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Do Good

Written by on June 1, 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. And check out previous #DoGood posts here!


Do Good #285: Parking Lot Dance Class

Avondale dance company PARA.MAR Dance Theater is hosting parking lot performances and classes from Oct. 3-4 at 3319 N. Elston Ave in a series called “kiss.” On both days there will be classes scheduled 10-10:30 a.m. and 2-2:30 p.m., and performances noon-12:45 p.m. and 4-4:45 p.m. Attendance is free, but PARA.MAR is accepting donations. You can RSVP online here.

Do Good #284: Wicker Park Scarecrow Fundraiser

Wicker Park neighborhood leaders are hosting a socially-distanced scarecrow making fundraiser called “Scarecrow Extravaganza” on Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a backup date of Oct. 17 in case of rain. Registration is $40 and you can sign up for a time slot here until Oct. 7. Proceeds will be evenly split between neighborhood groups Wicker Park Committee and the Wicker Park Advisory Council. Volunteers are also needed. Learn more about Scarecrow Extravaganza here and find volunteer info here.

Do Good #283: Polling Place Workers Wanted

Looking to help out with the election this year? The Chicago Board of Elections wants to recruit nearly 13,000 paid workers to help with the polls this year, for both early voting (Oct. 1 – Nov. 2) and Election Day (Nov. 3). For adults the deadline to apply to help out on Election Day is Oct. 19, and for high school students aged 16-17 the deadline is Sept. 25. Learn more about how to apply here, and read the article in the Tribe for more info here.

Do Good #282: Save Neighborhood Bars

Rogers Park residents have banded together to raise money for local favorite corner bar Cunneen’s, which has been a staple in the community for nearly 50 years. Monetary donations of $10 or more include a custom Cunneen’s sticker as a thank you gift. You can donate by clicking here.

Do Good #281: Community Counter Volunteers

Community Counter is a volunteer initiative meant to suppress the spread of COVID-19 within the Chicagoland Jewish community. This site allows individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 to anonymously give information that will protect their friends and neighbors. Learn more here.


Do Good #280: Voter Registration Day

Loyola Chicago Libraries is offering both in-person and zoom resources for National Voter Registration Day, helping ensure folks are are #voteready. Register hereLM

Do Good #279: WERQ LGBTQ Job Fair

Center on Halsted and Brave Space Alliance have teamed up for the annual WERQ LGBTQ Job Fair. This year, the fair will be virtual and has been expanded to two days, Sept.17 and 18. Sign up here

Do Good #278: Participate In COVID Clinical Trial

The University of Illinois at Chicago is seeking more volunteers of color to take part in their Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial. Find out more here and here

Do Good #277: Volunteer as Immigrant Interpreter

The National Immigrant Justice Center is looking for volunteer interpreters, specifically non-Spanish speaking interpreters. Find out more here.



Do Good #276: United Way Chicago

United Way of Metro Chicago brings together businesses, government, nonprofits, and community leaders to deliver funding, resources, and expertise to nonprofit organizations across greater Chicago. By donating, you can help small non-profits grow to subsequently aid the city as a whole. You can donate and learn more about United Way Chicago hereLM

Do Good #275: Donate Your Clothes

Donating gently used clothes is one way to directly benefit a child in your community. Cradles to Crayons Chicago is running a program named KidPack Direct, accepting donated clothes and giving them back to a child in need. Find out more hereLM

Do Good #274: PPE For People With Disabilities

Chicago-based coalition PPE For People With Disabilities distributes personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, hand sanitizer) across the city to people with disabilities. You can sign up to volunteer or donate supplies by clicking hereLM

Do Good #273: The Love Fridge Chicago

If you’ve seen multicolored refrigerators popping up around Chicago, you’re not seeing things! Local collective The Love Fridge has two fridges (with a third on the way) installed to provide food security and nourishment to their communities. Neighborhood artists are encouraged to decorate the fridges and make them as unique and diverse as the areas they’re located in. Read more about The Love Fridge’s mission and activism hereSK

Do Good #272: Free West Side Grocery Deposits

On Chicago’s West Side, local artists are turning vacant buildings into free grocery deposits where neighbors can give and take as needed. It’s a project of the art nonprofit Alt _ and an effort to “rewrite the narratives of scarcity embedded into Black communities on the South and West sides.” Check out the full Block Club Chicago story, including how you can get involved, hereSK

Do Good #271: Socially-Distanced, Free WiFi

As CPS students plan for a mix of in-person and at-home learning, they can now get free high-speed internet at Douglass Park. The solar-powered WiFi panels were donated by Mesh ++, a local tech startup looking to ease the strain of neighborhoods dealing with e-learning and work from home. Check out the full story from Block Club Chicago hereSK

Do Good #270: Trans Women/Feminine Support Group

Chicago’s Brave Space Alliance has a Trans Women/Feminine Support Group that takes place on the first Monday of each month from 7-9pm. The group is a safe space for any trans women, trans feminine people, AMAB people, and questioning people. Social support doesn’t have to go away just because we can’t all gather together at the moment. Zoom links are provided the day of and can be found on their Facebook pageSK

Do Good #269: South Shore Small Business Center

A new South Shore Small Business Center has opened to help area businesses that have been hit by the pandemic. Assistance will come in the form of training, educational resources, and technical help. Especially important is the support the center will offer to businesses that need grant applications and financial planning. SK

Do Good #268: West Side Resource Hotline

A neighborhood group on Chicago’s West Side (The North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council) has created a hotline to help community members get connected to resources. While there’s a plethora of avenues to receive help, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to start looking…which is what the hotline was born from. It’s available for West Siders including those in North Lawndale and Little Village, and can be accessed through this online request form or through calling 800-655-1626. SK

Do Good #267: Senior Wellness Calls

My Block My Hood My City has employed and trained 80 young Chicagoans to help cut down on the amount of senior citizens in the city feeling isolated and alone due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you would like to sign up to receive wellness calls and build cross-generational support, you can fill out the form hereSK

Do Good #266: #BlackArtMatters Coloring Book

Mya Cavner and Ethan Switall, two 17-year-old students here in Chicago, witnessed the Black Lives Matter movement happening all around them and knew they needed to join in however they could. After working with nine Black local artists, the 44-page, multigenerational coloring book #BlackArtMatters was born. There are inspirational quotes, educational statistics, and iconic Black artists featured within. SK

Do Good #265: MBMHMC Virtual Neighborhood 5K

Do Good #264: Thankful for Chi Helps South And West Sides

Thankful for Chi is continuing their People’s Free Food Program, and you can get involved by volunteering or donating supplies. All week they’ll be accepting & distributing baby products, household essentials, groceries, feminine products, toiletries and more at 100 N. Central Avenue. SD

Do Good #263: RESTART Act For Music Venues

COVID’s hitting all of us hard, including independent music venues. Some are facing permanent closure due to the effects of COVID-19. Check out the National Independent Venue Association. They’re fighting to pass the RESTART Act which would provide federal funds to help clubs and concert halls. SD

Do Good #262: Free Wonderdog Adoptions

Chicago’s largest no-kill animal shelter, PAWS, is waiving adoption fees for some special needs dogs until July 21. These “hard-to-home” dogs might need a quiet home or a house without children or other pets. The event, known as “Underdogs to Wonderdogs,” is meant to show that all animals – even the ones who need a little TLC – are worthy and deserving of love. You can find more information here. SK

Do Good #261: Virtual Orchestra Concerts For Patients

While the orchestra members of Lyric Opera of Chicago haven’t been able to gather and perform together for months, it’s not stopping them from wanting to connect with each other and their audience. They recently partnered with the Chicago non-profit Sharing Notes to set up virtual concerts for hospital patients in the city. You can read their full story here.

Do Good #260: Bike Ride With Critical Mass

On the last Friday of every month, Chicago’s Critical Mass hosts a group bike ride to promote the use of bikes as transportation, protest against the fossil fuel industry and raise awareness of the city’s need to build better bike infrastructure. If you’re interested in joining this global movement, you can mask up and join this local chapter on July 31! They’ll take off at 6pm from Daley Plaza. SK

Do Good #259: Delacreme Scholars Food Delivery

Delacreme Scholars in Chicago is delivering groceries to Southside homes with no questions asked! If you or someone you know is in need, dm them on Instagram or email delacremescholars@gmail.com. SK

Do Good #258: MellowDrama Food Distribution

MelloeDrama has partnered with The Woodlawn and Trap House Chicago to organize a free meal pickup today, June 4th. View the Instagram post below for more information. SK


Do Good #257: Signs For Black-Owned Businesses

Roseland native Keeana Barber printed 500 signs for south and west side black-owned businesses after watching many stores be destroyed. The signs identify a business as black-owned and ask not to be damaged. Within days, she was flooded with volunteers asking if she needed help to put them up as well as donations to create more signs. You can read her full story in the Chicago Sun Times hereSK

Do Good #256: OnTheGroundChi Family Pairing Program

OnTheGroundChi has a Family Pairing Program where those cut off from grocery store access are partnered with a family on the Northside who can shop and deliver groceries for them. Best of all, it’s free for the families in need! Visit this form to either request a deliverer or become one yourself. If you’d like to donate, you can through Venmo @OnTheGroundChi or paypal.me/onthegroundchi! SK

Do Good #255: SocialWorks Chi Continues To Provide

SocialWorks Chicago continues to provide support and meals for students, families and individuals who are in need in this time. Make sure you follow their social media to keep up to date on pick-up addresses and times! SK

Do Good #254: Brave Space Alliance

Chicago’s Brave Space Alliance is doing all they can to assist protestors. From jail support, CPS meal distribution, and other food distributions on the city’s south and west sides, consider donating meals and snacks at the addresses below. SK

Do Good #253: Supply Drop-Off W/ The Whistler

The Whistler is collecting supplies to Brave Space Alliance and they need your help! On Friday and Saturday, from 11am-3pm, they will be accepting water, ice packs, masks, medical supplies, paper towels, snacks and fruit at 2421 N. Milwaukee Ave! SK

Do Good #252: COVID Testing Sites In IL

If you or someone you know has been exposed to large crowds over the past few days, please consider checking out one of the free, state-operated COVID testing sites around Chicago! No insurance is needed! SK

Do Good #251: Medicine For Seniors

Chicago’s seniors are especially at risk to the closure of the city’s pharmacies. To help, St. James Community Church has partnered with several organizations to organize a prescription fill program for seniors. Those in need who have diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and respiratory issues need to present insurance information, but can get a free uber ride and their prescription filled. View the flyer before for information on how to get involved, volunteers, or donate! SK

Do Good #250: CPS Toolkit

Chicago Public Schools have put together a toolkit for parents to “help foster productive conversations about race and civil disobedience” with their students. LM

Do Good #249: Support Black-Owned Book Shop

Semicolon Bookstore is an independent bookstore, holding the title of the only the only black woman-owned bookstore in the city of Chicago. If you are looking to help black-owned businesses, Semicolon has applied a %10 discount on all of their titles and are shipping nationally. While you’re on the site, you can also support owner Danielle Mullen with her fundraiser to give books to children in Chicago without access to any books. LM

Do Good #248: Chicago General Volunteer Survey

The New Leaders Council has created a survey site to do their best to connect individuals with clean up opportunities around the city. The survey also acts as a way to determine whether your area or somewhere near you needs help. LM

Do Good #247: Clean Up Through Common Ground Foundation

The Common Ground Foundation has organized a cleanup crew for Chicago’s South Side and they need volunteers. LM

Do Good #246: Austin Community Resources

The Austin community of Chicago has organized a clean-up for Austin today and they’ve set up a food pantry to support anyone in need of food in the next coming weeks. Sign-up for their weekly newsletter to keep updated on volunteer opportunities. LM

Do Good #245: Black Lives Matter Legal Support Information

The Chicago chapter of the National Lawyers Guild wants to let residents of Chicago know that they are there for any legal help. They are providing support and resources to all, ranging from legal representation after an arrest, to legal advice for organizing. The NLG will give their resources to any who call. LM

Do Good #244: Support Black-Owned Restaurants

Ever since the protests began, people have begun looking for ways to help out black-owned businesses. Now, with businesses and restaurants opening back up, the Chicago Tribune has compiled a list of ways for your to directly support black-owned restaurants in Chicago. LM

Do Good #243: SocialWorks Food Distribution

SocialWorks continues to provide free lunch for their community and any CPS students at several locations around town! Today, the food giveaway will begin at 3pm and you can visit their twitter for more information on specific distribution sites. SK

Do Good #242: Chicago Freedom School

Chicago Freedom School has been staying open for activists to use the bathroom, charge their phones, and grab some food. They also have been participating in mask distribution. If you’d like to support their ongoing efforts to feed and help take care of the community, you can donate hereSK

Do Good #241: Don't Hashtag Your Black Out Posts

If you’re participating in today’s social media blackout, please make sure you don’t use the Black Lives Matter hashtag. It clogs up the hashtag feed that many activists and organizers are using to get out vital information. If you’ve already posted the hashtag on your black out Instagram post, the algorithm will force you to delete the entire post and redo it, rather than simply delete the hashtag. SK

Do Good #240: Westside Clean Up

Kina Collins, a local activist and community organizer, has begun collecting locations around Chicago’s Westside that need cleanup volunteers. If you know of an area that’s in need of assistance, feel free to add it to her running list here. And if you wish to help yourself, you can fill out her Google Doc for the dates and times you’re available, and you’ll be contacted from there! SK

Do Good #239: Support Black Owned Businesses

Right now it’s more imperative than ever to help support Chicago’s Black Owned Businesses. Especially those impacted by the coronavirus and recent acts of looting. The Facebook group Rebuild, Restore, Retain OUR Black Owned Businesses is a public group for anyone looking for information of shops in need of support, as well as those that are still open. SK

Do Good #238: 1st Ward United Clean Up

Yesterday over 300 people signed up with 1st Ward United to help clean up their community. Between donating time, supplies and money, it was an outstanding effort to unite and rebuild. While there were no more new requests for clean-up assistance in this particular ward (as of this morning), you can follow along on their twitter for any future opportunities that may need to arise. SK

Do Good #237: 46 Miles For George Floyd

Keenan Love walked 46 miles – one for every year that George Floyd lived. He began his journey in Chicago and ended in the city of Kankakee. As he walked, several people came outside to show their support and others even joined his peaceful and impactful march. SK

Do Good #236: Southeast Youth Alliance

The West and Southeast Sides have also organized clean up crews for their neighborhoods. Both began the morning of Monday June 1 and have an indefinite end date as they continue to clean the streets. They only ask that if you have cleaning materials that you bring them to keep from running out. Both are also accepting donations. LM

Do Good #235: Feeding CPS students

The city has suspended emergency CPS food service programs aimed at providing students meals in the absence of school lunches. Because of this, thousands of students will be missing meals. Organization, businesses, restaurants and community members, however, have banded together to provide for these young students. Chicago Teachers Union has been compiling a list of different meal distribution sites around the city on their Twitter page. Also, Cesar’s Killer Margaritas in Lakeview will be providing meals for students from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. LM

Do Good #234: My Block, My Hood, My City

Chicago’s activist organization My Block, My Hood, My City emphasizes that the best way to help out the city is for people to begin with supporting their own block. Right now, they are placing their efforts on helping out black-owned small businesses that were looted, destroyed, or vandalized. Anyone can sign up to volunteer to clean up these communities, and they have also set up a donation page, with all funds going directly to these most-affected communities. Any help, no matter how small, can bring a positive change. LM

Do Good #233: South Side Clean Up

Organizations and community-led groups have already begun an effort to clean up damaged streets and businesses in Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods. The cleaning began this morning and will continue until Wednesday, June 3. A donation site has also been established to support the cleaning effort. LM


Do Good #232: Clean Up West Humboldt Park

Chicago Reader reported earlier today on one West Humboldt Park resident who’s organizing a neighborhood cleanup. To get involved, you can email him directly at charlespickett95@gmail.com. He’s also raising money for West Humboldt Park Family and Community Development Council, a local nonprofit, for business owners and community members in need. You can donate to “Save the West Side, Chicago” hereSK

Do Good #231: South Shore Chamber Cleanup

The South Shore Chamber and the Neighborhood Network Alliance organized a large cleanup effort this morning. Organizers came with heavy bags, brooms and shovels, and social distancing was practiced. You can follow along on their Facebook page for additional volunteer updates and efforts. And you can click here to make a donation to the Neighborhood Network Alliance. SK

Do Good #230: Food For CPS Students

With CPS suspending its free meals program for kids (for at least June 1), Block Club Chicago has put together a list of restaurants and food pantries around the city who are stepping up and providing meals for Chicago’s students. You can check out the full (and evolving) list here. SK

Do Good #229: Urban Grill Chicago Feeds CPS Students

Urban Grill Chicago, a family-owned restaurant at 1132 W. Wilson, will be giving out free lunches for CPS students today (June 1) from noon until 5:30pm. The meals include hot dogs with fries or boneless wings with fries. You can follow along on their instagram for updates, and if you would like to donate, you can visit their Zelle account through Urbangrillchicago@gmail.com! SK