Free Store Helps Neighbors in Need 


Drive-up donation collection set for Oct. 10  

Area residents who have been financially affected by job loss or income reduction due to the pandemic have been seeking assistance from local resources, including the Free Store at the BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr. Founded by Turpin Cares, 19th Ward Mutual Aid and BAPA, the Free Store provides essential hygiene and first aid items for people in need.  

Since opening at the end of May, the Free Store has served more than 750 families and given away nearly 16,000 items during the weekly Free Store open hours.  

“To put the Free Store numbers in perspective, Turpin Cares gave a total of 10,000 items to families in need in all of 2019,” said Greg OwenBoger of Turpin Cares. 

As the need for the Free Store continues, the resources for it are quickly being depleted. 

Stock for the Free Store is collected through Turpin Cares, either as donated items or as merchandise purchases funded by donations to the not-for-profit charitable organization.    

Sadly, our cupboards are emptying, the bank account is dwindling, and there is no end in sight for people’s need,” Owen-Boger said.  Toiletries are expensive, and unlike food pantries, there are no established supply chains for agencies to procure items.”  

In response to the current situation, the Free Store team of volunteers made the difficult decisions to cut back hours to the first and third Wednesdays of the month, 5 to 7 p.m.; to reduce the variety of items; and to limit the number of items to ten per household. Masks donated by Nice Chicks with Sewing machines are given to Free Store patrons who need them.  

Drive-Up Donations 

To help replenish stock, a Free Store drive-up donation collection will be held Sat., Oct. 10 a.m. to noonin the BAPA parking lot, 111th and Longwood Drive. Enter from Longwood Drive behind the building going east and pull through the parking lot to drop off items, then exit onto 111th StreetMasks will be required. People can support the Free Store with monetary donations (make out checks to Turpin Cares), or by donating items from the current inventory list.  

Accepted Items 

Please limit merchandise donations to these products: Bath soap (bars), shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes (1 or 2 per package), deodorant, hand lotion, shaving cream, razors, tissues, tampons, sanitary pads, hand sanitizer, low dose aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, triple antibiotic ointment, Vaseline, cough drops, adult diapers and antacid tablets 

Persons who want to support the Free Store but are unable to attend the drive-up collection can make a monetary donation at or drop off items from the inventory list at 9000 S. Hoyne Ave.  





Please Support BAPA’s Work in Our Community


The pandemic forced the cancellation of BAPA’s major fundraising events – Home Tour, Ridge Run & Memorial Day Parade, and Beverly Hills Cycling Classic Bikes & Brews – eliminating funding sources vital to our operations.


Restrictions inspired BAPA to invest our scarce resources into free programs to meet the changing needs of our neighborhood. Here are some of the things we accomplished:

Small Business Support

  • Promoting your business on Instagram webinar with expert Maggie O’Reilly
  • Digital marketing webinar with expert Jason Wiley
  • Business planning webinar with Ivan Ruiz from Beverly Bank & Trust
  • Special business coverage in The Villager

Community Spirit

  • Bike Beverly initiative with online maps of safe local bike routes
  • Support of Divvy bikes
  • Retooled History Mystery Bike Adventure for summer/fall family-friendly games
  • Friday Night Live livestreamed porch concert series supporting local musicians
  • We Love Smith Village vehicle parade
  • Happy Birthday to Korean War vet Rico Miller vehicle parade
  • Remembering Brian Piccolo vehicle parade

Community Outreach

  • Donated Home Tour booties to a hospital in need during COVID-19 treatment crisis
  • Slow Down safe driving campaign
  • Delivered senior meals donated by Franconello restaurant
  • Supported 19th Ward Youth Foundation free meals to area first responders and medical personnel
  • Donated to and supported Maple Morgan Park Community Food Pantry
  • Brought Beverly Bakery donuts to 22nd District police officers
  • Developed BAPA Cares COVID-19 Response resources at
  • Co-hosts weekly Free Store with Turpin Cares and 19th Ward Mutual Aid
  • Hosted a job search webinar with expert Megan Connolly
  • Listed local business/restaurant updates to promote shopping and eating locally in weekly enews and The Villager

School and Teens

  • Presented CPS Community Service Awards to students in neighborhood public schools
  • Launched the BAPA Teen Service Corps volunteer group
  • Presented the BAPA Cares pandemic response webinar


  • Socially distant spring clean and green clean-ups
  • Weeding Wednesdays at area parks and public areas
  • Pitch in for the Parks special park clean-ups


As a not-for-profit organization, BAPA depends on donations from residents and businesses to continue working on the issues that keep our community strong, safe, connected and thriving. Support us by making a donation or joining as a BAPA residential or business member.

A Message from BAPA’s Board President

By Maureen Gainer Reilly


It’s a word that most of us almost never used to use, and now it’s become the word we call on every day as our community, city, state and country respond to the novel coronavirus. It’s a word that has grown to evoke negative connotations, but it is also a word of hope.

As our community has grappled with unprecedented stay-at-home orders, catastrophic unemployment and school closures, we have also stepped up to the plate with unprecedented generosity.  We’ve rallied in support of local businesses, cared for our neighbors and committed to finding a way to be the best parents, workers and teachers we can be every day. We have filled our windows and yards with messages of hope and gratitude for first responders, healthcare and essential workers. We have opened our hearts to people who are struggling through grief, separation from loved ones and isolation. We have embraced who we are as a community and – coming together even as we are apart – created a community that is even stronger and more resilient.

Yes, what is happening around the world and in our little corner of the globe is an unprecedented crisis, but there is also beauty and powerful connection. I love where I live now more than ever before. And I love the opportunity as BAPA Board President to work hand-in-hand as BAPA’s small but mighty staff has responded to COVID-19. They’ve developed comprehensive online resource guides for small businesses and residents, delivered pasta dinners to seniors unsettled by the order to shelter in place, traversed the neighborhood on personal clean-and-greens, organized a car parade that gave hundreds of local residents the chance to lovingly (and loudly!) support Smith Village, and even answered calls for referrals to trusted tradespeople for emergency home projects.

The staff at BAPA has been busier than ever helping our community stay strong and connected during these unprecedented times. But the organization is also facing unprecedented challenges. For the first time in 44 years, there will be no Ridge Run or parade on Memorial Day, and no Home Tour on the third Sunday in May – events that provide critical funding for BAPA. We’re hoping to reschedule for the fall, but there’s no way of knowing when we’ll be able to safely host these events.

We know many of our loyal and generous supporters are hurting right now. People are laid off or have lost jobs, their businesses’ doors have been closed, or their medical bills have been rising. Please know that we are not asking for financial support from our neighbors who can’t help BAPA this year. We are hoping those of you who can support us, will.

Now more than ever before, Beverly/Morgan Park needs BAPA to be keeping our community connected, positive and purposeful during this crisis.

Please join me and my family in making a 2020 membership contribution to BAPA in any amount that’s affordable. If you’re able, considering covering those neighbors who will not be able to give to BAPA this year.  You can use the membership envelope inserted in this issue of The Villager or join online at If you have any questions or need more information, please call on BAPA Executive Director Mary Jo Viero, 773-233-3100 or

Together, as neighbors helping neighbors, we’ll make it through these unprecedented times to a bright and better future.