While it is easy to become overwhelmed by uncertainty as we navigate life amid a pandemic, there are countless ways to help relief efforts in Hyde Park and Chicago, and to contribute remotely to national initiatives. Below are some of those efforts and how you can get involved.
Greater Chicago Food Depository
This organization is searching for volunteers to pack food for Chicagoans, particularly for children who are no longer receiving meals from school. Serving as a volunteer for the Greater Chicago Food Depository is considered an essential service and does not violate Illinois’ Stay at Home order. Individuals who are between the ages of 18 and 60 can sign up to volunteer in a warehouse. Those who are unable to volunteer can also support the Depository by donating on their website. The Depository will use the funds to buy food and stock their shelves.
American Red Cross Volunteer From Home Initiative
The American Red Cross has launched a Volunteer From Home (VFH) initiative. Applicants can sign up for remote volunteering opportunities through their website, including urgently needed positions in regions around the country.
Anyone who has any questions about applying or finding the right opportunity in their region can contact UChicago third-year and National Youth Council member Rodrigo Estrada at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MoVE in Place: Calling All Generations
To help connect with socially isolated seniors and to deliver critical resources, such as food and prescription medication, to the elderly in long-term care facilities in Chicago, you can sign up to volunteer from home to make calls with the Millennial Engagement Vote Initiative (MoVE). Volunteers must be willing to commit at least three hours a week of communication through phone calls or through a number of email exchanges, determined on a case by case basis.
Tenant’s United Hyde Park’s Community Laundry Mutual Aid
This project is looking for volunteers living in Hyde Park, Kenwood, or Woodlawn to aid their effort in offering free laundry services to people with limited access in the Hyde Park area. Volunteers with access to cars and cheap laundry are especially in demand and will be given protective gear and safety instruction as well as funds to offset any cost of laundry. Those who would like to contribute to the effort can fill out this form.
For more info, interested applicants can contact Brandon E. Patterson at email@example.com.
Donate Blood to UChicago Medical Center
The University of Chicago Medical Center is looking for blood donors, as blood donations have severely decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To make an appointment, call 773-702-6247. All donors must have an appointment to enter the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine (DCAM) and the Blood Donation Center. The center is open from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Mondays - Fridays.
More information can be found on the UChicago Medical Center's website.
NYC Against Coronavirus
NYC Against Coronavirus is looking for Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean speakers to translate COVID-19 information that the organization has compiled on a Google Doc and wishes to transform into a website. The Google Doc can be found here.
For more information, contact the project at NYCCoronavirus@gmail.com.
Donate Face Masks to UChicago Labs and Hospitals
The University of Chicago Medicine is looking for face masks and other personal protective equipment. This equipment can be dropped off at the Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery (57th Street and South Drexel Avenue), Room 1220, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. A more comprehensive list of highly demanded items can be found here.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
La Rabida Hospital
The La Rabida Hospital is looking for volunteers to sew non-clinical masks for patients and non-clinical staff. Volunteers who wish to make masks must follow the criteria below, according to an email sent by the hospital manager of volunteer services.
- Make the masks according to the following directions
- Bundle 25 masks in a sealed zip lock bag
- Drop off the deliveries at the front desk of the main entrance of La Rabida Children’s Hospital.
- Please put Brian Reiher as attention if mailing. We are located at 6501 S. Promontory Dr., Chicago, IL 60649. Drop off must be arranged by emailing email@example.com or 773. 256.5985
- Lastly, feel free to share a picture of your sewing making journey! We want to see how volunteers are remaining active during this time. Please send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. We plan to post a few on our social media page.
- Before use, masks will be sterilized and inspected to make sure they are safe and appropriate, and health care workers can soon be wearing them.
UChicago Mutual Aid Face Mask Volunteer
UChicago Mutual Aid has opened an application for students interested in sewing together face masks. A University alum from Hyde Park is also working with local businesses to cut fabric in bulk for face masks, and would like to assess how many people would be willing to sew once the fabric is cut.
Note: The Maroon urges all volunteers to take the necessary safety precautions to protect themselves when physically participating in these activities.