By Cathriona Fey, BAPA Community Outreach and Improvement
In response to the changes brought on by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) has organized the BAPA Cares Campaign as a way to locally connect, educate and uplift the residents and businesses in the Beverly/Morgan Park community during these uncertain times.
Over the last month, BAPA has been continuously working to provide support through various initiatives and programs to reach people in a variety of ways while practicing social distancing. With BAPA spring events cancelled due to efforts to control the spread of the virus and encourage sheltering in place, BAPA prioritized its community support efforts through the following initiatives:
BAPA Cares Webinar: On April 9, Beverly/Morgan Park area business owners and residents joined the BAPA Cares Webinar led by BAPA Executive Director Mary Jo Viero and Business Liaison Brittany Wiley. The webinar highlighted local and federal financial support available for businesses, and included information and tips for individuals on how the COVID-19 pandemic and economic climate can impact personal finances, from Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor Angie Wright.
Brittany Wiley presented on the importance of online marketing and social media to connect with customers and other local businesses and organizations during this time. Webinar attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and also comment on their experience so far navigating business, finances and connecting during COVID-19.
BAPA looks forward to hosting additional topic-specific webinars in the near future. For more information or to receive news on upcoming webinars, contact Brittany Wiley email@example.com
Resources for Neighbors and Businesses: For many, the amount of information being shared right now can be overwhelming and sometimes not up-to-date. In an effort to organize and prioritize COVID-19 resource information for both residents and business owners in Beverly/Morgan Park, BAPA has included a link on its homepage, www.bapa.org, to a thorough list of resources to assist both neighbors and businesses. This newly launched webpage includes important information and relevant links to lists and content that is updated often.
For questions regarding the COVID-19 Resources webpage or to provide important information to be added to the page, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“ILoveLocal” Shop Local Campaign: The week of Apr. 11 to18, communities throughout Illinois participated in a statewide initiative to encourage shopping locally. Now more than ever, small businesses need the support of their community. BAPA promoted the event through its weekly e-newsletters and a social media campaign. BAPA has also been keeping an updated list of local businesses and their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic that residents can access online.
To find the latest information on restaurants and shops in our community, and information on how you can support local businesses, visit https://bapa.org/neighbors-helping-neighbors-update/
Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry Donation: On Apr. 17, BAPA presented a $1,000 check to the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., which serves residents in the 60643 and 60655 zip codes. Funds were donated by residents and community supporters. Monetary donations allow the Food Pantry to purchase food items at a discounted cost.
To learn more about how you can donate to the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, call 773-239-3013. Or participate in their safe, contact-free curb-side drop off event Wed., May 6, 112 to 4 p.m.
Uplift Smith Village Parade: On Sat., Apr. 18, BAPA organized a neighborhood car parade around Smith Village to show support to our senior neighbors and healthcare workers. More than 100 cars met in the Beverly Arts Center parking lot and lined 111th Street. Vehicles were decorated with balloons, positive messages, and signs with the names of family members and friends living in Smith Village. With a police escort, paraders circled the Smith Village facility beeping, waving, and playing music while residents waved from decorated windows and staff lined the north entrance. It was truly an uplifting experience for all involved and the level of participation from the community was amazing.
Through its BAPA Cares campaign, BAPA will continue to organize and provide support to residents and businesses throughout these trying times. If you have an idea or initiative that you think would help our community or would like assistance at this time, each out to BAPA at email@example.com or call 773–233–3100.