Volunteering Forum

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  • 1.  Volunteering during quarantine and Post looting

    Posted 06-01-2020 14:19
    Short and sweet
    Let's grab some thick gloves and a few masks or scarves and go out and help clean up. Your neighborhood is squeaky clean? Bless your heart. Keep driving and connect with local civic organizations to help. Let's all get some skin in the game. As a small consulting business owner, I work from home, but I can empathize. If going out and helping is a no, consider helping in other ways. Cash is king but limit it to go directly to the people in need. Most people have cash app which I dislike, paypal, square, heck I sent gas money to a person in need via Facebook this morning. No organizational middlemen, (all meat no filler) were necessary. You live in heaven and you are broke too? Well say a prayer, and ask for assistance if you need it. Between COVID 19, scary stuff I've seen on the streets of America, and just trying to maintain sanity and finances, we can all use a vacation. Put a pin in that for next year. Now it is time to "man up" and do a little more.

    Ideas for helping locally?
    I am doing a medicine and food run for elderly neighbors, all of the local stores were looted so we have to go hop on the highway to get things done! 
    Please share your ideas with me.


    Melissa Mitchell

    Melissa Mitchell

  • 2.  RE: Volunteering during quarantine and Post looting

    Posted 06-01-2020 15:08
    @Melissa Mitchell

    Thank you for your rant and for giving a fresh voice to the old adage: "Ask not what my country can do for me, ask what can I do for my country."

    I just feel so angry and impotent in all this. How can I be a better ally? A better citizen? A better aganet of change? So I *love* your idea that there is always some way that you can help make things better.  

    There is an amazing  organization in Chicago that I want to take a moment to plug: My Block My Hood My City. They're looking for volunteers to donate or come and help small buisness owners clean up following the unrest in our city this weekend. You can also support seniors to ensure that they have access to saniztizers, food, and toiletteries. If you're not yet ready to venture out, they've got some pretty cool swag (including face masks!) that supports the work they're doing. 


  • 3.  RE: Volunteering during quarantine and Post looting

    Posted 06-02-2020 08:14
    @Melissa Mitchell - I love this: "Let's all get some skin in the game."

    As a white, queer, genderqueer person, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my points of privilege, and a ton of reading/asking about how I can best support black and brown communities. I've been working on listening to their stories, and amplifying their voices, rather than trying to add my own into the mix. I keep thinking, "this isn't about me," but not in a "so it's not my problem" kind of way - but in a "so how can I help keep the focus on who and what this is about?" We have to support each other or the status quo stays.

    Using social media accounts to dispel myths, share stories, encourage fact checking, and talk through "what's next" might not fit in with the traditional volunteer model many of us think of, but getting real, fact-checked information out there in the face of all of the lies is important work none the less. That's my "skin in the game."

    - Drew

  • 4.  RE: Volunteering during quarantine and Post looting

    Posted 06-05-2020 08:23
    @Melissa Mitchell, thank you for getting this conversation going! I am personally feeling a need to educate myself more about white privilege and a new term I hadn't heard before, anti-racist. I want to learn more about my own role in all this before I go barging in and try to fix things in an ignorant manner. In the meantime, I am throwing money at the problem. I appreciate your advice to cut out the middleman, and I am doing my research to make sure my money is going directly to those in need. After educating myself more about the problem, and initiating honest and real conversations with my friends of color about their own experience, I will be more confident about working alongside like-minded people to make change happen, and throwing my full support behind leaders of color to rise to this new challenge.

    Maria Liccardo

  • 5.  RE: Volunteering during quarantine and Post looting

    Posted 09-08-2020 10:03
    @Melissa Mitchell - still looking for ideas to get out there and clean up? While it's not local to your neighborhood, this email I got from the Cook County Forest Preserves (here in Chicago) made me think of your post and perhaps there's something similar around your neighborhood?

    "After Labor Day, volunteer workdays at some sites will once again be open to the public. We know many of you are eager to return to the forest preserves for volunteer workdays and we're thrilled to announce this recent policy update. Volunteer workdays are a wonderful opportunity to find relaxation, exercise, and community. And the forest preserves need us as much as we need them! The work accomplished by volunteers is vital to this movement.

    All volunteer opportunities will follow social distancing, mask wearing, and disinfecting protocols. Individual sites may have different registration and group size limits, so it's important to contact your local forest preserve steward or email info@fotfp.org for more info." 

    For those of us around the Chicago area, you can find more information about volunteering with the Cook County Forest Preserve here: https://fpdcc.com/volunteer/

    - Drew

  • 6.  RE: Volunteering during quarantine and Post looting

    Posted 09-10-2020 20:54
    Hey Connectors!  For those on the north side of Chicago, there's a great opportunity this Saturday, Sept. 12th, to get outside and spend one more day on the lakefront - socially distanced of course - while helping to keep our community and Lake Michigan clean.

    In celebration of the 35th anniversary of the International Coastal Cleanup, Illinois State Senator Laura Fine and State Representative Robyn Gabel are hosting an Adopt-a-Beach cleanup event in partnership with the Alliance for the Great Lakes, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Evanston's South Boulevard Beach.

    You can register here, masks are required, and if you have your own gloves and a pail or reusable bag, please consider bringing them so we don't add anymore plastic to our landfills. Please bring your family and friends, and let's get back to doing what we all miss and love!   

    Brian King