still providing the informational and educational content they are known for. Take the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, for example. They want to instill their fascination for butterflies and nature to any and all that come, and as such are providing free activities and educational packages, all sent directly to your inbox through their newsletter. Support another museum in town, and learn something new while doing it! LM

Do Good #197: Chicago History Zoom Backgrounds

I think we are all feeling a little nostalgic for our city. It seems like years since we were last out, and the Chicago of six months ago now feels like ancient history. But just as historians do, these memories of the past can bring us the most joy, especially in times of crisis. How do we adapt to this new normal of home offices and Zoom meetings? Reminisce on Chicago’s eternal beauty with some free Zoom backgrounds by the Chicago History Museum! And if you can’t get enough of your city, the CHM is opening up their archives to researchers and amateurs alike. While you’re there, also consider donating to this Chicago institution to keep our shared city story safe and sound. LM

Do Good #196: Stay Calm & Play Music

Despite all of the chaos and uncertainty that the arts community is facing right now, one thing remains steady: art itself does not stop. Not even for a pandemic. We here at Vocalo will tell you that music heals, and it seems like the good people of Flatts and Sharpe Music Co. here in Chicago feel the same way! They’ve put together a video, featuring only artists from the shop’s own community in Rogers Park, to remind us how blessed and talented we are here in Chicago. For those of us who may not be so musically talented, it’s not only delightful to listen to, it’s also incredibly reassuring that the arts will make it through this. SK

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Do Good #195: 800 Miles For 100 Burpees

Joe Schallmoser, athletic director at Chicago’s Avery Coonley School, was concerned about how he would teach P.E. online. Then, he began his 100-burpee challenge. To keep himself accountable, he personally drives all over the Chicago area to socially-distance visit his students, crack a few dad jokes, and then lead them through 10 burpees. According to ABC7 Chicago’s story on his exercise adventure, he’s since logged about 800 miles driving back and forth to his students. We are not only inspired, but we can feel all those burpees in our abs just reading this! SK

Do Good #194: Support Chicago Dance

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago has been one of Chicago’s premiere contemporary dance companies for over 40 years. In the face of closing their studio and suspending in-person performances, they’ve made a massive shift online and have, in many aspects, stayed ahead of the curve. If you’re a dance lover or simply looking for a new quarantine hobby, consider checking out their online offerings. From family activities to Hubbard Street Unbound, to online youth classes, there’s plenty to explore. And if you can, consider making a donation, in honor of keeping Chicago arts alive. SK

Do Good #193: Nurse Appreciation Month

May is Nurse Appreciation Month. While it’s devastating that we have so much to thank them for this year, it won’t stop us from showing all of our love and gratitude! Previous #DoGood posts have talked about all the ways we can stand up and show out for our healthcare professionals – from renting our RVs to donating food – but above all, it’s important that we stay inside. While they stay at work, we need to stay home. SK

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Do Good #192: Become a Food Pantry Volunteer

Care For Real has partnered with the United Church of Rogers Park, one of Chicago’s northern neighborhoods, to provide the community with food assistance. They’re looking for volunteers willing to help on Tuesdays (8:15am-12pm) and Thursdays (10am-3pm). If you’re interested in helping, just email the Rogers park Community Response Team coordinators at rpcrt.vols@gmail.com. SK

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Do Good #191: Help A Historic Comic Book Shop

The comic book industry is one that is truly inter-generational. Children and adults alike have grown up beside their favorite superhero, and comic shops have facilitated this. But like any other business, comic book shops are struggling to keep flight. The 32-year old Atlas Comics is one of these stores that needs your help to stay afloat. They’ve been closed since March, but have been offering curbside pickup since. They set up an IndieGogo page to help cover operating costs, even providing different benefits for donating, such as discounts & access to vintage books. Be a superhero, help them out! LM

Do Good #190: Define Chicago's Greatest Music Moments

Chicago has been the home to some of the musical world’s most iconic moments. Johnny B. Goode was recorded by Chuck Berry on Michigan Avenue. Mavis Staples was born in Bronzeville. House music started in our backyard. There are countless other moments throughout Chicago music history and now you have the opportunity to share your favorites. Hosted by the Arts & Business Council of Chicago, vote on your favorite moments, enter a raffle for prizes and even make a donation to benefit creatives during this challenging time. It may look a little different, but this is still the Year Of Chicago Music. LM

Do Good #189: Support Chicagoans That Need It The Most

I Grow Chicago wants to provide all the help they can to support low-income Chicago residents who are being hit hard by the pandemic. Their new campaign No Life Is Expendable wants to send a message to the city that no resident, regardless of their financial status, deserves to go hungry. Every resident deserves to be treated. They can’t help these communities alone, however. Any help you can provide to their fundraiser will go directly back to the communities most affected by coronavirus. LM

Do Good #188: Provide Support To Local Chicago Artists

It’s interesting how much we take creatives and artists for granted during our “normal” day-to-day lives. Now more than ever, artists in Chicago need your help. We shared before how relief funds have been set up to support artists around the state, but Chicago also has a direct line to help those creatives in the city that are now struggling to make it through their next rent payment. By easing their financial stresses, they can focus more on continuing to create for us and make this pandemic that much easier. LM

Do Good #187: High School Robotics Team Creates Ventilator

With high schools being closed and large events being cancelled, robotics teams are now without their big competition for the year. For this high school’s robotics team, they won’t let their work go to waste. Wolcott College Prep’s robotics team The Bionic Wolves (amazing name, by the way) have adapted their competition robot to be a portable ventilator. This new design, although basic, can provide experts with a prototype for the medical field. A great reminder never to underestimate the power of our youth. Amazing! LM

Do Good #186: Sweet Home Chicago Telethon

Deon Cole, star of Black-ish and Grown-ish, is giving back to his hometown with tomorrow’s Sweet Home Chicago telethon for COVID-19! Join the live-stream on Saturday, May 16th at 5pm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The event is presented by the Chicago CEO Covid-19 Coalition, which is uniting Chicago business leaders and their companies to benefit local organizations helping with critical Chicago relief efforts. We’re all one big family, here in Chi-city. SK

Do Good #185: Open Mic Deadline Extended

Calling all Chicago high school students!! The deadline for Social Work’s Open Mic has been extended to 10pm on May 22! Send in your one minute video for a chance to participate in the live competition on May 25 for a chance to win a sweet raffle package. The link to sign up is here, and honestly we can’t wait to cheer on all of our talent Chicago youth! SK

Do Good #184: Chicago's Dreadhead Cowboy

With the increase in warmer weather, Chicago can expect to see more of Adam Hollingsworth and his horses. Dubbed the city’s “Dreadhead Cowboy,” Hollingsworth will take to social media and ask which neighborhood to ride in, before saddling up one of his four horses and heading over. In WBEZ’s profile of him, the former exotic dancer (who has since lost his job to the pandemic) says he loves making people smile as he rides through Chicago’s now-empty streets. He’s also used his platform to bring attention to the innocent people in Cook County Jail. Ride on, cowboy. SK

Do Good #183: Mobile DJs

Music certainly hasn’t gone away during this pandemic (we here at Vocalo will be the FIRST to tell you that), but the power and connection of live music has. Chicago’s The DJ Firm is trying to change that. They’re offering “TDF Mobile” for any outdoor, social-distanced event! All the equipment exists in the back of their vehicle, making this the perfect way to, quite literally, bring the party to you! When, you’re not listening to the sweet, sweet sounds of Vocalo Radio, of course. SK

Do Good #182: Live Chats With Brookfield Zoo

Even though Chicagoland’s Brookfield Zoo is temporarily closed, you can still hang out with your favorite animals! Every weekday at 11am on their Facebook and every Tuesday/Thursday at 2pm on their Instagram they host “Bringing The Zoo To You” live chats. Animal care staff chat directly to you and bring some of the animals on the screen. Learn more hereSK

Do Good #181: CBS Job-Finding Tips

CBS Chicago has a new weekly segment on advice for those looking for jobs right now. Handy for people who might have been recently laid off or for new graduates, struggling to find a job in such an unstable job market. Things might seem hopeless right now, but we’re all here to give each other a helping hand, in any way that we can. SK

Do Good #180: DIY Drive-In Theater

With the news that a few drive-in movie theaters are reopening, it seems like an even more ideal get-away for the family! But if you don’t live by one or don’t feel comfortable bringing your loved ones near other people just yet, our friends at Localish have put together some ways to build your own DIY theater right at home! SK

Do Good #179: Thank Your Teachers

Teacher Appreciation Week may be over now, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t think of all the people who worked tirelessly to keep education alive amidst a global pandemic. It can be easy to forget about all the educators, from kindergarten to universities, who were also essential workers trying their best with a swift and steep new learning curve. Take the time this week to say thank you – even if it’s just an email or a card. SK

Do Good #178: Empty Streets, Beautiful City

It’s easy to forget just how beautiful Chicago can be. The pace of life often moves too fast for us to realize the architects’ playground we live in. In a way, the city lockdown has allowed us to look back and reflect on this wonderful footage. Drone footage captured by our friends at WBEZ, shows us exactly how beautiful our city can be, even when it looks emptier than usual. LM

Do Good #177: Chicago Children's Choir

Chicago is lucky to have one of the most professional, interactive, and socially-oriented choirs around, and the fact that their oldest members are 18 may surprise many. Chicago Children’s Choir gets together every year to unite this city in song. Normally, they gather in Millennium Park for their annual Paint The Town Red choral celebration, but due to closures due to COVID, there won’t be a summer gathering. Luckily, they’ve assembled their choristers, along with some special guests, to host a virtual Paint The Town Red. You can’t miss it! LM

Do Good #176: Billy Branch, Chicago Legend, Cultural Staple

Billy Branch picked up a harmonica when he was in high school, and never looked back. He has now become a legend of the Chicago Blues, and an artist to behold. On May 21, Illinois Humanities will host their annual Public Humanities Award show, and Billy will grace us all with his presence. Make sure to mark your calendars! LM

Do Good #175: Share Recipes!

Many of our kitchens have been getting more attention recently, if you’re running out of dishes never fear … the Sun-Times will begin compiling recipes from both their employees and reader submissions. Hit their blog next time you’re hungry, these recipes are sure to leave you wanting more. LM

Do Good #174: Support The LGBTQ+ Community

If you’ve been looking to help out the LGBTQ+ community around Chicago a good place to start is to support queer-owned businesses. Many restaurants and shops are open for business, and they can always use any extra financial support. UrbanMatter Chicago has compiled a list of LGBTQ+ businesses you can support during this time. LM

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Do Good #173: Class of 1970 To The Class Of 2020

Viki Noe, an author from Chicago’s Northwest Side, was just about to graduate high school when Kent State happened. Dealing with that, and the uncertainty and traumas of the Vietnam War, created a fog of fear and uncertainty amidst her graduation. Now, she and several of her old classmates are writing letters to the class of 2020, as they enter a whole new era of the same fog. “Try to remember that your accomplishments have not vanished,” writes one of the letters. A poignant reminder for us all, but especially for the class of 2020, for whom life is especially scary, at a time normally filled with so much joy. “This is life, joys and sorrows mingled, one succeeding the other.” SK

Do Good #172: Create A Healthier Home

With all of us spending way more time at home, it’s important our living spaces are healthy and safe, so that we may remain so as well! The Chicago Tribune has put together a list of 30 small, easy, and effective ways we can all make our homes a little healthier. After all, we have enough to worry about and no time for huge renovations. Simply tricks are exactly what we need right now. SK

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Do Good #171: Obama Surprise Call

Several Chicago public school students were surprised by a virtual visit from none other than former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama! The two leaders said they missed Chicago and talked about the importance of youth continuing to stay active in the democratic process, despite the pandemic. Talk about a Zoom call we wish were on! SK

Do Good #170: Zip Code Tracker

Want to know how many COVID cases are in your area? Check out WBEZ’s zip code tracker, made in collaboration with the Chicago Reporter. You can see how badly your neighborhood has been hit, as well as if the numbers have gone up or down. SK

Do Good #169: Happy Birthday Adler Planetarium

May 12 is the 90th birthday of the Adler Planetarium – the first in America! While the museum is physically closed right now, they’re still doing plenty to celebrate. Join Science Friday’s YouTube channel from 6:30-7:30pm, on May 12, for Astro Artists Club and a drink of the day (both kid and adult friendly) from their resident mixologist.

Also, Adler has launched a digital Google Arts & Culture exhibit called “90 Years of Stellar Connections,” which looks back on their nine decades of programs and initiatives. And they have a new podcast series called “Stories from the YOUniverse,” sharing community members discussing their personal Adler experiences. SK

Do Good #168: Street Vendor Relief

A number of small businesses around the city have received small business loans to keep their livelihoods afloat. Many residents have also received stimulus checks to provide some relief. But many street vendors across Chicago will never see a single cent of government-issued aid. These vendors help the city retain its great cultural diversity, and they need your help more than ever. LM

Do Good #167: Smile Kits

15-year old Mia Banks wants to make sure that everyone is staying healthy at home, but most importantly, she wants everyone to stay positive during this pandemic. Thus, she began making “Stay Safe and Smile Kits” to deliver to seniors, police officers, and nonprofit organizations. These kits include face masks, gloves, snacks, postcards, playing cards, etc. to make sure recipients stay happy and healthy. All materials in the kits are entirely made up of donations, so you too can help keep people safe and happy. LM

Do Good #166: Sit In For Shelter Dogs

Chicago pet shelter and advocacy group One Tail At A Time seeks to end pet homelessness. There has been a rise in dog adoptions since the emergence of COVID, but there are still thousands of dogs in shelters in need of rescue. OTAT is organizing a fundraising event, a Sit In for Shelter Dogs, raising awareness for pet homelessness as well as provide an opportunity to donate. This year, you can even start your own team of donors and “compete” for the most effective donations. You can check out more info hereLM

Do Good #165: Tee Design Contest

From May 11-May 20, Increase The Peace will be holding a contest to support both emerging artists as well as street vendors in Chicago. The rules are easy, create a design reflecting street vendors on a shirt, and send it in to studio@sentrock.com. Proceeds will go to Increase The Peace, and a $250 prize will be awarded! LM

Do Good #164: Prayer Line

If you’ve felt like you needed some sort of spiritual reflection during these challenging times, the Archdiocese of Chicago wants to help out. Many may have found themselves in need of some praying or spiritual guidance, and the Archdiocese has established a prayer line staffed with volunteers, ready to speak with you. These lines are open to all faiths and they are available in English, Spanish and Polish. If prayer is something you’ve been missing lately, this may be just what’s needed to help. LM

Do Good #163: Help Hopleaf, Drink Some Beer

Andersonville icon Hopleaf has plenty of beer available. Kegs upon kegs of fresh beer is sitting in their cellars, but with no one to drink it, they’re at risk of going bad. This weekend, anyone with a growler will be able to stop by the Andersonville bar and get containers full of fresh, refreshing beer, meanwhile helping out a closed local establishment. LM

Do Good #162: Support Chicago Blues

The Blues are just as much of a Chicago staple as deep-dish pizza and the Bean. Blues musicians like Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and many more have lauded Chicago as one of the capitals of the Blues in the world. But these musicians that depend on concerts and gigs are having a hard time finding work during the country’s shutdown. Musicians Mike Zito and Nick Moss have started a donation to support these struggling artists. Any contribution will make sure the music is still playing for years to come. LM

Do Good #161: Drive-In Movie Theatre Reopens

The only drive-in movie theatre in the Chicagoland area is open again! McHenry Outdoor Theater in McHenry Illinois is reopening this weekend after getting the green light from government officials. The showing of “The Flintstones” will be free after a generous donation from Ray Scarpelli, the owner of Ray Chevrolet in Fox Lake. To keep everyone safe, concessions will be closed, only 350 vehicles – less than half the normal capacity – will be allowed in, and extensive cleaning procedures will take place. To owner Scott Dehn, he won’t be making a profit this summer with this trend, but it is enough to employ 15 part-time workers. And, more importantly, it’s a safe and fun way for families to get out and enjoy a sense of normalcy again. SK

Do Good #160: Support Free Breakfasts For Seniors

Los Candiles, a (not-so) hidden gem in Chicago’s Little Village, is a family-run restaurant serving delicious Mexican food. With stay and home orders in place, their hours of operation have shifted, but they’re not letting it stop them from giving back to their community! They’re offering free breakfasts for senior citizens and first responders, thanks to a generous donor, and they have volunteers doing deliveries. They’re also participating in a Boys and GIrls Club food program every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

If you would like to donate, they’re matching each meal given with another one! You can reach out through their Facebook or call 773-522-8544. And if you want some yummy comfort food, they’re available for carry out and deliveries from 9am-3pm every day but Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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Do Good #159: Name An African Painted Dog Puppy

Brookfield Zoo, located right outside of Chicago, has seven African painted dog puppies and one still needs a name! You can vote here for the name – of four – that most perfectly fits the adorable little guy. The options are:

· Kashyyyk – (Pronounced ‘Ka-sheek’), a planet in the Star Wars universe.
· Kwanza  – Means “first” in Swahili, as he was the first-born of this litter.
· Shaki – Means “shark” in Chewa, a Bantu language in Zimbabwe.
· Taya – Means “jaws” in Swahili.

Voting will be open from now until May 20 with the winning one announced on May 21! SK

Do Good #158: Mother-Daughter Artist Duo

In La Grange Park, IL, mother-daughter-duo Rachel and Hadley are bringing art and music together to connect people in this time of isolation. Rachel Weaver Rivera is an art educator and therapist who’s been sending out art kits to people in special residential homes. And 16-year-old Hadley has raised $240 for the Illinois COVID-19 fund through playing original music for neighbors sitting outside or driving by. It’s just like we say here at Vocalo…music brings us together! SK

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Do Good #157: A Free (!!) Adult Coloring Book

The rise of adult coloring books, bullet journaling, and all other forms of creative releases for adults has been a blessing. Seriously, coloring is the ideal stress reliever and time killer – perfect while watching Netflix, listening to a podcast, or unwinding after staring at a screen all day. Chicago-based creative design agency Company Inq. has released a coloring book, making it even easier to get that fix! It’s free to download and features art from graffiti writers, tattoo artists, graphic designers and more from all over the world! Go get your coloring on! SK

Do Good #156: Small Ways To Save Money

With so many of us tightening our wallets and looking to save wherever we can, it can be overwhelming to even know where to start. The Chicago Tribune has put together a list of 15 small ways to save money. Sometimes, the smallest things can make a bigger difference than we think. SK

Do Good #155: Support Local Meat Businesses

With the closing of restaurants, all of the meat originally meant for Chicago’s steakhouses have no where to go…except for your table! Family-owned Whittingham Meats, located in the suburb Alsip, has turned to delivering ‘Corona Care Packages’ directly to customers. The packages, which can be brought to you for free, consist of fresh meat that hasn’t been frozen and start at $80 (with beef filets, chicken breasts, pork tenderloins, brats and bacon) and going up to $270. Who knows…you might just come out all of this as a top-notch steak chef! You can read more about Whittingham Meats’ story, as written by the Chicago Tribune, here. SK

Do Good #154: New Drive-Thru Testing

Alivio Medical Center‘s Pilsen and Berwyn locations have launched drive-thru COVID-19 testing. Since May 1, anyone with symptoms, regardless of their affiliation with Alivio, can show up in their vehicle and receive free testing. Anyone interested should call 773-254-1400 to schedule a test.

Do Good #153: Give Chicago DJ Legend A Marked Grave

Ron Hardy, a DJ instrumental in the development of house music, died in the mid-90s. Unfortunately, the Chicago DJ was buried in an unmarked grave. Now, years later, in what would have been Hardy’s 63rd year, Chicago DJs are banding together to mark the final resting site of the house music pioneer. Apart from having a GoFund Me page set up to help with the costs, a ten-hour livestream honoring Hardy will take place. Check out the tweet below for more info! LM

Do Good #152: Olympians Support Young Athletes

Some Olympian athletes are taking some time off of their workout routines getting ready for the next Olympics to help young athletes train. Younger athletes around the world are becoming disheartened at the growing number of cancellations for their sport seasons, and that’s why Olympians like Jesse Smith are hosting virtual sessions to boost young athletes’ morale and give tips on how to stay active during quarantine. LM

Do Good #151: Raise Funds For Chicago Theater

A city with such a rich theater presence will not let a pandemic stop them from fighting to stay afloat. A collaboration organized by Steppenwolf Theatre has brought together 88 Chicago theaters to support those out of a job from the virus. Encapsulating the spirit of Chicago’s self-determined attitude, Steppenwolf has designed a t-shirt telling us that “Chicago Acts Together.” The shirt names all those involved in helping Chicago theater, as well as giving all proceeds from sales to the Chicago Theatre Workers Relief FundLM

Do Good #150: Donate Blood At The Field Museum

Chicago’s Field Museum has teamed up with the American Red Cross to help out the high demand for blood donations. Using its large halls, the museum will be able to house plenty of people while still maintaining proper social distancing measures. Donating blood may be a little scary, yes, but wouldn’t looking at the best preserved and most complete dinosaur skeleton help rid your anxieties? LM

Do Good #149: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo From Home

It’s Cinco de Mayo and just because we’re inside, it doesn’t mean we have to halt all celebrations. There’s been plenty of lists curated for where to order from around Chicago (like this one from Eater Chicago, or this one from the Chicago Tribune), and if you’ve been looking for an excuse to order out, this is the perfect one! Businesses need your help now more than ever and it’s important we don’t lose all of our routines and celebrations on top of everything else. SK

Do Good #148: Chicago Food Truck Hub Delivers Meals

We keep hearing stories of businesses and people sponsoring meals for essential workers and health care providers around Chicago and you know what? It never gets old. The Chicago Food Truck Hub partnered with GiveInKind to deliver over 1,000 meals to first responders around Chicago. Through their new initiative “Feed the Front Lines,” they were able to reach multiple hospitals around the city and cover 10 shifts while also supporting over 16 local restaurants. SK

Do Good #147: Enjoy Chicago Landscape Photography

Barry Butler, the internationally renowned, award-winning landscape photographer, has been capturing Chicago’s most beautiful moments for years. Empty streets and a pandemic have changed his work, but not stopped it! He’s still sharing incredible shots, like the annual tulip blooms downtown. It’s comforting to know that even when everything is upside down, beauty can still be found. And rest assured that Barry will find it. SK

Do Good #146: Presidential Commencement Speech

High school seniors across the country are grappling with having their graduations taken away from them. While it’s a heartbreaking situation for good reasons (after all, #StayHomeSaveLives), there are people trying to make the best of the circumstances….two of those people being the former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama. On May 16 the two will be giving a nationwide commencement address to the nations graduating high schoolers. But we have to admit, we might just pop in and watch it too. After all, who couldn’t use an inspirational speech from #44?! SK

Do Good #145: Mayor Lightfoot Chalk Art

For many of us, daily walks have become one of the sweetest reprieves we have. But for the people of Andersonville, a northern neighborhood of Chicago, there’s a little extra color to be found. Nykol DeDreu, an Andersonville resident, has been putting out different Mayor Lori Lightfoot-inspired chalk art every few weeks. The delightful works are the latest in a city-wide meme-ifying of our mayor, but they also go a little further. What started out as entertainment for neighborhood kids has now become a visual pic-me-up for anyone who walks by. SK

Do Good #144: Save The Birds

Every year, thousands of birds are untimely met by their feathered maker. Windows and buildings prove to be some of the most dangerous threats to our flying neighbors, being obstacles for birds unwillingly running into them. Chicago has been lighting up its buildings at night to honor healthcare workers, first-responders, and other essential personnel, but these lights may cause a problem for migrating birds. The city is looking on becoming more bird-friendly, but there are some steps you can do at home to stop this problem. You can read about it here. LM

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Do Good #143: Send Books To Students

The Chicago Sun-Times has partnered up with Chicago Public Schools to help students get access to books during this pandemic. The program “Chicago Reads” pairs you with a CPS student to help them receive some much needed reading. If we can keep kids excited for books, I think we can see a bright future ahead. LM

Do Good #142: Get A New Book

Have you been in search of that new book to read? You have some extra time at home, you could be in the process of building your own home library. Luckily for you, many Chicago bookstores are delivering new reads directly to your home. Support your local businesses and read some more! Find out which bookstores are delivering here. LM

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Do Good #141: Support Mental Health With Coffee

Sip of Hope Coffee Bar in Logan Square is famous for donating 100% of their profits to suicide prevention and mental health relief services. They understand that these times are hard on many, and want to make sure that no one is left out. They have continued operations, albeit with greatly reduced hours, to make sure that the community they support still receives all the help they can provide. There is no shame in needing help. There is no shame in searching for support. Most importantly, you are not alone. LM

Do Good #140: Celebrate Star Wars Day

May the 4th be with you, everyone! Today has been the unofficial/official Star Wars day for years, and the celebration will not be halted even if everyone is still at home. There are many things you can do to celebrate the space opera that has invaded our lives and our hearts. New movies have been made available for streaming, stream a new show, or even get a Yoda or Chewbacca themed face mask! Your options are as bountiful as the stars above. Don’t worry, during the pandemic, the Force is with us. LM

Do Good #139: Support Cinema Workers With Trivia

We’ve all got a competitive spirit. If you’re like me, you pride yourself in the deep pool of fun movie facts you have amassed over the years. You know exactly where Indiana Jones was filmed. You know what Quentin Tarantino’s middle name is. What if I told you you can satisfy this itch and still help out those struggling during the pandemic? Well, you’re in luck. The Chicago Cinema Workers Fund is hosting a movie trivia Zoom event tonight, with all benefits going to support hourly cinema workers. Your prize? Eternal bragging rights and satisfaction at your help to your fellow human.

Tarantino’s middle name, by the way, is Jerome… LM

Do Good #138: Chicago Reader Bandcamp Recs

With the latest news that Bandcamp was once again waiving its fees for its struggling artists, the Chicago Reader has compiled a list of some recommendations. if you want to find local, fresh, brand new artists, I highly suggest you check them out. Start the weekend off right and listen to some hot tracks. LM

Do Good #137: Get Remote School Tutoring

Just another example of the shining youth in our midst! A group of high school sophomores have founded their own organization, Connect Chicago, meant to connect students needing help with schoolwork with volunteer tutors. With the reality of the stay-at-home order, these young students are embracing the new normal and using their abilities to help others. LM

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Do Good #136: Popcorn Pickup

The movie screens at Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge are dark right now but the popcorn is still popping! The movie theatre is selling curbside popcorn every Wednesday and Saturday – $5 a box. Online orders can be ready in 15 minute pickup time slots. So far it’s been a successful venture, which co-owner Dino Vlahakis said has been needed. So if you miss the theaters, feel free to swing by and pick some freshly popped kernels yourself…butter optional. SK

Do Good #135: "Scandal" At Frontline Foods

Frontline Foods is a national grassroots organization with a chapter here in Chicago. They use donated money to purchase meals from restaurants for front line workers. At the Chicago chapter $50 feeds a team of three whereas $500 feeds a small ER or ICU department. Recently, Kerry Washington and some other “Scandal” cast members and colleagues donated to Chicago’s Roseland Community Hospital through Justice of the Pies, all coordinated by Frontline Foods. SK

Do Good #134: Promotional Grants

Do312 is the perfect place to discover and promote events happening here in Chicago, from concerts to festivals to films and more! But just because we’re all trying to stay home and save lives doesn’t mean Do312 is sitting back and doing nothing. They’ve launched their Amplification Project and offering $1,000,000 of grants to artists, bars, venues, restaurants and more to do what Do312 does best…promote. If any Chicago doers have fundraisers, livestreams, delivery/takeout services or other creative endeavors born during the time of COVID, Do312 is here to help spread awareness with and for you! SK

Do Good #133: Readers' Choice Dining Award Winners

“Am I eating because I’m hungry or because I’m bored?”

Quarantining at home has meant that many of us are left staring at our pantries and wondering what we’re going to eat…sometimes right after we’ve eaten. But good news is here, as the Chicago Tribune has published the winners of their Readers’ Choice Dining Awards! Readers voted for their favorite Chicago restaurants – many of which have shifted to delivery and could use our business now more than ever. So treat yourself and these winners with some take out, next time you get hungry (or bored). SK

Do Good #132: Custom Masks For Charity

Chicago-based online marketplace Threadless sells apparel, home decor, T-shirts and more. Their goal is to promote local and undiscovered artists through their featured designs, so they’re no stranger to lifting up the Chicago community. Now, they’re not only stepping up to create more masks, they’re making sure they don’t leave artists behind at this crucial moment.

They’re currently selling three-ply, 100% polyester face masks (that are machine-washable!!) adorned with customizable art on both sides. The best part? A portion of the proceeds are being donated to the nonprofit MedShare, which provides supplies and equipment to first responders. Looking good – and safe – never felt so great. SK

Do Good #131: Art Institute Lions Mask Up

The regal lions outside of the Art Institute have long served as iconic symbols of Chicago’s strength and perseverance. Now, they’re wearing their own protective face masks, designed like Chicago’s flag, of course. According to Lydia Ross, the city’s public art director, the move is supposed to promote Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s new requirement that Illinoisans wear their own masks whenever they’re in public. It’s a statement about safety and reduced stigma, and we can’t help but think the iconic lions look stunning. SK

Do Good #130: Keeping Schools Connected

After the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois revealed the digital divide across different school districts in the state, it was discovered that Trico School District didn’t have any publicly accessible WiFi spots in any of its 250 square miles. But it didn’t take long for several people to come together to make a difference. Now, in order to promote greater access to online learning here in Illinois, a local internet provider is installing WiFi, an anonymous donor is donating hot spots, and another school district in Chicago’s suburbs is sending Trico 250 used Chromebooks. In times like this, hearing such good news is so uplifting. SK

Do Good #129: Keep Your Glasses Clear

Here’s a little fun one for those of you with glasses. Have you been wearing your face mask around and noticed that your glasses don’t stop fogging up? It may be a little annoyance, but now that face coverings are mandatory across Illinois, you glasses-wearing denizens of Chicago may need some tips to keep your lenses defogged. LM

Do Good #128: Tip Your Barbers

I think we can all agree that we are all in dire need for a haircut. Some of us (myself included) have resorted to shaving all of our hair off in desperation. But you are not the only one that is suffering from not getting your roots redone. Those grooming and beauty professionals need your help. A couple of Chicago beauticians decided to develop the World’s Largest Tip Day, an opportunity to tip your favorite stylists and support them during these challenging times. On May 1, if you can, try to help out your barbers and groomers in any way  you can. LM

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Do Good #127: Support Breweries

Our favorite watering holes have been closed down, and many local breweries are struggling to stay afloat. Luckily, there are still ways you can help local Chicago beer companies even during stay-at-home. This Chicago Now article gives you some insider tips on how to keep the beer brewing, while still supporting local industry. LM

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Do Good #126: Make Paper Dolls

North Carolina business Paper People Play is providing families print out paper dolls to stay entertained while staying at home. Print at home from a cast of different characters as well as matching accessories. These dolls are definitely a throwback to “ye olden days,” but a surefire way to bring adults and children closer together through some arts and crafts. LM

Do Good #125: Call A Beer Truck

If you have a keen eye you may have noticed a black van strolling through different Chicago neighborhoods playing music. But this isn’t the ice-cream man, oh no. Goose Island Brewing Co. has been touring around the city in a beer truck, delivering beer directly to your home, contact-less and curbside. Imagine all the excitement of hearing the ice-cream truck but for an adult audience! LM

Do Good #124: Fall Out Boy Donation

The band Fall Out Boy has toured the globe, sold out shows, and won awards. But just as noticeable, they’ve always shown love to their hometown of Chicago. They’ve donated $100,000 to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, which support Chicago’s food banks and economically displaced. Rock on, FOB. SK

Do Good #123: Donate to 3D Printers

Chicago’s 3D printing community has been answering the growing call for face shields – both in the city and around the country. If you don’t have your own printer but still want to join the cause, consider donating to GoFundMe’s set up by those who are printing! Like Twitter user @AKillword, who has already begun to print shields, but is in need of money to help step up their printer. Their GoFundMe can be found here. SK

Do Good #122: Masks 4 Chi

Masks 4 Chi is park of the larger worldwide #Masks4All grassroots campaign. Their goal is to have people all over the world wearing masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Here in Chicago, their goal is to distribute 350,000 cloth masks to vulnerable communities. Already, they’ve already ordered 25,000 reusable masks for resturant and food service partners. They’re asking for donations to help reach their goal and say any amount counts. A donation of just $5 is enough for 6 residents, and you can donate hereSK

Do Good #121: #WeCountChallenge

With the weather turning nicer, it can be even more challenging to keep your child entertained indoors. One idea to turn to is the #WeCountChallenge, a multimedia contest for Cook County youth, ages K-12. They need to create something to explain why the 2020 Census, and counting every single person, is important to their community. This can be in the form of a video, on an app like TikTok, through online art, or on plain old paper! All that really matters is their story. Entries can include their family, friends, or neighbors; it’s all about giving a peek into the people, institutions, and landmarks that makes “home” special. To enter, visit wecountchallenge.comSK

Do Good #120: Lil Durk Helps Front-line Workers

More artists are stepping up to help out their city! This time, Chicago native and rapper Lil Durk teamed up with Rush University Medical Center and Phlavs Bar & Grille, making meals for healthcare workers on Chicago’s Coronavirus Frontlines.

Do Good #119: COVID Coach

The city of Chicago just launched a new app aimed at connecting residents directly to officials at the Department of Public Health. If you have any questions, or worry that you may have symptoms, you can contact a professional from home with Chi COVID Coach. See the city’s website for more info. LM

Do Good #118: Sleep Better

Most of our schedules have been thrown off recently. Working from home has a curious ability of making us lose track of time, often leading to many of us staying up later than we would like. A lack of sleep can ultimately be unhealthy and stressful, and right now we  must try to be as healthy as we possibly can. Our friends at WBEZ have compiled some ways you can go back to your usual sleep patterns and tackle the recent bouts of insomnia many of us may be going through. LM

Do Good #117: Chicago Independent Music Livestream

New organization Windy City Indie has launched in the middle of this pandemic to provide a little bit of light to Chicago’s residents, and a lot of support for Chi-town’s independent artists. Their first organized event, Our City Our Neighbors, will be a livestreamed concert featuring Chicago artists taking place this Thursday April 30. All proceeds from the concert will go to frontline organizations. LM

Do Good #116: Learn The ABCs Of COVID-19

This pandemic can be very confusing for a lot of us, but it can be even more confusing for the little ones. How do you start a conversation with small children about what’s going? Well, you have to go to the experts,  of course! The residents of Sesame Street held a town hall with CNN answering all the basics of Coronavirus, and honestly, I’d recommend kids and adults alike to check it out. I think a lot of us need Big Bird and Elmo explaining what we are living through right now. LM

Click here for the entire Sesame Street Town Hall.

Do Good #115: Downtown Dogs Delivers

With support from donors, Chicago staple Downtown Dogs donated more than 60 meals to Lurie Hospital nurses. They want to continue providing food if they can, so if you want to help them out, they have a donation link. And don’t worry, you can rest easy that none of these dogs will have ketchup. LM

Do Good #114: Wrigley Field Pantry

Lakeview Pantry has transformed one of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks into a temporary food pantry. Daily meals will be provided from Wrigley Field for those who need. Games may be postponed, but this move is definitely a home run. LM

Do Good #113 : Help Sew Masks

Local organization Masks 4 Chicago has been sewing face masks around Chicago. So far, they’ve sewed 3,000 masks that were delivered to police officers and health workers around the city. But with all their work, they could still use some help. If you can sew and you have some time, you can help out Masks 4 Chicago and provide for the city’s most exposed! LM

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Do Good #112: Curbside Care Packages

The Armour Genesis Project, lead by South Shore resident Genesis Emery, is organizing free “Curbside Care Packages” and grocery runs for residents who need it in Chicago’s most vulnerable and underserved communities. The packages include items like masks, hand sanitizer, snack bars, soap, and more. There are also kids packs with toys and child-sized masks available. Emery has been creating these packages since April and says they will continue to be free while underserved neighborhoods deal with disproportionate effects of the virus.

To arrange supply donations, you can email Emery (genesis.a.emery@gmail.com). And to donate monetarily, her cash app account is $AmourGenesis. SK

Do Good #111: Connection & Tutoring Via Connect Chicago

Do Good #110: 40th Ward Sewing Guard

The sewing guard of Chicago’s 40th Ward has already donated 134 masks to local retail employees. Now, the 198 volunteers need more people to help coordinate those wanting to craft and deliver masks. They’re also looking for people to donate non-stretchy fabric (known as quilting cotton) and tee shirts with little to no print. If you’d like to donate fabric and/or time as a volunteer, you can fill out this form. And if you’d like to request masks from the sewing guard, you can email Info@40thward.org with the subject “Sewing Guard Request.” SK

Do Good #109: Donate PPE

Are you, or do you know, a local dentist, construction worker, tattoo artist, hardware store, oral surgeon, etc. who may have reduced operations at this time and are not utilizing their Personal Protective Equipment? #GetUsPPE is a grassroots movement made by volunteer physicians and researchers that are looking to collect unused PPE and redistribute it to first responders. To donate equipment or put in a request form, click hereSK

Do Good #108: Girl Scouts Donate Cookies

One of Chicago’s Girl Scout troops, #45844, made up of young women from Rogers Park and Evanston, dropped off some of their signature cookies for Rogers Park firefighters, USPS workers, and first responders. You go girls! SK

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Do Good #107: A Pub Giving Back

R Public House is a community-driven pub here in Chicago that raises money for women’s health, LGBTQ issues, immigration rights and more. Owned by long-time Chicagoan Renee Labrana, they’re carrying that spirit of community into these unprecedented times. Every Monday, they provide meals to the first responders at Weiss Hospital. If you’d like to support their cause, consider ordering something for pickup or delivery, or donating to their GoFundMeSK

Do Good #106: Love The Earth With Shedd Aquarium

Another Chicago museum wants you to get creative this Earth Day! Shedd Aquarium wants to see your art celebrating the Earth. Paint your windows, make a drawing, hang some art around your home, have some fun! LM

Do Good #105: Get Crafty With The Museum of Science And Industry

Though their doors may be closed, the Museum of Science and Industry is still providing their patrons with ways to stay engaged with science from their own homes. This Earth Day, they have compiled a list of arts and crafts to make at home, such as making your own paper or building your own weather station. if you prefer, you can even do a neighborhood nature bingo. Stay engaged with science and celebrate our planet, and have some fun while you do it. LM

Do Good #104: Join In Three Days Of Virtual Environmental Activism

EarthDayLive2020 is a collaborative campaign that will take place from Wednesday April 22 to Friday April 24. For two days, activists will join musicians, scientists, artists and organizers in conversations and calls to action for our planet. For more information and a complete schedule, visit their website. LM

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Do Good #103: Earth Day Virtual Film Festival

One Earth Film Festival is the largest environmental film festival in the Midwest. Calling Chicago home, OEFF may not be screening their movies live this year, but that will not stop them from having their event. For this Earth Day, OEFF will be streaming movies all day, with some joined by filmmakers and activists alike. LM

Do Good #102: Celebrate Earth Day With NASA

There are few who know the Earth as well as NASA. You may think their work involves looking at the stars, but of all of us, they probably know our little blue dot better than most. And for the 50th celebration of Earth Day, NASA wants to celebrate the planet that gives us life. With activities, Q&As, movie streaming and more, NASA is spending the entirety of today paying homage to Earth. What are you waiting for? Blast off! LM

Do Good #101: Collaboraction Online Classes

Collaboraction is an ethno-diverse theatre company right here in Chicago. Their mission is to incite social change through theatre and community engagement. Now, they’ve launched a weekly online program to bring people together to explore important issues and connection, despite being physically separated. With special guests, it will be broadcast on Zoom and streamed to Facebook, YouTube and Twitch, as well as available afterwards here. To watch, tune into the livestream or click here.

To kick things off, they’re launching two new programs: The Prodigy’s Workshop on Tuesdays at 4pm (an interactive 8-week master class for people ages 10 and up wanting to write for dramatic performances), and Crucial Connections on Thursdays at 8pm (a “hyper-local thinking global” interactive and entertaining show reflecting on life in a post-COVID world). The first show will kick off on Tuesday April 21! SK

Do Good #100: Volunteer To Babysit

Based in Chicago, Sittercity digitally connects families with child care. Now, many first responders and essential workers throughout the city are in need of child care. If you are able to volunteer to provide care for the family of one of these workers, you can visit the group’s Chicago Responds program. And if you are a first responder or essential worker parent, you have free access to Sittercity Premium right now. SK

Do Good #99: Rogers Park Community Response Team

On the north side of Chicago is the diverse neighborhood of Rogers Park. In response to COVID, a group of community members went to 49th Ward Alderwoman Maria Hadden with the idea of creating the Rogers Park Community Response Team.

Whether you need groceries, mental health assistance, or just someone to lean on, the team works to support everyone in their “RP family with fierce love and compassion.” There’s a hotline (773-831-7668) and email (rpcrt49@gmail.com) to ask about services or for assistance. You can volunteer with the group here and donate hereSK

Do Good #98: Free Meals In Englewood

We’ve previously featured the Chicago-based Trotter Project on Do Good #84 with their free IG cooking show. But that’s not all the good they’re doing for the Chicago community! They’ve teamed up with Chef Jose Andres’ famed World Central Kitchen to feed families hardest-hit right here in Chicago. Already they provide meals for families in West Englewood by offering meal pickup from 9am-1pm Monday through Friday at The Montessori School of Englewood. SK

Do Good #97: Online Space For Womxn Of Color

BlackGirlInOm is a safe space for womxn of color to be vulnerable, explore inner beauty, and cultivate holistic wellness. Now, in the face of COVID, they are launching a five-week digital sister circle for their global community, geared towards the specific healing and expansion of womxn of color, beginning on April 25th. Each week will bring a new theme, ranging from “Breaking the Shell,” to “Claiming Radical Self-Love through Joy, Nurturing, and Community.” A one month membership is $44 and you can sign up hereSK

Do Good #96: Bridal Shop Making Masks

Chicago’s Kasia’s Bridal has halted their making of dresses for someone’s big day, instead using materials in their store to make face masks for those on the front-lines of this pandemic.

You may ask, “Really? More masks?” Yes. More masks. We are all in this together, and by helping out, no matter how big or small the contribution, we can make a difference. LM

Do Good #95: Help Students In Need Of Devices

When Chicago made the difficult decision to transition all classes online, some students were ready to make the move, but many students are still unable to access their classes due to a lack of access to digital technologies. Many young students do not have computer access at home, and are forced to risk their health to attend class. Live Grit SOARS is making it their mission to provide in-need communities with the technology they need to aid schooling and continue preventing the spread of infection. They have started a GoFundMe page to help “decrease the digital divide.” LM

Do Good #94: Celebrate Holocaust Remembrance Day

Tomorrow is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and as such, JCC Chicago is hosting a series of virtual events dedicated to commemorate courage, hope and resilience through art and music. Join them tomorrow April 21st for panels on photography, art, music and conversations honoring those who tragically lost their lives years ago. More information on how to access the events here. LM

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Do Good #93: 7th Grader Making Masks

This South Side 7th grader had never touched a sewing machine in his life. Since the outbreak of this pandemic he’s made about 400 face masks that he’s donated to healthcare communities in Chicago. Let’s use this once more to remind us that there’s no such thing as “being too young” to help out. All you need is some determination and a good heart, and this young man is an inspiration to us all. LM

Do Good #92: Everything Will Be Okay

During these challenging times, it’s hard to remember that things will be okay. We must remember that times will get better, that we will come out of this stronger than ever before. A collaboration between Edgewater residents and artist Jason Kofke has started to remind Chicagoans that all will be fine soon. The Lytle House and Aroma Pizza in Edgewater have begun selling “Everything will be ok” lawn posters, with 100% of the profits going to Care for Real. Hey Chicago, everything will be ok, you’ll see. LM

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Do Good #91: Take Dance Lessons

Need some creative activity to keep you occupied? Or at least a way to stay active during the stay at home order? Get up and step up with The Fly Honeys, Wicker Park’s “fierce and feminist dance and variety show,” as they teach you some moves virtually. Each week, they will be hosting Instagram Live choreography sessions, as well as archived footage from past shows. Who knows, maybe you’ll come out of this the best dancer you know… LM

Do Good #90: Create Music Remotely

During these times of introspection, the creative juices for many musicians are beginning to flow. But while the desire to put out music may be there for many, present circumstances make producing and releasing new music may seem almost impossible. Not to worry, however, for SoundScape Studios is providing remote mastering and mixing. The Chicago studio wants to help local artists release their music and make some money, even amid COVID-19. LM

Do Good #89: Grow A Garden

Now is the perfect time to finally start that spring garden you’ve been meaning to grow! There’s more time at home to cultivate it, it promotes sustainability, and it’s a great way to practice social distancing by not going to the grocery store as much. The National Garden Bureau has plenty of great ideas on how to make gardening fun and fruitful (haha!!) during quarantine on their blog. SK

Do Good #88: Free Classes For Musicians

Chicago-based artist development and consulting company Artist Collective is offering a full month of free, weekly classes focused on teaching musicians how to live online! This is for any musicians, vocalists, producers, managers and creatives who are looking to gain some insight from industry veterans during unprecedented times. SK

Do Good #87: Give Graduating Students Advice

As hundreds of thousands of students prepare to enter the summer and workforce amidst unprecedented times, you can sign up as a professional on CareerVillage.org and specify your skill sets, then get matched with students questions. You’ll be notified by email when requests for advice are posted that are relevant to your expertise. It’s a way to help anxious students get all the help they can, while still allowing you to social-distance! SK

Do Good #86: Join the WHO's #HealthyAtHome Challenge

The World Health Organization has just launched their new #HealthyAtHome challenge! You can check out this thread for tips on how to stay healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. Tips range from 3-minute stretches, meditation, virtual socializing, interactive children’s books and more. SK

Do Good #85: Positive Reinforcement Through Coloring

Looking for ways to engage your kids in a safe and educational way? Look no further than Characters of Character – a non-profit right here in Illinois dedicated to teaching children nine positive character traits. And now, they’re providing free printable resources so that both you and your children can color along with Miss Joni. It’s both a stress reliever and a reinforcer of positive values! SK

Do Good #84: Watch A Free New Cooking Show

The Trotter Project is the non-profit of legendary Chicago chef Charlie Trotter. They’re launching a new online series on their instagram to bring together chefs, Trotter Project scholars, mixologists, brewers, sommeliers, gardeners and more to share recipes, skills and knowledge – all free for viewers! Check out their show and consider donating to their cause here. The funds directly support Chicago’s underserved communities. SK

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#TTPKitchenSessions Ep 6: @TheSpiceHouse is here how to take your home cooking to the next level with this informative video about spices, seasonings, and more. The Spice House is a purveyor of the world’s finest spices, herbs, and blends from around the world. They grind and blend their spices in small batches for utmost freshness and have more than 400 spices available for delivery! ⁣ ⁣ Welcome to The Trotter Project Kitchen Sessions, a series created to teach you new skills and recipes while raising funds for our hard hit communities. While you learn from the safety of your home, your suggested (tax deductible) donation to The Trotter Project COVID-19 Relief Fund will directly support the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund established by @nraefoundation and @GuyFieri, as well as area food banks and farmers who will feed our students and their families in underserved communities throughout Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles. You can visit www.TheTrotterProject.org or Venmo @TheTrotter-Project to donate now. ⁣ ⁣ Cooking at home? Be sure to tag us in your photos and videos this week! #TTPKitchenSessions ⁣#spices #spiceshop #spiceitup #cooking #cookingathome ⁣#spiceupyourlife Thank you for your support & stay safe!

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Do Good #83: Medical Students Graduate Early

192 UIC medical students took the Hippocratic Oath over Zoom, pledging their lives to helping others. In a time when physicians are in high demand, these students were allowed to graduate early to eagerly meet that demand. LM

Do Good #82: Perform A Play At Home

Letting your kid’s imagination run wild while staying at home is the only requirement for Chicago Children’s Theatre’s “Play @ Home” contest. Dressing up, making a set and sharing a unique story is the perfect way to foster a child’s creativity even if they’re stuck at home. LM

Do Good #81: Help Cinema Workers

A new relief fund has been created to help those working in cinemas around Chicago being laid-off due to sheltering at home. Those same workers that filled your popcorn or prepared your movie now need your support to continue earning a modest wage and keep the projector booth buzzing! LM

Do Good #80: Fill An Act Of Kindness Bingo

Spreading kindness is something that the city, and the world, desperately need right now. Chicago Parent wants to encourage young kids to learn the importance of being kind by creating a “B-KIND” bingo card. And though this is geared toward a younger audience, I think we can all learn something by being kinder during these challenging times. LM

Do Good #79: Turn Libraries Into Food Stations

Walking around your neighborhood you’ve probably seen little cabinets filled with books. free for the taking for the community. These Little Free Libraries have become a great asset for book sharing around Chicago. But now, these community bookshelves may serve a higher calling: providing aid to those in need. These little libraries can be safer and more sanitary than visiting a supermarket, and Chicagoans around the city have begun transforming them into little pantries for all to share. LM

Do Good #78: Do A Puzzle For Independent Journalism

The Chicago Reader is free, independent journalism shedding light on the triumphs and struggles of real Chicagoans. But their revenue source has been decimated by the pandemic. They’ve avoided layoffs thus far, and now they’re coming up with new and creative ways to earn some more money. Support their cause and help cure your stay-at-home-boredom by buying their first ever jigsaw puzzle! SK

Do Good #77: Adler Planetarium's Printed Visors

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium has transformed their 3D printers from making educational prototypes to printing NIH-approved visors for face shields! They made their first drop off – of over 200 digitally printed visors, face shield parts and other vital supplies – a few days ago and don’t plan on slowing down. SK

Do Good #76: Donate to Project H.O.O.D.

Project H.O.O.D. is dedicated to bringing assistance, tools, transformation and empowerment to South Side communities – specifically within Englewood and Woodlawn – and all over Chicago. They’ve launched their emergency rent and food assistance fund which will benefit poor and working class Chicagoans directly. To donate, click here. If you’re in need of assistance, you can fill out this form. And to learn more about Project H.O.O.D, you can visit their website hereSK

Do Good #75: Sing Along With The #lovemyselfchallenge

Chicago rapper C.A.M. recently dropped his new single, “The Wood,” celebrating taking pride in where we come from. It also stresses the importance of loving yourself and now he’s started a challenge to help bring that point home! Just go to this instagram post, comment #lovemyselfchallenge, and upload a video of yourself singing along to the bridge of “The Wood” with #lovemyselfchallenge and tag @_7Cam. The video with the most views by April 20 will win a care package including a T-shirt, face mask and self care item! SK

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Chicago recording artist C.A.M.s new single, The Wood, is about taking pride in where you come from and stresses how important it is to love yourself! So he’s inviting you to participate in the #lovemyselfchallenge. Step 1: If you up for the challenge comment #lovemyselfchallenge Step 2: upload a video of yourself singing along to the bridge with the hashtag #lovemyselfchallenge and tag @_7Cam in the post. 1 lucky winner, with the most views, will take away a lovemyself care package Including: ▫️A T-Shirt from @_7Cam ▫️A designer face mask by @thechxsenfew ▫️A self care item made by @donnasholisticlove The winner will be chosen on April 20th. Make sure to click the link in my bio and watch The Wood Music Video! And remember to love yourself!

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Do Good #74: Become A Pen Pal For An LGBTQ-Identified Person In Prison

Black and Pink Chicago meets monthly to match up Chicago residents with LBTQ-identifying inmates to write letters to one another. This month, they are organizing this through Zoom, but not stopping the letter writing. Find out more info here

Do good #73: Illinois Mental Health Hotline

Just this weekend, Illinois launched a new statewide initiative to provide mental health counseling for those who need it while staying at home during this pandemic. If you are at home and need to talk to someone, Illinois’ new Call4Calm service is a free hotline providing help in both English and Spanish. The service can also be used to request essential health materials and even follow-up daily if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. LM

Do Good #72: Foster Dog Assistance

For those of you out there fighting in the front-lines of the pandemic, keeping up with your furry friends might get difficult. Luckily, PAWS Chicago is offering to foster your animals until things return to normal. LM

Do Good #71: Give Back To Chicago Comedy

Chicago is world-renowned for its comedy. Places like Second City and Laugh Factory have filled Chicagoans with laughter and joy for years. But now they need your help. Here’s a list of how you can support your local Chicago comedy clubs, and help them get the last laugh. LM

Zanies Comedy Club - Chicago | Enjoy Illinois

Do Good #70: Comfort Kits

Chicago Loot Drop raises money for toys, games, and all things fun for patients and families at UChicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital. And it’s gonna take more than COVID to stop them from completing their mission! This weekend they packed up comfort kits previously assembled by Chicago AMA as well as superhero drawings made by their Drawing Dream artists. SK

Do Good #69: A New Podcast About Chicago's Latinx Community

Are you looking for something new to listen to while you’re stuck at home? Consider checking out the new bilingual podcast “Aspiring Latinx.” The show gives a voice to Chicago’s diverse, complicated, and underrepresented Latinx community. It will premiere on May 1 and alternate between English, Spanish and Spanglish as the wide variety of guests tackle topics of identity, language, colorism, and being a role model. SK

Do Good #68: Donate Blood

Blood donations have not stopped due to the coronavirus outbreak, and donating blood right now is more important than ever. The American Red Cross is encouraging healthy individuals to continue making appointments to donate blood for those who depend on lifesaving donations. For more information on how to donate even in cities with shelter at home ordinances, click hereLM

Do Good #67: Support Black Communities

Mayor Lightfoot’s recent announcement that 72% of deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago were African American inspired the Cook County Black Chamber of Commerce to start their own relief fund, specifically providing aid to businesses in black communities. A donation would go directly to these communities currently facing the challenges of this pandemic. LM

Do Good #66: Support Seniors

With the global spread of Coronavirus and 3,000 reported cases in Chicago, My Block My Hood My City will be ensuring seniors have access to hand sanitizer, health supplements, toiletries, and food. Seniors and those living with disability are most at risk in the event of the continued spread of the virus. You can support their Senior Viral Response with a donation of goods like toilet paper, canned goods, pasta, rice, candy bars, hand sanitizer, etc. LM

Do Good #65: From Robotics To Face Shields

Tapster is a company that manufactures robots to test out touchscreens. But in the middle of COVID, one of the engineers, Jason Huggins, has been using his knowledge and resources to create face shields for first responders around the city. SK

Do Good #64: KOVAL Distillery Makes Hand Sanitizer

KOVAL Distillery, Chicago’s first since the mid-1800s, has transformed their distillery to make hand sanitizer for first responders and essential workers. And if that wasn’t enough good being done, Illinois breweries have given them almost 15,000 gallons of beer and wine to be distilled into sanitizer! So far they have donated about 2,000 gallons and plan to keep going, despite having already used up their donation funds. You can contribute to their cause hereSK

Do Good #63: The #PerfectPair Initiative

Edelson, a nationally recognized plaintiff firm, has created the #PerfectPair Initiative to help both restaurants and organizations feed people in need in Chicago, San Francisco, and Chico. They pair local restaurants up with an organization such as a school or hospital, and then pay for the meals that will be delivered. So far they have provided over 700 meals in their local communities. To sign up to be paired as either a restaurant or a local organization seeking food for those in need, you can contact them here. SK

Do Good #62: Donated Ventilators Are "Ready To Save Grownups"

Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago is loaning out their ventilators to other hospitals in the city. In pictures posted to their social medias, equipment ready for delivery had signs reading “I’m ready to save grown-ups.” SK

Do Good #61: Angel Olsen's Livestream

A Vocalo favorite, singer-songwriter Angel Olsen, will be livestreaming a concert this Saturday (April 11) at 5pm Chicago time! You can purchase tickets for her “evening of songs on piano and guitar” here and all proceeds will be going to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. Watch the stream here and get ready for a great night of music for a good cause! SK

Do Good #60: Send Meals To Hospital Staff

When Weiss Hospital in Uptown requested help with staff meals, the community rose up fast. Delivering meals to those workers working overtime to help combat coronavirus. You can help out the hospital staff with a meal or two. LM

Do Good #59: Support Chicago Theater

Chicagoans has long been a proud theater town, with some of the best actors, writers, directors and crews in the world. Right now theaters and actors all across the city are struggling. Here’s a list of how to help out the Chicago theater community, to keep the curtain up for years to come. LM

Do Good #58: Help Immigrant Organizations

Language barrier issues, legal complications and existing health problems are among the concerns that some Chicago Immigrant organizations are facing in light of the COVID19 outbreak. By supporting these organizations, vulnerable immigrant populations can still receive the support they need, regardless of the present situation. LM

Do Good #57: Send Food To Frontline Workers

Many Chicago restaurants are offering deals to send their food directly to people in the frontlines. If you’re already ordering take-out or delivery, why not help out someone saving lives too? LM

Do Good #56: Fall Out Boy Donates To Chicago

It’s hard to think of Fall Out Boy as a small, local band from the suburbs of Chicago, but the Wilmette natives want to make sure they help out the city they love. Fall Out Boy has donated $100,000 dollars to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund to aid those most vulnerable. LM

Do Good #55: IL Broadcasters Food Drive

Media here in Illinois is doing more than just bringing you critical COVID coverage. The Illinois Broadcasters Association launched their Feeding Illinois Food Drive just over a week ago. Since then, they’ve raised over $1.1 Million dollars to be donated to eight food banks right here in our state! You can click here to find out more, as well as go here or text FEEDIL to 91999 to make a donation. SK

Do Good #54: Former Paramedic Donates RV To Nurse

After Chicago’s CBS team ran a story about an ICU nurse in need of an RV, a former paramedic stepped up big time. Hayley Ermer works as a nurse and her husband, Eric, is a firefighter. They turned to Facebook to see if anyone had an RV they could use, so they wouldn’t infect Hayley’s 74-year-old father, who lives with them. The former veteran has Stage 4 lung cancer from Agent Orange after serving in the Vietnam War. Now, thanks to a stranger, they don’t have to worry about bringing the virus home to him.

There are many more workers looking for an RV or camper to be lent to them, so if you’re willing to help, you can either join the “RVs 4MDs” Facebook group or reach out to matthewhunter48@gmail.com! SK

Do Good #53: IL Hotels Light Up Their Love

Chicago has seen many light shows from balconies these past few weeks and now the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association is joining in! Throughout the state, hotels are lighting up with giant hearts to help show their love and support. It’s little gestures like this that can help remind us we’re not alone right now…we’re #AllInIllinois. SK

Do Good #52: Local Pizzeria Makes Face Shields

Dimo’s Pizza in Wicker Park is balancing food deliveries, meal-kit-instagram-lives, as well as local breweries partnerships, and STILL stepping up for Chicago’s first responders! The restaurant has been donating food to medical centers around the city and is now molding acrylic face shields in their ovens for health care workers. Owner Dimitri Syrkin-Nikolau said he’s just trying to respond to the pandemic “in the best way” he can. You can support Dimo’s Pizza by ordering pickup or delivery here, or reach out to Dimitri to personally sponsor pizza’s for Chicago’s essential workers. SK 

Do Good #51: A Local Shop Giving Back & A Unifying Mural

Heritage Bicycles makes the first completely Chicago-made bike since the 1970s. Even better? They combine bicycles with coffee! And now, in the times of COVID-19, they’re looking to give back to local essential workers. You can visit here to donate coffee and food delivery for a Chicago worker.

And, if you want to practice safe social distancing and still get some free air, you can check out their crowd-sourced mural! Donated to the store by Right Way Signs of Chicago, the mural encourages us all to come together. In just a few days it’s already gotten plenty of attention, with hundreds of people leaving messages of encouragement and support. SK

Do Good #50: Local Restaurant Provides Free Food

One local Chicago restaurant, Country House, knew that they couldn’t sit by at a time like this – even with orders to remain closed to dine-in customers. Co-owner Paul Boundas has spent the past few weeks delivering hot, free meals to school children and senior citizens across suburban Chicago. As of this week, they’re handing out more than 1,500 meals each day and are looking to increase those numbers. If you want to check out one of their four locations, you can visit their website here. And if you want to donate to their GoFundMe, you can check it out hereSK

Do Good #49: Chicago Celebrates First Responders

Across the world, our brave healthcare workers are putting everything on the line. Here in Chicago, people in the South Loop are doing what they can to show some appreciation. Every night at 8pm residents flash lights, clap, cheer, and sing along to supporting radio stations (including yours truly here at Vocalo)! When it comes to Chicago, we’ve always shown we’re stronger together. That’s not going to change anytime soon. SK

Do Good #48: Stream With A Purpose

What better way to get through this than with a little music? And when the music helps make a difference…what could be sweeter?! Soul legend Mavis Staples recently dropped her newest song, “All In It Together.” Even better, all of the song’s proceeds will be going to Chicago’s own My Block, My Hood, My City (who we profiled here). The organization is currently working to ensure seniors have access to COVID-19 essentials. So stream on and know it’s going to a great cause! SK

Do Good #47: Volunteer with Chicago's Food Bank

As thousands of families and individuals across the country are lining up for food banks, it’s more important than ever that those of us who can help … do. Sign up today to volunteer here in Chicago, or donate so that Chicago’s food bank can continue to feed those in most need. If you’re looking for food, check out their map hereSK

Do Good #46: Foster With A Local Animal Shelter

Shelters across the city – and country – are struggling to find space and money to take care of all their furry friends right now.

If you want to help, but are concerned about the financial situation, fostering an animal is a great option! As the Tribune states, “You can take an animal for the short term and have that companionship and not worry about additional costs. Also, if you don’t want to walk outside or want a smaller animal you can foster bunnies and guinea pigs.”

Many shelters around the city are hosting road-side pickups for foster families right now. Leaders around Chicago suggest visiting your local shelter’s website for up-to-date information if you’re interested. SK

Do Good #45: Chicago Medical Students Come Together

Medical students across the city were asked to stay home and removed from their clinicals, but that isn’t stopping them from trying to make a difference. While individual universities throughout Chicago had strong independent movements, the city’s medical students have come together into a large organization working to bring PPE where it’s needed, advocate for blood drives, get lab equipment, coordinate volunteers, and more! Check out their recent features in the Tribune and WBEZ and the GoFundMeSK

Do Good #44: Chicago Sports Company Makes Masks

Champro Sports, a Chicago-based sporting goods company, is now making masks instead of uniforms. They said business is down by 90% right now, so this is a way to help out and bring back workers. While most of the masks are being made for senior living facilities right now, they currently have a surgical mask prototype they are also testing. A true example of Chicago Strong. SK

Do Good #43: Become A Trained Listener

If you want to volunteer within your community right now, but aren’t sure how, this might be the one for you! 7 Cups offers online therapy and 24/7 chats, no matter what you’re going through. You can become an online listener and provide free emotional support. Training takes around 30 minutes to complete and your progress will be saved, so if you have to stop partway, you can log back in to continue where you left off. Sign up hereSK

Do Good #42: Rally For Laid Off University Workers

UNITE HERE Local 1 is hosting virtual rallies to demand pay for the university workers laid off during COVID-19. In a mission statement the group says, “Institutions like the University of Chicago, MIT, Georgetown University, the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks have already committed to ensuring their subcontracted workers are paid during this time. Northwestern, Loyola, DePaul, and Dominican should work with Compass Group, Aramark, and Quest Food Management Services– the worker’s direct employers— to do the same, while workers are laid off!”

The rally for Loyola University Chicago workers will take place on April 2 at 3:30pm and again on April 7 for DePaul University workers. To join, tune in hereSK

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In a hilarious new Chicago meme, pictures of Mayor Lori Lightfoot have been photoshopped into locations all over the city to remind residents to stay home. The instagram page, which now has over 40 thousand followers, has exploded in popularity both locally and nationally. And the best part? Mayor Lightfoot has said she can’t get enough either! The taste! SK

Do Good #40: Join JASC For Virtual Soup & Rice

Chicago’s own Japanese American Service Committee (JASC) has been a pillar in the Japanese American community for decades. During the winter months they host community soup & rice meals. This Friday, April 3, even though the in person gathering is canceled, you can still get involved!

To join, take a photo of your cooking rice and soup (and feel free to share your recipe with the rest of us!!), then feel free to make a donation. We’ll see you – and your soups – there. SK

Do Good #39: Visually Check On Your Neighbors

In a post now shared nearly a million times, Facebook user Glynis Mullen suggests putting colored paper up in windows to declare how you’re doing that day. For those who might need extra help – senior citizens, single parents, caregivers, etc. – a yellow or red colored paper can mean calling over to check in. In these times we are stronger together! SK

Do Good #38: Fill The City With Color And Support Local Media

Looking for more kid-centric activities? Need something to zen out with after a tough day of working from home? Our friends at Chicago Reader partnered with over 50 local artists to put together a coloring book of Chicago landmarks. All proceeds benefit not only the Chicago Reader, but also the artists themselves! Color on!

Do Good #37: Participate In The Census

It’s April 1, and here in the United States, it’s census day! By now, everyone has probably received a census form to fill out. Filling out the census is critical to have everyone’s voice fairly represented in the future. If you have a few minutes today take some time to fill out the census! LM

Do Good #36: Call NAMI Chicago For A Supportive, Listening Ear

The shutdown has brought up feelings of anxiety and stress for many. Being cooped up at home surely does not help. If you need anyone to talk to during this pandemic, the Chicago branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness has a hotline available every day of the week. Talk to someone, stay connected, you are NOT ALONE … LM

Do Good #35: Support Illinois Artists

Arts For Illinois is a website dedicated to showing the work of performers, singers, poets, painters, writers, and more from across the state. They strive to give artists a platform to shine, be noticed and receive support. As such, Arts For Illinois has started a relief fund to help artists in desperate need of help. Let art be a beacon of hope as you assist artists in need. LM

Do Good #34: Help Out Small, Independent Music Venues

Independent music venues around Chicago are struggling because of the coronavirus shutdown. These venues have been a cultural lifeblood of our city for years, and we want to make sure they are still here once this all blows over … give ’em a little hand. LM

Do Good #33: Reserve A Grocery Shopping Time

The app OpenTable is partnering with grocery stores around the country to encourage social distancing…even while we grocery shop! At participating grocery stores, you can “reserve” a time to shop and even receive a text alert when it’s your turn to go. It’s all in an effort to reduce crowd sizes as well all attempt to #FlattenTheCurve. SK

Do Good #32: Wear Blue Day 2020

If you’re unable to financially contribute to a cause in this moment, but still want to participate in raising awareness, the Prevent Child Abuse America network is hosting a nationwide “wear blue day” on Friday, April 3. Post your pics with #WearBlueDay2020 to help promote Child Abuse Prevention Month this April.

“In times of uncertainty such as these, when school and workplace closings can increase parents’ stress, children and families need your support even more than usual.” SK

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Do Good #31: Attend The First Chicago Heart Ball Virtual Auction

Every year American Heart Association Chicago hosts the Chicago Heart Ball. While this year’s festivities have been postponed from April 4 to June 27, the organization is still celebrating the volunteers and donors that have helped create a healthier Chicago with their first-ever virtual auction. It will open on April 2 at 9am and close on April 4 at 9pm. To bid, register hereSK

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Do Good #30: Virtual History Happy Hour

Chicago Detours usually gives guided walking and bus tours of Chicago’s historic bars, architecture, and neighborhoods to explore stories and places many locals may not even know about. But with the stay-at-home orders, they’ve moved their love of learning online. Now, you can participate in a 20-minute virtual talk every weekday at 6pm (bringing a drink is encouraged). And there’s a different topic each day! The event is free, with a $5-15 suggested donation, but you must register here as space is limited.

Upcoming topics include “Five Badass Women of Chicago History,” and “Chicago Sports History from Street Brawls to the World Series.” For a full list of upcoming talks, visit their Facebook pageSK

Do Good #29: Adopt A Stay-At-Home Buddy

Chicago Animal Care and Control is offering FREE adoptions for all pets six months and older through March 31. With stay-at-home in place, many shelters are struggling financially and with lower adoption rates. Consider finding yourself a cute little friend to wait out the rest of quarantine with and take advantage of this incredible offer! After all, if you have to be stuck at home, why not be stuck with a snuggle buddy?! SK

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Do Good #28: Musician Relief Fund

The Chicago Federation of Musicians is providing a relief fund for members in good standing who are experiencing a loss of work and/or wages as a result of COVID-19. The deadline to apply is Monday, March 30. If you want to donate to help Chicago’s local artists you can find out more hereSK

Do Good #27: Free Workouts With Studio Three

Chicago’s own Studio Three combines interval, cycle, and yoga disciplines. While the two physical locations are closed for now, the studio is hosting multiple, free Instagram Live sessions every day. Plus, with play-back streaming, you can watch whenever works for you. So whether you prefer working out in the morning, afternoon, or evening, there’s something for everyone! SK

Do Good #26: Help Keep CPS Students Well-Fed

Chicago Bear Allen Robinson and his organization, Within Reach Foundation, are teaming up with Chicago Food Depository to assist in providing meals for CPS students that need it. For many students, school lunches are an essential resource for their families and their own well-being. With the pandemic in full effect, many are losing this key necessity. Consider donating what you can. LM

Do Good #25: University Of Chicago Assists South Side Community Amid Coronavirus

The libraries may be empty, the quads may be silent and classes may have moved online for the semester, but University of Chicago is stepping up for their community. Through several different programs, UChicago has been helping out South Side small businesses, as well as preparing and delivering thousands of meals to locals in need. LM

Do Good #24: Shop Online, Locally!

I think we can all draw a sigh of relief that even in these times of quarantine, delivery and post services are still active. When you can’t leave your home to purchase essentials, online markets are but a click away. So if you want to support struggling Chicago businesses with your delivery dollars, now you can! The new website Shop in Place Chicago is up and running, with tons of Chicago businesses that you can support with your virtual purchases. LM

Do Good #23: Logan Square Restaurant Offering Take Home Meal Kits

Countless people are losing their jobs, struggling to pay rent and buy food due to COVID-19. With these concerns in mind, Fat Rice restaurant in Logan Square is establishing a relief kitchen, providing meal kits for those who need it. LM

Do Good #22: Help Yourself To A Cocktail From The Comfort Of Your Own Home

I think a lot of us need a drink these days. While you may not be able to sit at your favorite local watering hole, several bars are selling make-at-home cocktail kits, it’s five o’clock somewhere (indoors, or course). LM

Do Good #21: Donate To Specific Hardships Around Chicago

Want to donate, but don’t know where to begin? Chicago organizers Kelly Hayes and Delia Galindo have set up a website where you can select a hardship you would like to address, then linking you to available relief and donation centers. It’s a wonderful place to begin the search to do good. LM

Do Good #20: Donate to The National Museum of Mexican Art

We are all lucky that the National Museum of Mexican Art can call Chicago home. Like many others, the NMMA has had to close its galleries due to the pandemic, but this closure may have a long-lasting impact on the Museum that lasts far beyond the crisis. This Museum, with its free admission, doesn’t ask for much. Consider helping this staple of the community to bring us cultural enlightenment for years to come. LM

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While the festival has been postponed from the original April 16-30 dates, you can still watch some of their best short films. The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago is now offering a streaming service, CLFF Más, to showcase films from previous festival years. And the best part is that from now until April 30, you can use the promo code SPRING30 to get 30% off! SK

Do Good #19: Audition For #AroundBroadwayIn80Days

With the high school musical theater awards canceled, Broadway In Chicago’s very own Hamilton, Miguel Cervantes, is hosting an online talent showcase! As their website states, “If you played or were scheduled to play a qualifying role at an IHSMTA participating school this year or you are an alumni of the program,” you are eligible to apply. The deadline is May 31 and the submission form can be found here. SK

Do Good #18: Attend An Online Entrepreneurial Training Program

The nonprofit Rogers Park Business Alliance is looking to assist small businesses during Illinois’ shelter-at-home order. They will be hosting a ten-session, online entrepreneurial training program, GROW/PROGRESANDO, beginning on April 1 (English language) and April 2 (Spanish language).

To register, contact RPBA at 773-508-5885 (ext. 130) or email smoratto@rpba.org. ¿Quiere más información?, contáctenos al 773-508-5885 (extensión 110) o por correo electrónico rfernandez@rpba.orgSK

Do Good #17: Dive Into A New Chicago-Based Podcast

South Side Stories,” from Comedy Central and our very own WBEZ Chicago, is a look at the actual people and places that inspired the hit new Comedy Central series, ‘South Side.’ It’s a look at a what you won’t see in the news – laughter, love, and talk from a side of the city that is often painted in another light. We may not be able to go outside right now, but we can still stay connected to the communities making up our city. The show is hosted by ‘South Side’ creators and executive producers Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin. SK

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Do Good #16: Social Works Is Working For The Youth

SocialWorks, founded by Chance the Rapper, aims to empower the youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement.  They compiled a cool list of resources for young people.  SR

Do Good #15: DCASE Support

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy.   This year’s programming theme of Chicago Music will go on in new and reimagined ways. SR 

Do Good #14: Support Local Record Stores

Following Governor Pritzker’s shelter-in-place order, many local businesses are struggling to stay open. Among those are record stores, many of which are fighting to stay afloat during this pandemic. Online record sales for many of these stores are live, however. Here’s a list of what some of these record stores are doing and how you can help. LM

Do Good #13: Become Involved As a Youth Leader

Don’t think you are too young to get involved in your community. If you are between the ages of 14-20, Mikva Challenge is accepting applications until May 1 for their Youth Program.  They are committing to creating jobs for young people even if they become virtual. LM

Do Good #12: Grow Your Own Spring Garden

During WWII, people planted so-called Victory Gardens, growing their own food at home to alleviate the burden of supply chains. And Chicago was the leading city in this home garden movement. And what better time to grow your own food than now? Grow some food, and also alleviate some of the anxieties of home isolation. Maybe you’re a green thumb in the making! LM

Do Good #11: 18th Street Distillery Brews Hand Sanitizer

18th Street Distillery in Hammond Indiana will be focusing their efforts on providing hand sanitizers in bulk to the medical professions, retirement homes, and those on the front lines in this war against COVID-19. They plan to drop off the hand sanitizers in bulk in Northwest Indiana and surrounding areas.  Drew Fox is a Chicago native and the founder of the distillery, he shared with us that he was inspired to do this because of his wife who is an ER nurse.  Here’s the GoFundMe page. SR

Do Good #10: Pen Pal With Skokie's Legacy Healthcare

Legacy Healthcare’s “Letters of Love” program connects community members with healthcare residents to exchange pen pal letters and crafts. Take advantage of your free time by matching with a facility resident and get your creative side flowing! To get involved, email wecare@legacyhc.com. SK

Do Good #9: Virtually Tour A Museum

Just because we’re stuck inside for the time being doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy some of the best museums around! Take a tour of collections all over the world like the Vatican MuseumsLondon’s Natural History Museum, or Seoul’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art through a virtual museum tour. Several pages have even put together extensive lists (such as these two) of all the places you can explore from the comfort of your own couch! SK

Do Good #8: Celebrate Edgewater's Restaurant Week

From March 20-March 30 Edgewater, one of Chicago’s northern neighborhoods, is celebrating their Virtual Restaurant Week. Help support local business (and smack on some scrumptious food) while discovering something new! And, just as a cautionary reminder, the CDC has stated that there is no evidence of COVID-19 transfer through food. So don’t be afraid to take advantage of this from now until Monday. SK

Do Good #7: Volunteer with Lakeview Pantry

An important way for Chicagoans to stay involved and help out their community in the midst of COVID-19 is through donating time and/or resources to local food pantries. Lakeview Pantry is currently looking for volunteers and distributers, and you can get involved by emailing volunteers@lakeviewpantry.org. SK

Do Good #6: Watch An Online Concert

“Together At Home” is a virtual concert series sponsored by Global Citizen, the World Health Organization (WHO), and artists all over the world. It’s goal is, “To ease people’s minds and bring them joy and a sense of shared humanity as public shutdowns and social distancing take effect globally.” With previous performances by John Legend, Niall Horan, AJR, Charlie Puth and more, it’s already gained plenty of attention online. Today, Chloe x Halle will perform on their Instagram Live at 4:00 p.m. EST and Lauv will be on his own Instagram Live at 6:00 p.m. EST. SK

Do Good #5: Check With Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Neighborhoods all across Chicago are getting creative with their local events. Google your own chamber’s social media accounts or official websites for an up-to-date look at what you can participate in, safely, during our collective stay-at-home. SK

Do Good #4: Donate Blood

In healthcare settings all across the United States, donated blood is a lifesaving, essential part of caring for patients. The need for donated blood is constant, and blood centers are open and in urgent need of donations. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages people who are well to continue to donate blood if they are able, even if they are practicing social distancing because of COVID-19. CDC is supporting blood centers by providing recommendations that will keep donors and staff safe. Examples of these recommendations include spacing donor chairs 6 feet apart, thoroughly adhering to environmental cleaning practices, and encouraging donors to make donation appointments ahead of time. SR

Do Good #3: Support Hospitality Workers

Food journalist Michael Nagrant is starting a new food newsletter: Love in the Time of Coronavirus. All profits for the foreseeable future will be donated to Hospitality United & charities that help food people in a time of need. SR

Do Good #2: The Chicago Reader Needs Chicago

The Reader and other community media need you more than ever. Tracy Baim, Publisher of the Chicago Reader, reports that they have lost close to 90 percent of their advertising revenue and suspect this will last at least two months. Donate to help keep their virtual doors open! SR

Do Good #1: Write A Selfie

Chicago Poet Kevin Coval, Co-Founder of Young Chicago Author’s Louder Than A Bomb, is asking everybody to write a self-portrait aka selfie. SR


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