Pandemic Preparedness: Redefining Your Organizational Routine 


By Kristin Boza 

There are many tough aspects to the pandemic; adhering to a routine is one of them. Between lack of sleep, virtual schooling and working from home, or juggling hybrid schooling and workplace schedules, most households have been living in survival mode. Now that school is back in session, businesses are opening up even more, and people are navigating the new normal, it’s time to take a tough look at life at home to ensure it’s running smoothly. 

  1. Colleen Klimczakis a Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Peace of Mind Professional Organizing, LLC. In the 17 years at the helm of her business, Klimczak has seen people become more aware of the need for organized spaces as a means of empowerment in their daily lives 

With many families with school age children doing remote learning or homeschooling this fall, Klimczak sees how new routines are being tested.  

“In any household, the basic needs don’t change,” Klimczak said. “The kids still need food before class, no matter where class is held. They need showers and clean clothes. Routines will help smooth the way for the family during each section of their day.” 

Transition periods, which are the time between each activity, benefit most from routine. “If something is going to go wrong, it’ll be during your transition time,” Klimczak said. “When you can’t find the car keys or the Chrome book charger or your mask, it can be a problem. Identify these the transition times in your day and ensure you have what you need before you need it.” 

To establish a routine, Klimczak advises the following: 

Identify where and when things might go awry.  

When these timeframes are identified, planning ahead can solve problems before they happen. For example, Klimczak advises her clients to create landing/launch pads. These are essential spaces in a home where you’ll always be able to find keys, masks, or other important items when you need them. This gives everyone in the family, even the kids, the structure to always know where to put – or land – essential items, and where to find what they need in order to “launch” to their next task 

Determine who is involved in transition times.  

Sit down with the family and help everyone identify their role during each transition period. For example, if you child always forgets their band instrument, give them the task of ensuring it is at the launch pad each night so it’s ready to go in the morning.  

“One roadblock for many people is redefining what put away means. Instead of putting a soccer uniform away in a drawer after it’s laundered, put it in back in the gym bag by the door,” Klimczak said. “Get used to this being defined as ‘away’ since this shirt needs to leave the house and it won’t help you if it’s left behind in a drawer.” 

Always be a routine ahead.  

Think about the morning routine before going to bed the night before, and think about what afternoon you needs in the morning to prepare for what’s coming 

“This way of thinking doesn’t mean you aren’t present in the moment. Instead, it prepares you for the next transition time. Walk through your day tonight and look ahead to remember whether you have everything you need to leave the house in the morning. Being nice to future me is a good thing,” she said. 

Manage your space. 

Especially now when dining room tables are likely used for school or work, be sure to declutter the space before it transitions to a dinner table or family game night space.  

“I recommend getting a desk blotter that can easily be scooped up when school is over. Find a place for these items to live when they’re not in use in order to keep the dining room table as a gathering space,” Klimczak said.  

For even more helpful organizational tips, sign up for Peace of Mind’s weekly newsletter filled with information to bolster organizing skills and motivation to get started. Visit to find out more, or text Peace of Mind to 22828. 

Business News: Eat Out to Help Out Campaign 

By Brittany Wiley 
BAPA Business Liaison 

Restaurants have been one of the hardest hit businesses during the pandemic. The people in this community, BAPA, the business associations and Ald. Matt O’Shea have been doing all they can to help support them.  But what will happen when the weather turns cold? 

Restaurants like Ken’s, Americanos, Open Outcry and Horse Thief Hollow have put so much energy and effort into their outdoor spaces to continue operating at a higher capacity through the summer months. Barney Callaghan’s created an outdoor patio and partnered with Swanson’s Deli to add food service. As the nights get cooler and outdoor dining is less available, some patrons will stop eating out altogether and some will want to head inside. 

In Chicago, unlike the remainder of Illinois, eateries only allowed to operate at 25% capacity indoors, while the rest of the state is at 50% capacity. This is especially hard for our Beverly/Morgan Park restaurants, whose suburban competitors only blocks away are legally able to welcome more patrons. 

What can we do? Eat out to help out. Continue to frequent these cornerstones of our community. Make reservations. Dine with your loved ones.   

If you’re uncomfortable eating inside what can you do to help? Immediately we think: order takeout. But is that enough? The costs that local restaurants incurred building the outdoor dining spaces and changing the way they operate are high.  Takeout orders generally bring in less revenue than dining in where people order beverages, appetizers or desserts. When you order takeout, add a growler of beer, a to-go cocktail or a bottle of wine. Skip the plastic silverware and napkins (you’re eating at home!) Make sure you add a tip, you’re still getting wait service. These places and the people who work there are counting on us. 

Together with Caroline Connors, Executive Director of Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association, BAPA will be launching a new campaign called Eat Out to Help Out. This campaign will continue to remind our community to support local restaurants as we head into the colder months.    

Local restaurants aren’t just places where we can order food. They foster community by giving us events and places to gather. They add to our neighborhood culture. They raise our home values.  We can work together to ensure they make it through the winter. 

Critical Community Conversations 


It has been a tough 2020 for everyone, prompting difficult question for our community and our countr. This month, Imago Dei Church will host three Critical Conversations for Beverly/Morgan Park, presenting a diverse panel of neighborhood leaders discussing a variety of viewpoints. The 90-minute discussions will be held on Wednesdays, starting promptly at 7 p.m., Imago Dei Church, 10511 S. Oakley, south wing.  

Discussion topics are: How is the Covid-19 pandemic affecting our families, work, community and faith, Oct. 7; Do we really have to choose between Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter, Oct. 14; and How do we overcome the massive challenges that are schools are facing, Oct. 21. 

Each Critical Conversation will be led by a panel of community leaders and will be facilitated by a pastor from Imago Dei Church. Panelists include Matt O’Shea, 19th Ward Alderman, Mary Jo Viero, Executive Director of BAPA, Shanya Gray of Moms of Beverly, Tom Baffes, President of County Fair Foods, and Officer Kurrin Beamon, Chicago Police Department 22nd District, among others. 

All Beverly/Morgan Park residents are invited to respectfully engage in the conversations which will be open to different viewpoints including Christian faith perspectives.  

The conversations are meant to help people think through tough questions, deepen our sense of community and provide a biblical perspective on the common challenges people are facing.  

Social distancing and masks required; for people who prefer remaining at home, the conversations will be streamed on Facebook Live 

For more information, contact Tom Kubiak, 773-609-313Register on Eventbrite, join the conversation remotely, go to Facebook at During the conversations only, questions can be texted to 773-312-3396.  




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  

Area Principals Develop Parent-Centered Online Training and Leadership Alliance to Promote Quality, Equitable Education Across the 19th Ward 

By Tina Jenkins Bell 
BAPA School Liaison 

Six principals representing elementary schools across the Beverly/Morgan Park community recently forged an alliance to share resources, schedules, and ideas to assure equitable, quality educations for studentsno matter their school 

“We heard from parents via surveys and emails. Their chief concerns were that they wanted to help their students but didn’t know the platforms or technology. We began to talk with each other about the best ways to support our students, parents, and teachers,” Vanderpoel Humanities Academy Principal Kia Banks said. “Instead of repeating last spring’s situation of rushing to come up with remote learning solutions as schools closed due to the quarantine, we wanted to begin the school year with answers, guidance, and support. 

Banks is one of the participating principals collaborating in the leadership pod; other principals include Kathleen Valente, Barnard; JaMonica Marion, Clissold; Dr. Angela Tucker, Esmond; Dr. Cory Overstreet, Kellogg; and Margaret Burns, Sutherland. 

The entire team credited Clissold Principal Marion for sparking their alliance after discussing her efforts to create training to assist parents in keeping their students on trackan effort she began earlier this summer.  

To pave the way for accountability and student excellence, one of the initiatives to emerge from this proactive “think tank” is a series of well-designed and presented parent-focused technology training and guides. Last August, the first line of workshops covered Google and Aspen training, a centralized platform for hosting and managing student data, such as class schedules, school events, student performance, athletic eligibility, and individual health records. Workshops were offered at multiple times and divided by PreKindergarten through 4th and 5th through 8th grades.  

The workshops were recorded for easy retrieval and reference and can be accessed at (link). 

“With patience and grace, we want to support our parents by showing them proven, best practices they can use to facilitate their children’s progress,” Dr. Tucker said. 

The principal pod’s overall focus is strong, positive and progressive student performance. Accordingly, their collaborations exceed their leadership concerns and needs to also include support, trainings, and guidance for teachers and staff.  

“We’re sharing all kinds of resources with the common goal of student success,” Dr. Overstreet said. “We heard about Sutherland’s use of an equity consultant to guide staff and teaching personnel in diversity and inclusivity. Now, we’re working with the same consultant to work with us at Kellogg. We’re all connected here, working together and bringing our teachers, like our IB instructors, to collaborate across schools.” 

The team also work with other groups that support similar priorities. Collectively, they promoted the Remote Learning Symposium Developed by mothers and educators comprising the Beverly Area Mom’s Facebook group. Presented from July through the beginning of September, the symposium consisted of a series of workshops covering a variety of topics, including getting ready for remote learning, understanding new math, reading, balancing parental instructional obligations with self-care, and motivating youth to learn and other subjects. To access these presentations, materials, and additional resources, visit  

“We are not operating in a vortex. Instead, we’re sharing our ideas while also utilizing strengths and resources in the community,” Burns said. 

Foreseeing challenges and understanding the stakes, these principals are developing support networks, workshops, and resources within and beyond CPS — all to ensure their students have every opportunity to soar — whether learning remotely or in the classroom. They are also committed to giving school parents and guardians every chance to support them. 

Each of the principals agreed there is no competition between the schools. They said, any parent looking for a schoowill receive high quality, equitable education at any one of the six schools.  






Free Stores Assist Neighbors 


Continuing to respond to the ever-changing economic and living situations influenced by the pandemic, the local Free Store last month added an emergency food option for area families. The all-volunteer group provides a Free Store for hygiene and first aid products at the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr., and a Free Store for food items at Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 110th Place at Longwood Drive. The stores operate Wednesdays, 5 to 7 p.m.  

Volunteers from Turpin Cares, BAPA and the 19th Ward Mutual Aid group staff the Free Stores. Donations are accepted and can be dropped off at the Free Store during open hours. 

Another Mutual Aid partnership which includes the Beverly Area Arts Alliance, Edna White Community Garden and Turpin Cares, has installed a Neighborhood Pantry Box the Edna White Garden at 111th and Esmond. The Pantry Box provides 24/7 access to items for people who need food assistance. Neighbors can donate shelfstable, unopened and not expired, food at any time. For more information, contact 

To learn more about 19th Ward Mutual Aid, follow them on Facebook contact them at or 773-980-6043.  



Community Resources 


Free StorePeople in need of personal hygiene and first aid items, food supplies and connections to other resources are welcome at the Free Store, Wednesdays, 5 to 7 p.m., BAPA Community Room, 111th and Longwood Drive, and Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 110th and Longwood Drive. The stores are hosted by 19th Ward Mutual Aid, Turpin Cares and BAPA. Details on Free Store and other resources at 19th Ward Mutual Aid, 

Legal Services. People who have federally-backed mortgages and are having trouble making their payments because of COVID-19 may be eligible for up to one year of deferred mortgage payments. Contact Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, 312-332-8785, or Be ready to provide this information: Name, phone number, property address and court case number if a foreclosure has been filed.   



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.

19th Ward Mutual Aid Continues to Assist Neighbors 

By Cathriona Fey 
BAPA Community Outreach & Improvement  

As businesses, parks, and other establishments begin to reopen, the 19th Ward Mutual Aid group remains busy assisting members of our community who have experienced difficult times and financial hardships during these last few months. Continuing to partner with various community groups and organizations, 19th Ward Mutual Aid has built up momentum and support from all corners of Beverly/Morgan Park to provide those in need, and those who want to help, with a place to go.  

Each Wednesday in the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr., you can find Mutual Aid volunteers diligently packing up bags of first aid and hygiene products for patrons of the Free Store. Formed through a partnership with Turpin Cares, BAPA and the 19th Ward Mutual Aid group, the Free Store provides local residents in need with an array of products that have been donated on Wednesdays, 5 to 7 p.m. The Free Store has served over 200 families and distributed over 2,000 items. It will remain open as long as the need remains.) Donations are accepted and can be dropped off at the Free Store during open hours. 

On Tues., June 23, the first BAPA Teen Corps call was held to organize local teens interested in volunteering in the communityBAPA Teen Corps offers youth opportunities to build service hours, take advantage of work readiness and college personal statement writing workshops, and create service or volunteer projects. Teens got to work immediatelyhelping with BAPA’s Weeding Wednesday initiative the morning after their first call. BAPA invites teens to get involved. Want to know more? Join the BAPA Teen Corps Facebook Group or contact Mary Jo Viero, or 773-233-3100. 

Another Mutual Aid partnership which includes the Beverly Area Arts Alliance, Edna White Memorial Garden and Turpin Cares, has installed the community’s first Neighborhood Pantry Box. Located at the Edna White Memorial Garden on the corner of 111th (Monterey) and Esmond Street, the Pantry Box provides 24/7 access to various items to anyone who needs food assistance. Neighbors can donate shelfstable, unopened and not expired, food at any time. The Pantry Box was built and installed by Baird CampbellSal Campbell and Ross Weiler. For more information, contact 

To learn more about the 19th Ward Mutual Aid, follow them on Facebook for news and updates. If you need of assistance or would like to volunteer your services, contact or 773-980-6043.  



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 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,