Smith Village Donates Hospital Beds to Honduras Charity 

 

Smith Village donated 33 high-quality hospital beds to clinics and medical centers in Honduras to improve the care of patients. Smith Village worked with the Brother’s Brother Foundation (BBF) in Pittsburgh to handle the logistics and transportation of the donation. 

It was decided that the Johanson Wing for skilled nursing care and rehab residents at Smith Village, now undergoing a $22.3 million modernization, would upgrade from standard 36-inch wide beds to 42 inches wide, commonly used today in hospitals. The beds being replaced were in excellent condition and needed a new home.   

“We could have hauled them to the scrapyard, but the beds have significant value,” said Chris August, corporate environmental and safety director for Smith Senior Living. He estimates that the current value of the beds is $21,450. When purchased new, they cost nearly $40,000. “We are a not-for-profit organization so helping people is part of our mission and our culture.”  

Brother’s Brother, founded in 1958, is dedicated to facilitating in-kind donations worldwide in the areas of healthcare, infrastructure, disaster response and education.  

BBF worked with their team of partner organizations to make sure that the beds could be donated where they would be of most use. They decided to work with Cepudo, a not-for-profit organization in Honduras which could distribute the beds to clinics, hospitals or retirement homes 

Once the logistics were arranged, August worked with his team at Smith Village and a construction crew from Weis Builders, the company working on the Johanson Wing project, to pack the beds and mattresses into a 40-foot container to be shipped to Central America.  

“We were very pleased to dedicate resources to ensuring that these beds could be donated,” said Smith Senior Living president and CEO Kevin McGee. “As a non-profit organization since 1924, the spirit and values of our community motivates us to use our resources wisely and sharing them when they can be repurposed by another like-minding group.”  

Smith Village, 2320 W. 113th Pl., is home to 255 adults 62 years and older, who are independent and assisted living, memory care, short-term stay and skilled nursing care residents benefiting from healthcare and lifestyle programs. For information, call 773-474-7300 or visit SmithVillage.org.  

 

Rallying for Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry 

By Kristin Boza 

Many people have organized to help others in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Soon after the city began its shelter-in-place orders, the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., noted that the demand for food assistance in our neighborhood rose dramatically.  

One neighbor, Colleen Loehr, heard the pleas and took the initiative to organize the neighborhood via her connections in numerous Facebook groupsEvery week, Loehr collects donations of food, County Fair Billy Bucks, money, and more which she then hand-delivers to the Pantry. She got the idea when she cleaned out her cupboards at the beginning of quarantine and realized the amount of extra food she had on hand. 

“It started by texting my neighbors to see if anyone had anything to add to what I found at home; I had about half a car load and $50 to donate. I arrived at the pantry at 1 p.m. when they opened and the cars were lined up out of the parking lot. I got in line and let them know I had donations; I noticed the volunteers immediately distributing my bags before I even set the second set down. It hit me really hard. That was March 27. I went home and started posting everywhere. Their staff of volunteers are a well-oiled machine, but due to Covid there are fewer volunteers working more hours,” Loehr said. 

Loehr has become a well-oiled machine herself.   

“Every Tuesday and Friday, I post on local Facebook pages asking for any donations. People will message me, text me, call me, or even show up on my porch with food. I also bring in cash or check donations,” Loehr said. “Someone just texted me at 8:30 p.m. to see if they can come by and drop off a trunk load after doing their own shopping. I just love this neighborhood!”  

It takes about an hour and a half for Loehr to complete her round-trip to homes in Beverly/Morgan Park, Mt. Greenwood, Merrionette Park and Evergreen Park. She found that alerting the community about specific needs and asking them to leave donations on their porches helped to streamline her pick-ups. She has become a great asset for those who want to regularly contribute but may not have the time to run a car load of donations over on their own each week. 

As of Aug. 14, Loehr has made 38 trips, two per week, to the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, with help one week from her friend Sheila Maroney who stepped in while she was out of town. Loehr estimates that about $9,000 worth of food and monetary donations have been delivered since she started.  

“My 11-year-old son, Will, is my navigator. We plot the addresses by area and head out! We are getting really good at knowing all the streets from Vincennes to Pulaski,” she said. “We average about 20 porch pick-ups each time and completely fill my large SUV. A couple of times, I’ve had to make a few trips in a day or Will has to hold food on his lap. Those are our favorite days!” 

County Fair’s Billy Bucks expire two times per year; Loehr realized the July 31 expiration date was looming and decided to capitalize on the random Billy Bucks people had in their wallets. “I ended up collecting more than $800 worth of Billy Bucks! I went to County Fair to explain I was going to go shopping and didn’t want to clear out their shelves of anything, so they did some pre-orders of sauce, cleaning products, pasta, cereal, and other non-perishables,” Loehr said. “They gave me a great deal and I was able to easily pick them up boxed and deliver to the Pantry. County Fair has been super gracious and accommodating, even for some of my last-minute asks.” 

Loehr is grateful for the support from local groups and “frequent flyers” who donate each week, specifically: her out-of-state friends and family who send money; Lauren Skerrett and her group, Nice Chicks with Sewing Machines, who donated masks and Billy Bucks; a St. Cajetan School mom who organized her neighbors and had an entire porch full of donations; Dena O’Reilly and the Morgan Park Junior Women’s Club; and the garden at Sutherland School, which donates fresh produce, to name a few.  

To help, reach out to Collen Loehr via text at 773-316-0828 or email at colleenaloehr@gmail.com.  

Village Viewpoint – September 2020

By Gary Jenkins, BAPA Safety Liaison

I have lived in the Beverly/Morgan Park community for the past sixteen plus years. My wife Sharon and I moved here from the 6500 block of Sangamon Street.  I am originally from New York City, so Englewood was my first taste of Chicago.

Most of Englewood then, as it is now, was considered a very tough neighborhood. I wasn’t intimidated by Englewood — I’m from the southeast Bronx, and people from the Bronx aren’t intimidated easily.  So, I just did what I had done most of my life: I got involved.  I attended community revitalization meetings; I talked to neighbors and seniors about how we can make our block and neighborhood better; I swept my and other neighbors’ trash from in front of homes; and spoke to the kids on the block about things they could do to improve their chances in life.

Since I was new to Chicago back then, CAPS was a new concept to me.  I was somewhat familiar with NYC community policing efforts, but I had not participated in them in any significant way. Since I was very concerned with being safe and comfortable where I was living, I began attending CAPS meetings where I listened as neighbors shared their concerns over crime and violence on their streets.

One of the things that struck me about those meetings is that there didn’t seem to be a real connection between the residents who attended and the 7th District CAPS officers who conducted the meetings.  Residents also seemed to be reluctant about being forthcoming. I believe there was a sense of hopelessness, fear, and distrust among the residents.

When we moved to Beverly/Morgan Park, Sharon and I began attending 22nd District CAPS meetings. I was struck by how the level of issues were on two different ends of the spectrum for Englewood and Beverly/Morgan Park.  I had come from a district where murder, rape, assault and robbery were the topics of CAPS meetings to a district where kids hanging out in the park after dusk and loud music complaints topped the CAPS agenda.

There were other differences, too.

I noticed there seemed to be a closer connection between the residents and the officers, and that the meetings were attended by other community stake holders like 19th Ward and BAPA representatives. I attended many meetings over the next couple of years, then I made my voice and concerns known.

More than ten years ago I was recruited to serve in a two year term as beat facilitator for Beat 2213. As beat facilitator, I got to know and work with more of the officers of the 22nd District.

Although I have no proof, I believe that one thing that makes the relationship between the residents and officers in the 22nd District different from the 7th District is that more of our officers live in the community.

As I stated earlier, I am from the Bronx, and growing up an African American male in the Bronx, I did not have a great relationship with police officers.   I rarely saw police officers who looked like me.  On more than one occasion, I have been stopped by police because of the color of my skin.

For six years before coming to Chicago, I worked as a peace officer along with and close to law enforcement individuals of all stripes, from federal, state, and local agencies. I began to appreciate and respect the individuals behind the badges who where doing the right thing, the right way.

That is what I have come to know about the personnel at the 22nd District who I have worked with over the years: they do the right thing, the right way.

As BAPA’s Safety Liaison, I view my role with the folks at the 22nd District as merely an extension of my role as an active, concerned, member of this community.

I want to recognize how hard the officers at the 22nd District have been working and the sacrifices they make by working 12 hour shifts with no days off. Special thanks go to the 22nd District police for keeping our community safe during these turbulent times.

New Neighbors: Megan Wright and Nate Otto

By Kristin Boza

Dance and art are passions of new neighbors Megan Wright and Nate Otto.

Wright grew up in Beverly/Morgan Park and built a dance and art career on the foundation she learned at the Beverly Arts Center.

Otto, who grew up between Deerfield and Michigan, is a talented artist seeking to leave his mark in Beverly/Morgan Park. Along with their toddler son, Oscar, and pup, Rizby, the Otto/Wright family is excited to explore and create in our community.

The family moved to their new home from Ukrainian Village in March — right at the start of the global pandemic. Subsequent shelter-in-place orders definitely put a damper on the couple’s enjoying the restaurants and shops. However, they have spent a lot of time biking and exploring in and around the Dan Ryan Woods, and they’re looking forward to attending as many community events as possible in 2021.

“We like to go on bike rides to explore the neighborhood; it really is a beautiful place. It’s nice to have a house and a yard during these strange times,” Otto said. As an artist, Otto enjoys working from home in his basement studio, although he still plans to resume work at his Wicker Park studio in the future.

Wright grew up here and moved back to be closer to her parents; the large lots satisfied her longing for a yard, and she appreciates the neighborhood’s diversity, architecture and beautiful trees. She is currently on the faculty at the Chicago High School for the Arts, Ballet Chicago and the Beverly Arts Center, and independently offers classes for adults via Remote Ballet. Wright holds a B.A. in psychology from DePaul University, and danced professionally after high school.

“The Beverly Arts Center gave me my start and I’ve loved coming full circle to teach there. It’s such a gem of a place. We held our wedding reception there in 2012, and it feels nice to give back. I feel great knowing that a lot of my students moved on to teach at the BAC; it’s been a huge part of their lives and many others’,” Wright said.

Otto has been an artist his entire life, turning it into a full-time career eight years ago and selling his pieces through galleries or directly to customers via Instagram @ottonate. A graduate of Columbia College, Otto is known for drawing and painting in his own unique style. His latest passion is creating murals, having completed approximately 40 over the last five years in offices and various outdoor spaces. He hopes to create a mural in Beverly/Morgan Park.

“Since we moved here at such a strange time, we haven’t engaged as much with the neighborhood as we would in normal times. This is the first time in my adult life living in a place where you know the neighbors. I’m used to being somewhat anonymous,” Otto said. “We are probably mysterious to our neighbors, but hopefully someday the world will return to normal and we will get to know the people on our block.”

“We’re looking forward to really being a part of a new community, but also keeping our roots and friends in our previous community,” Wright said. “Coming back here is familiar, but also brand new in a lot of ways. Beverly seems to be growing in diversity and small businesses, and we can’t wait to explore them all soon.”

 

Don’t Wait to Get Medical Care

It’s been reported in publications from the LA Times to the Washington Post: As many as one third of Americans are delaying medical care because they are afraid of being exposed to the coronavirus. The result it that people could become seriously ill or even die not from the virus, but from leaving critical medical conditions undiagnosed or untreated.

Experts at OSF Healthcare Little Company of Mary Medical Center, 2800 W. 95th St., are assuring people it’s safe to visit the hospital for emergency treatment and regular medical care.

“We want to make sure that our community feels comfortable coming to Little Company of Mary Medical Center. Our emergency department is clean. It is roomy so there is enough room to separate patients. It is safe for you to seek the care that you need. It is very important that you feel comfortable coming if you think you have a serious problem,” said Bill Walsh, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center.

Dr. Walsh encourages community members who are experiencing symptoms that may signal a serious health issue to seek care as soon as possible in the closest emergency department.

People in need of emergency care can be confident that the OSF Little Company of Mary Emergency Room is a clean environment that more than meets safety guidelines. Recent ER renovations include social distancing and protective barriers in waiting rooms and new treatment rooms that are now separated by glass walls and doors instead of curtains. All coronavirus protections are being used including plenty of PPE for the staff.

“As we get closer to our new normal and realizing what that looks like, the importance of self-care and preventative health care services is coming back to the front of mind for many of our patients and our community members. As we look towards ‘how do we better serve during that time,’ one of the features that we have brought back online is scheduling online at your convenience,” said Kate Eschbach, MHA, RT(R)(MR)(CT), Director, Medical Imaging & Cardiology, OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center.

OSF Little Company of Mary has made it easy to schedule appointments and save time on updating paperwork.

“We are very excited to bring online scheduling as an opportunity for our patients to book their mammo online for screening services,” said Eschbach, adding that “the entire process takes a total of five clicks.” According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the goal of screening mammography is to find cancer when it is still too small to be felt by breast self-examination or your doctor. Finding small breast cancers early by a screening mammogram greatly improves the chance for successful treatment.

Appointments for mammograms, sports physicals and back-to-school physicals can be made online to osflittlecompanyofmary.org. Click on the banner for the kind of appointment you need to be directed to scheduling, or sign up for the OSF MyChart app and create an account that can help you manage all of your appointments, communications with your physician, and follow-ups. OSF MyChart can easily be accessed on cell phones.

By scheduling online, patients can also complete any paperwork or questionnaires that need to be supplied or updated.

People who are considering elective surgeries are encouraged to move forward. OSFL Little Company of Mary has offerings this option since mid-May. All patients must be tested for COVID-19 before their surgery.

OSF monitors everyone coming into its hospitals while maintaining physical distancing in waiting areas. The focus remains on the best interest of a patient’s health overall.

 

Please Support BAPA’s Work in Our Community

CANCELLED

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.

ACCOMPLISHED

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 bapa.org
  • 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

Beautification

  • 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

PLEASE HELP!

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.

Beverly Resident Brings Mutual Aid Initiative to the South Side 

By Cathriona Fey 
BAPA Community Outreach & Improvement 

Neighbors helping neighbors. It is a simple concept and in the Beverly/Morgan Park community something we see often as residents regularly come out to help neighbors experiencing difficult times. During the pandemic, the number of residents experiencing a difficult time has increased. Neighborhood resident Tim Noonan recognized the importance of organizing as a community to meet the needs of residents who need help. He has assembled and is leading the 19th Ward Mutual Aid initiative to assist residents in Beverly/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood.  

After donating to the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, Noonan felt he could do more to help during COVID-19. Upon learning about a Mutual Aid initiative recently launched in Bridgeport, Noonan knew this was something that our community not only needed, but could support. As the Vice President of the Beverly Improvement Association (BIA), Noonan brought the idea to his directors. The idea was received with the support to move forward but it was clear that in order to do so more community would be needed 

Meanwhile, the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) launched BAPA Cares to provide support to local groups and initiatives that are working to help residents and businesses weather this storm. Noonan made a call to BAPA Executive Director, Mary Jo Viero, and the two organizations decided to merge their efforts.  

In addition to BIA and BAPA, the 19th Ward Mutual Aid initiative has attracted groups such as the Beverly Art Alliance, South Side Ancient Order of Hibernians, local churches and Turpin Cares to help advance efforts. Since its launch in May, a 19th Ward Mutual Aid Facebook group has been started and a website domain name secured. While Chicago COVID-19 Mutual Aid groups have been active in other neighborhoods throughout the city, the 19th Ward Mutual Aid is still very new and the group is working toward identifying specific community needs.  

“There is no blueprint for this,” Noonan said. “Everything we do is to serve the residents in our community and what their needs are right here in the 19th Ward.”  In addition to setting up channels to request assistance, the group has reached out to local pastors and church leaders to better understand the needs of their congregations, especially the elderly and those homebound. 19th Ward Mutual Aid is also partnering with the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry to identify gaps in resources and food supplies available.  

With the help of BAPA and Turpin Cares, the 19th Ward Mutual Aid group has organized a weekly Free Store that will be open on Wednesdays, 5 to 7 p.m., at the BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr. Thanks to an existing channel of donations and coordination from Turpin Cares, people are able to come to the Free Store to request and receive a variety of first-aid and hygiene products.  

In partnership with the Beverly Art Alliance, 19th Ward Mutual Aid is also working to advance Art Heals, an initiative to support local artists by providing opportunities to showcase their workbringing the benefits and pleasure of art to area residents during these difficult times. 

Noonan said the Mutual Aid group will be active as long as there is a need. According to the 19th Ward Mutual Aid Facebook group, this is nondenominational and nonpolitical, just neighbors helping neighbors.  

To learn more about the 19th Ward Mutual Aid, follow them on Facebook for news and updates. If you have an idea, would like to assist, or need assistanceemail aid19ward@gmail.com or call 773-980-6043.  

 

BAPA Teen Corps 

Providing an opportunity for teens impacted by school closures is a priority at BAPA, which is organizing the BAPA Teen Corps. Through the program local teens can volunteer to help address needs identified by the Mutual Aid group. They will be encouraged to develop their own ideas and respond to community requests. 

 Through BAPA Teen Corps students can complete service hours and build up service credentials while helping their community. For information contact Mary Jo Viero, mjviero@bapa.org. 

 

  

Social Distance Community Calendar 

 

Smith Village invites caregivers, family and friends of older adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease to attend a free memory care support group via conference call, Tues., June 2, 6:30 p.m. Interested participants can join by dialing the conference call center number, 312-667-4792 musing the password 929028. Smith Village social service director of long-term care Diane Morgan will host the call in an open topic format and address issues about the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to people with dementia.  

Bethany Union Church of Chicago is offering online worship services via www.facebook.com/BethanyUnionChurch, Sundays, 10:30 a.m.  For people who miss the live version or just want to listen again, the service will remain on the church Facebook page. To receive the monthly Bethany Union Church Unifier newsletter, send a note to 1750 W. 103rd St., or email office@bethanyunion.com.   

Even though this year’s Vanderpoel Art Association Student Art Show has been canceled, work by  student artists can be viewed in the 2020 class project comic books, “Comic Bork 3: The Empire Strikes Bork, at www.vanderpoelartmuseum.org/classes/. There is a volume for each of the classes showing the talents of the artists and storytellers. The graduating 8th graders whose work is included are James Miller, Jade Madden and Patrick O’Malley. Plans call for Vanderpoel art classes to resume in the fall. 

Marist High School will be offering virtual summer campto help kids improve skills in a variety of sports as well as science, chess and cheerleading. Camps are for children in kindergarten through 8th grade, and offered in sessions that begin June 2, June 9, June 16 and June 23. View camp offerings and registration deadlines at www.martist.net/athletics/summercamp/.    

Beverly Arts Center has adapted its class curriculum to provide safe and socially distant options for students. The summer session will begin June 8 and be offered online through Zoom. Learn how to dance, play an instrument, paint a portrait, direct a film, or be a star of the stage, all from the comfort of your own home. Info/registration: www.beverlyartcenter.org. 

The following Local School Council (LSC) meetings will be held virtually. Visit the school websites for links and access code. Kellogg School LSC, Thurs., Jun. 4, 6 p.m. www.Kellogg.CPS.edu. Sutherland School LSC, Mon., Jun. 15, 6:30 p.m. www.Sutherland.CPS.edu. Morgan Park High School LSC, Wed., Jun. 17, 6 p.m. www.MorganParkCPS.org 

 

BAPA Launches the BAPA Cares Campaign Amongst COVID-19 Changes 

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 monthBAPA has been continuously working to provide support through various initiatives and programs to reach people in a variety of ways while practicing social distancingWith 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 WebinarOn 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 bwiley@bapa.org   

Resources for Neighbors and BusinessesFor 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 homepagewww.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, contacbapa@bapa.org 

Infographic with 25 ways to support small businesses

ILoveLocal Shop Local CampaignThe week of Apr11 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 Pantry11030 S. Longwood Dr., which serves residents in the 60643 and 60655 zip codes. Funds were donated by residents and community supportersMonetary 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 6112 to 4 p.m. 

Uplift Smith Village ParadeOn 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 bapa@bapa.org or call 7732333100. 

Are You Hungry to Help? 

 

“In times of uncertainty such as this, we seen the best of Beverly/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood and others emerge,” wrote Karen Overstreet, Executive Director of the Maple/Morgan Park Community Food Pantry. “We are overwhelmed with gratitude for all who have asked, ‘How can I help?’ during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

According to Overstreet, the best way to help is by making a monetary donation.  

On Wed., May 6, 12 to 4 p.m., there will be a safe, contact-free dropoff event for donations of non-perishable food items and donations of check or cash in sealed envelopes in the pantry parking lot, Morgan Park United Methodist Church, 11030 S. Longwood Dr.,  on the west side of the building off 110th Place.  

The pantry is in desperate need of hot and cold cereals, bottled water, canned tuna, canned chicken, canned salmon, condiments, bottled juice, wrapped frozen packaged meats, bar soap, dish detergent, facial tissue, pancake mix, corn muffin mix, spaghetti and pastas, Stove Top dressing, macaroni and cheese, disposable face masks, latex gloves (medium and large), hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, diapers and hygiene items. Other canned foods are not needed at this time. (Food regulations require that non-perishable food items must be sealed, unopened and unused.) 

Monetary donations enable the pantry to purchase a large number of food items from the Greater Chicago Food Depository and local vendors at bulk rates and without paying sales tax.  

At this time, 1,500 of our most vulnerable neighbors are being served by the pantry and the lines of pantry patrons is overflowing. Many area pantries have closed, but our neighborhood pantry will remain open. The pantry is open for food distribution in the parking lot on Tuesdays and Fridays, 1 to 3 p.m.  

During this challenging time, they committed to the safety of the volunteers as well as the neighbors who receive food assistance.  

While donations of non-perishable food items are appreciated and accepted, monetary donations maximize the effectiveness of helping neighbors in need. 

It takes just $20 to provide a full emergency meal for a family in need in the 60643 or 60655 zip codes.  

Gifts are accepted in any amount and monthly recurring gifts are very much appreciated. Send checks to Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, 11030 S. Longwood Dr., Chicago IL 60643.  

The Maple/Morgan Park Community Food Pantry was founded in 1983 

“For 37+ years, our community always rises to every challenge, and this COVID-19 pandemic is no exception,” Overstreet wrote. “Our community knows how to get really hard things done. Rest assured, every day I am passionately driven by our cause, ‘Feeding the hungry amongst us.’”  

For more information on the pantry and how you can help, call 773-239-3013.