Ways to Help

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6.2)

Even in a time when we care for our most vulnerable by ‘social distancing,’ there are many other concrete ways that we can be showing the love of Christ to our neighbors. One obvious way is to be reaching out to one another and to our literal neighbors to offer presence, prayer, and whatever other gifts might be of use (while maintaining appropriate distance.) Also, there are numerous local organizations that are caring for people in need who have concrete ways to partner with them. We are listing opportunities here as we become aware of them.

Boulevard Mercy Fund

The mercy fund serves as a resource for Boulevard members, attenders, and those connected to the church who find themselves in need. It is administered by the ‘mercy fund team’ and all requests are treated confidentially. If you would like to give to the mercy fund, you may write a check to Boulevard and put “mercy” in the memo or, give electronically to the church (through Zelle to [email protected]), indicating it is for “mercy.”

Beyond Hunger

Beyond Hunger (formerly Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry) provides hunger relief across 13 zip codes of the Greater Westside. You can learn how to give to their work here.

Chicago Delivers

COVID-19 is affecting poor communities and African American communities disproportionately, for a number of reasons. One short-term way local churches are working together to help is to get groceries delivered by Instacart to the homes of people on public assistance and/or the elderly. (Those on public assistance have had trouble using SNAP benefits for grocery delivery.) For more information or to donate, go here.

Food for Medical Professionals

A few of our own medical professionals have said that they and their colleagues would be greatly encouraged by the gift of snacks and/or notes with words of encouragement or brief prayers that they could post in break rooms. Examples of snacks include: homemade treats (like cookies and muffins), granola bars, fruit (like oranges, bananas and apples), snack packs of nuts or veggies, chocolate, and bagels/cream cheese. If you have questions or want to arrange getting snacks and/or cards to medical professionals, contact Jeff who is helping coordinate.

Medical Masks, Hats, and Other Supplies

Medical Masks and Hats are in demand in health care settings. If you have any N95 face masks, Danny Ozinga could put them to use in the clinic. Also, some local hospitals and clinics are asking for people to sew masks according to specific guidelines; to learn more, contact our own Kate Powlus. To donate masks or other supplies to West Suburban Medical Center, please contact Stacey Watson at [email protected] or 240-274-5400.

New Moms

New Moms is a ministry based in Austin and Oak Park New Moms that seeks to interrupt the cycle of poverty by caring for young moms and their children. They are currently in need of non-perishable food and daily essentials like diapers, formula, baby wipes and cleaning supplies. You can contribute to these through two amazon wishlists found here.

L’Arche

L’Arche is an organization that builds community among people with and without intellectual disabilities, largely through their group homes. L’Arche Chicago has three group homes in Austin and Forest Park. Here are some creative ways to partner with them now.