Good Neighbors page

Opportunities to show our commitment to community and volunteer

Brought to you by the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference

This new page, started at the 2004 holiday season, will contain a sampler of ways to help each other. It will grow faster if YOU send us your candidates for inclusion: contact us!. Tell us also if you come across someone who should be honored as a good neighbor, such as the man who goes around picking up the trash in east Hyde Park, or the lady or kids who clean the snow way beyond their property line.
Other pages with volunteer and helpfulness suggestions are, Collaborers in the Community, Community Resources, Ending Homelessness, Affordable Housing inits., Disabilities Task Force,(, Green Hyde Park, History and Preservation, Nonprofit Organizations, School News and opportunities; UC Schools Outreach and University and Community,
Art News. To Neighborhood Goals and goal-building. Visit Collaborers and Friends of Blackstone pages for numerous volunteer opportunities.

Quick peek: Visit "Staying Involved" page. Giving food (and here)


Hyde Park Disabilities Task Force

A coalition of the 4th and 5th wards, DARE, HPKCC, HP Chamber of Commerce, Older Women's League, SECC, UC Police. It seeks to make Hyde Park businesses accessible to persons with disabilities and their service animals, to improve our paths of mobility, and improve etiquette including with bicycles and autos towards all with limited ability. A Caring Community. Learn more at the Disabilities page,, or 773 363-4368.

Report inadequately-cleared walks etc. with exact address to your aldermanic or ward supervisor's office, 311 (get order number) or email

And support, volunteer to help at the Special Olympics!

Recycle! Blackstone Bicycle Works wants used bikes-- If you have a bike(s) to donate, please give us a call at 773-241-5458, and ask for Chris, or just drop off your bike at the shop during business hours: Tuesday thru Friday 1pm-6pm, and Saturday 1pm-5pm. Our address is 6100 S. Blackstone. If you would like us to contact your condominium or building management company about arranging for bicycle donations from residents in your building, please call us at 773-241-6044. We'll help your building get that process started.

Check to see when next Golan's will pick up your dead computer and bring it to the city recycling center.
Make Your Spring CleaningProject Eco-Friendly. Golan’s Moving and Storage Inc. would like to announce a recycling effort geared toward your spring cleaning projects. Do you have unwanted cell phones, printers, cartridges, scanners, hard drives, and old light bulbs? If you do, Golan’s will pick them up from your home, for FREE, and bring to the City of Chicago Computer Recycling Facility. These items, if not disposed of properly, can contribute to major health problems for residents.

Here are the details:We will pick-up your used cell phones, computer equipment, and printers for FREE during the week of April 27th. To participate, please reply to this email with your address for pick-up, and we’ll reply with the exact day for the pick up. Please place your items on your front porch by 7:00 am on the day of pickup. We’ll pick them up and take them to the city of Chicago recycling center at no cost to you. This offer is extended to residents of Cook County only, and has no cash value. We cannot provide any receipt of the drop off.

Restrictions:Sorry, large household appliances such as televisions, air conditioners, dehumidifiers and large home appliances are not accepted for this promotion nor at the facility. No more than 5 items will be picked up from a single location. Participants can win...In addition to participation in an environmentally-responsible recycling effort, participants will be entered into a drawing to win one of three compost bins, courtesy of Golan’s Moving.

Where they will go:Your items will be brought to the City of Chicago Computer Recycling facility at 1150 N. Branch. They accept drop offs each Tuesday and Thursday, and the first Saturday of every month. For more facility information, or call 311.



Help for Japan:

Global Giving at or text JAPAN to 50555 for $10 donation
Japanese Service Committee of Chicago at also given as http://jaschicago.en/japanearthquakerelief/
American Red Cross at htp:// or 800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 for $10 donation
BE SURE TO USE "JAPAN RED CROSS" or JAPAN SOCIETY of New York or if giving to Red Cross specify Japan Earthquake Relief.
Also Japanese Chamber of of Commerce Chicago (JCCC) 312 245-8344- Murray Language Academy is collecting for the Chamber - send to Murray Language Academy, 5335 S. Kenwod Ave, 60615 Attn: Japan Earthquake Relief fund.
Include your contacts. 773 535-0585. Through April 6.
Chicago Booth Japan Cub,
Jewish Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago
Doctors Without Borders is sending highly trained teams of doctors into the hardest-hit and most difficult-to-reach regions of Japan. (Note: Doctors Without Borders is not accepting contributions "earmarked" for Japan, but rather drawing from general support to enable their important response work there.)
The Red Cross of Japan operates 92 hospitals in Japan and has deployed 700 medical relief volunteers across the country already. Be sure to specify it's for Red Cross Japan.

Fundraising opportunities for Japan:

MARCH 29 (Tuesday) - "Japan Earthquake / Tsunami Relief Fundraiser" at Japonais Restaurant & Lounge (See attached flier)
The Japan America Society of Chicago will hold a fundraising event from 6-9PM at Japonais with support from Japonais, Goose Island Brewery, Tenzing Sake and More Cupcakes. All proceeds will go directly to The Japanese Red Cross.

APRIL 1 (Friday) - "Japan Earthquake Relief Fundraiser" at Chicago Cultural Center (See attached flier)
Honorary Chairs include Mayor Richard M. Daley, Governor Pat Quinn and U.S. Senator Richard Durbin. The event, which will be from 6-9PM will feature Yoko Noge's Japanesque, classical musicians from CSO's Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and legendary Chicago blues and jazz musicians. All donations will directly benefit Japan relief efforts through the American Red Cross.

If you are unable to attend either of these events and want to provide support, please visit the Japan America Society of Chicago ( to make a donation.

Haiti: to find options to help for now go to or
to find options or the Red Cross site, below. There is also UNICEF, CARE, and Clinton-Bush. However, don't overlook nonprofits that have been working in Haiti for decades such as International Child Care, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees. NEEDS IT AGAIN AFTER HURRICANE MATTHER 2016.

Local conduits to Haiti still collecting as of Feb. 3 2012

American Red Cross of Greater Chicago:, 312 729-6100
CARE-Chicago:, 312 641-1430
Lions Cub International:, 630-571-5466
Asociation of Haitian Physicians Abroad:, 847-882-5848
Feed My Starving Children:, 630-851-0404
Haitian American Community Association: (no phone)
Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti:, 847-475-5856
General Consulate of Haiti--Chicago:, 312 922-4004

Tsunami and Katrina and Tibet victims aid. You can go to Google- Help is right on the homepage.
Yes, tsunami villages have not been able to get back to normal, and Katrina victims still can't pay their way in motels--the FEMA cut off has been pushed back. Most media websites and the newspapers list the large and small legitimate collectors of relief aid. Most churches and synagogues, universities, charitable organizations are, or can point in the right direction. The major national organizations are the Red Cross (1 800 HELP-NOW,, UNICEF ( and CARE, Intl (

Red Cross and Salvation Army (esp. for goods) will be helping the Gulf Coast and New Orleans Hurricane Katrina victims. Others: visit AOL or your internet provider's homepage or etc.
Another link:

May 17- a new Hyde Park-based Choral group, Le Cantini di Chicago, will give a benefit concert in a chruch for Nepal relief. More info coming.


Special appeals, announcements, seminars. Post to us or give suggestions at By dates



Summer jobs for youth. For information on or to volunteer with a local group mentoring and linking kids for summer jobs, contact LaKeisha Hamilton
Spencer Bibbs

Fall 2016 several local congregations are banding together to support a refugee family from Syria.

New bulletin board for orgs and drives org. by Gabriel Piemonte-

Gabriel Piemonte will be on UC main quad Dec. 9 at noon to gather clothing and toys for the program Dec. 17 below.

Gabriel Piemonte writes (and see also following item) We have three drop-off points for your convenience. Please take your new or gently used toys or clothes to any of these locations. They are First Unitarian Church, 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave.; The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave.; and The Shrine of Christ the King, 6401 S. Woodlawn Ave. First Unitarian is available as a drop-off from 10-8 Monday through Saturday and 9-1 on Sunday. The Promontory drop box is located at the upstairs entrance and is available whenever that entrance is accessible. The Institute is available on a daily basis as a drop-off site. Ring the front doorbell to donate. Feel free to email me if you need items to be picked up. We very much need your help spreading the word about this drive. Please forward this email, plus the flyer that is attached, to your friends and family. Also, please be sure to like us on Facebook ( and share items we post there. We will have links to the website in everything we post, and it will really help us spread the word if your friends participate in informing others about our efforts.
Candles and Carols will be at the Shrine of Christ the King 64th and Woodlawn Sat. Dec. 17 4-6.

December 3, Saturday, 2 pm. Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park West, 312 801-2100. An Angelic ToyDrive Affair. Angela Pena and curtis McClain host some of Chicago's finest DJs- Derek Smokin Jones, Dion Hunter, Steve Poindexter, Craig Loftis... 21 and over.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository's final harvest of the season will be coming up this Saturday, October 22nd! The Hyde Park Food Pantry is one of many agencies that obtains food from GCFD so this seems like a family event of interest to Hyde Parkers! The Depository is looking for enthusiastic volunteers ages 8+ to meet us in Marengo to help hand pick squash to distribute to our friends and neighbors in need. A farmer in Marengo plants two 5-acre plots of sweet corn as well as several acres of squash to donate to the Food Depository and the Northern Illinois Food Bank. The harvest is immediately brought back to the GCFD warehouse and repackaged, becoming available to our member agencies (like the Hyde Park Food Pantry) the following Monday morning. If you’re interested in joining us, please feel free to register via the volunteer calendar at

The 57th Street Art Fair is seeking volunteers to join the Art Fair organizing committee. This hands-on committee needs you! Find out more on Wednesday, October 26th 1pm or 7pm at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club at 5480 S Kenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60615. Visit www.57thstreetartfair. org or contact

AARP Foundation seeks volunteers to tutor and mentor and read to kids in schools. Visit

UC Service Leage Treasure Tea- gathers things to sell at its Homecoming Benefit and introduces to volunteering- October 1, Satuday, 2-4 at ome, 5s649 S. Woodlawn.

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club and Little Inspirations there seek older persons as volunteers.

Openlands trees available for public spaces in spring 2016 (twice yearly)

Openlands, an organization that protects the natural and open spaces of Illinois, is accepting applications for its 2016 TreePlanters Grant.

The grant will be used to plant trees in neighborhoods throughout various communities, and residents in Chicago have from now until Jan. 11 to apply for a chance for their community to take part in the grant.

Applicants are required to identify locations in their neighborhood for 10-30 trees to be planted on public land.
Go to

American Field Service sends several foreign students to Kenwood High School each year for about a year. They always need host families and and Kenwood Academy is hosting an informational meeting for interested host families tomorrow, Wed. Dec. 9 in the Little Theater of Kenwood Academy at 5015 S. Blackstone, parking in lot at Lake Park Ave. and 51st Street.
For further information contact Assistant Principal Janeen Hatoum at

Hyde Park-Kenwood Food Pantry 1169 E. 56th St. (at Hyde Park Union Church- 56th building). Every Saturday 10-1:30 pm. Groceries once every 4 weeks per person living Cottage to the Lake, 39th to 60th. Case manager available. 773 363-6063.
(Volunteers please count on 9:30-12 and be able to climb stairs with grocery boxes. Groups up to 6 min. age 12. Vol. coorinator Jan Decenbach 773 702-7034.)

United Church of Hyde Park- last Saturday Breakfast for the Hungry 9-10 am. 1448 E. 53rd St.

Clothes drop off- 4th Ward Office, 435 E. 35th St., 5th Ward Office 2325 E. 71st St.

WHO ELSE PICKS UP CLOTHES? Hyde Park Union Church at 5600 S. Woodlawn collects clothes to take to Jackson Park Hospital on Stony Island Island. You would need to ask the church receptionist for a volunteer to pick up the bags, however:773-363-6063.
OR you can bring them to a resale or consignment shop such as ENCORE at the Metra tracks east side on E. Hyde Park Blvd.
Fall 2015 SHoP, 1448 E. 57th St. is taking men's and women's suits and other work clothes for those seeking employment in Englewood. Contact Laura Shaefer.

More places seeking seasonal donations:

The Silver Room, 1506 E. 53rd St., is asking for donations of hygiene and personal care products. From now through Dec. 18, items such as shampoo, body wash, deodorant, hair bands and lip balms will be collected in a gold box near the front of the store.

Items will be donated to homeless residents at Maria’s Shelter, 7320 S. Yale Ave., and Deborah’s Place, 2882 W. Jackson Blvd.

Besides toiletries, another much needed item for the homeless, especially in the winter months, is winter clothing. Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) is hosting a 5th ward winter coat drive until Dec. 17.

Coats, hats, scarves and gloves will be accepted at the 5th Ward Service Office, 2325 E. 71st St., to donate to families in need that reside in the 5th ward.

Villa Hyde Park, 5230 S. Lake Park Ave., is also hosting a donation drive and is accepting new and unopened toys to give to Toys for Tots for the holiday season. Shoppers have until Dec. 16 to bring in a toy for children up to age 12.

Villa Hyde Park will also give a 10 percent discount on in-store purchases for anyone who donates a toy.

Hyde Park Cats seeks volunteers to take cats to hospice visits.

Chicago Hyde Park Village. Give to a legacy in honor of a true helper of the village and Hyde Parkers of all generations, Andrew Holzman.
Join your neighbors in contributing to Andrew’s Legacy Fund for the benefit of CHPV. Go to: Or mail a check to CHPV, 5500 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637. Chicago Hyde Park Village is a 501(c)(3), not for profit organization so all contributions are tax deductible.
In case you missed the article about this event in the Hyde Park Herald a few weeks ago or some of our earlier e-mails, here is the link to the Herald article and some background:


Re Circle Pines Christmas trees-- With questions, phone 269-623-5555 or email

One of the places that takes used clothing, jewelry, books, etc. etc. to sell at modest price is the University Church Resale Shop.___________

Some places providing free clothes for the needy. Others such as Women Employed provide clothes for interviews. There is Dress for Success in Bridgeport, Good Will Industries, Salvation Army.
Schwab needs warm clothes, sneakers, hospital equipment and exercise clothes for both men and women. La Rabida collects clothes for children. The VA needs clothes for vets. PADS need everything for homeless. The church at 46th and Greenwood gives clothes away to the food kitchen users. Jewish community and Women Employed take better clothes for adults going back into the work force.

Good Neighbor James Miller writes: Some people sweep their leaves into the street without bagging them, expecting the street cleaners to sweep them up.
I just spoke to the lady sweeping my street. She said her job is not to sweep up leaves, but to sweep and clean the street up to the curb. Piles of leaves hamper he, filling up her machine, causing her to go and empty it periodically. This slows her down and ultimately results in unclean streets. I personally have filled 12 bags of leaves in front of my house. Many never pick up the leaves, and when winter comes and the leaves freeze in a solid mat, it is impossible to shovel. In a thaw, the water cannot flow to the drains, which are also clogged. So be a good neighbor/ Pickup the leaves, bag them, and when the snows come, do shovel. For those who can't, find someone who can do it for you.

Interested in reading to school kids or otherwise volunteering in Ray and other schools enrichment progams? contact Jane Comiskey. Or, visit AARPFoundation.

Ray School Kiss and Drop program. Ray School started the Kiss and Drop program last year to keep kids safe in getting to school and to help with traffic control. The program is in need of a few more volunteers. The work is very gratifying and fun- wishing kids a good day on their way to school and wishing parents well on the way to their day. It only takes about 30 minutes- from 8:20-8:50am. Would you like to give a hand? You can commit to as little as one day a week, or you can be a substitute if a regular volunteer is unable to work that day. If you are able to help out, please email Sharon at

Bret Harte is looking for tutors who could help upper grade students with reading and math. They are looking for people who are available during the school day. Even one hour once a week would be helpful! If you are able to help, please contact Kristy Ulrich Papczun at

October 18, Saturday, 5-7 pm. Clothing Exchange at Chaturanga Wellness, 1525 E. 55th St. 2nd fl. Clothes can be donated in advance. Remains go to Encore Clothing.

November 8, Saturday, 2-5 pm. South Side Pie annual contest. Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, 5480 S. Kenwood. Attention all amateur bakers and pie lovers! The South Side’s favorite new tradition, a fall celebration of pie, home baking, and our community, is back! We want you to join us on Saturday, November 8th, 2014, from 2 to 5 pm at our new venue, the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, 5480 S. Kenwood Avenue in Hyde Park.

Neighborhood Club Executive Director Sarah Diwan noticed the event last year and thought to herself, “I’d like that to happen at the Neighborhood Club,” she told Julie Vassilatos, organizer of the pie challenge. “I couldn’t be happier that they’re hosting us this year—this place is the perfect site for us,” said Vassilatos. “The Neighborhood Club has been serving the community and hosting neighborhood traditions for more than 100 years.”
The Challenge remains the same as in the past: we want amateur bakers to bring us the pie their friends rave about, recreate their grandma’s best kept secret, or share their very own invention. The competition is wide open and always surprising—past winners have ranged from 10-year-old new bakers to 80-year-old pie veterans.
Pies can be entered in four categories: fruit, nut, cream, and pumpkin/sweet potato. There is a $25 registration. For more information and to register online, visit our website at
Registered bakers will drop off their pies between 11 am and noon on November 8th. The event will be open to the public from 2 pm to 5 pm and all pies will be available for purchase at $3 a slice.
All pie entries will be judged by a panel of restaurateurs and pastry professionals. Prizes and ribbons will be awarded to the first three winners in all four categories.The South Side Pie Challenge will donate all of the proceeds from the event to the Hyde Park & Kenwood Hunger Programs.
For more information on the South Side Pie Challenge contact Julie Vassilatos at

Chicago Free School (temp. at Neighborhood Club and afterschool at Augustana Lutheran)- volunteers needed of all ages to come in and work with the kids; reading, playing games, playing outside, knitting, making art or just hanging out with them doing something that you love. We meet every day at Augustana Lutheran: 5500 S Woodlawn Ave, we could use help setting up between 2:45 and 3:15 and anytime during the program time.
The program begins at 3:15. We have different subjects each day: Monday "Re-purposing Everything", Tuesday "DIY Robotics Club", Wednesday "Games/Go", Thursday "Latin", Friday "Bookbinding". We will work on origami, free drawing and "crazy rug" weaving for the next weeks as well.We are just getting up and running and are anticipating between 15 and 20 kids, with two teachers. Volunteers from the community can help so much in a program like this!
If you are interested, have some ideas or just love hanging out with young people, please contact me and fill out our online survey and we will get in touch with you! Here is the volunteer survey:

Nichols Park (HP Garden Fair- Carol Schneider) is looking for diligent teens to work in the wildflower meadow. Pays $12 hr. 773 684-2619. Volunteers for the Meadow- September 28 and October 12 3-5.

Woodlawn Voices and Visions and the Herald videorecording project. We are writing to you to update some of you and introduce others to
the Voices and Visions program - an oral history project that was
launched this summer in which high school students interviewed elders
in the Woodlawn community. The program will continue into the fall and
will take place at Hyde Park Academy, where we have a dedicated
classroom that we would like to make our own.

What we are looking for is the material to make the space that we have
secured as homey and warm and inviting as possible for our students.
We are not looking for anything fancy – this is a grassroots project,
after all – but would love some wood and cloth and pottery in the
space. We are especially interested in tables and chairs and rugs and
mugs, but anything that would help warm up a classroom environment
will be most welcome.

We reached out to many of you, our neighbors and allies, this past
summer, and your support was crucial. We are asking once again – not
for money this time, but for some furnishings and other household
items – and we are hopeful you will be able to help out.

To learn more about Voices and Visions, visit
Thank you for thinking about contributing to our effort. You will be
among a growing network of supporters that include CAN TV and WBEZ and
Vocalo Radio.

Please pass this on to your friends, and thanks for all you do.

Gabriel and Rhoda

On behalf of Voices and Visions


Donations needed for school children and artist to complete production and installation of mosaic section in the underpass under LSD north of Museum of Science and Industry. This set stresses scientific and industrial achievemtns. Send chek to Chicago Publci Art Grou, 600 W. Cermak Ste 3b, 60616 memoing 57th St. or call 312 427-2724.

From Shaz Rasul of UC Civic Engagement and Neighborhood Schoos: The AFS program (formerly American Field Services) is looking for host families for Foreign Exchange Students in Chicago.

Kenwood Academy will be the home for several students, and they are hoping that a few more local families will elect to be hosts so that they can build a larger community of students.

If you are interested in learning more, please reach out directly to:

Jeneen Y. Hatoum <>
Assistant Principal / Kenwood Academy High School

Kartemkin Films directors are seeking people who participated in the 1963 school boycott in Chicago to complete a film, share stories, ID selves in photos and film clips. Visit


Megan Kashner.
Benevolent connects people who face hurdles along their path to stability with people who can help- a platform for direct connection with mutual dignity and self-determination. It is closer to kickstarter than such orgs. as Transitional Housing or Village. You list your need or project and state how much you need, like to buy a car to get to work or tuition. Has fulfilled many requests already.

4th on 53rd seeks volunteers (yearly). Call Stephanie at 773 955-3622.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House seeks (Aug. 2013) volunteer interprer to ead toures. DTaring will be on Tu, th, Sat Sept. 17-Octl I a tRobie House. Aug. 10 vol. orientation mtg 10 am at Robie House. 312 944-4000, Linda Gonifas-Guzman,

Summerfest Celebrate Hyde Park. Best to call Wendy at SECC- 773 324-6926.

Look for info on volunteering for/with and giving to the next School Supply Drive of Friends of HPK Public Schools.

Once again there are groups and businesses appealing for prom dresses or donations so young ladies can go their proms. Glass Slipper Project is one othem-- they have a boutiquethis yer at McCorkle Chool, 4421 S. State April 20 and 27 and May 4 8-5. Volunteers are also needed- visit

U of C students and RSOs- your headquarters to find out volunteer opportunities is the University Community Service Center- visit Also look for Neighborhood Schools.
But do follow in our page (this website) for both short-term and long-term opportunities.
Some from Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and affiliates include for the Schools Committee/Friends of HPK Public Schools "Have a Heart" school supply drives. Contact in early fall for contacts.
The Hyde Park Garden Fair Committee also takes volunteers, as does the HPKCC Hyde Park Used Book Fair Columbus Day weekend (and experienced people to sort and pack books starting August 18.

Jackson Park workdays- regulars 2nd Saturdays morning in Bobolink Meadow, 4th Saturdays mornings in Wooded Island , and extras. See Jackson Park page for schedule and details.

Nichols workdays Sunday 3-5 or 4-6 pm starting in April.

Washington Park workdays 3rd Saturdays at 9- meet at the Fountain of Time. Washington Park PAC and Conservancy page.
Other parks and volunteer days- see the Hyde Park Green page. And don't forget community gardens.

The committees for the 4th on 53rd Parade and Picnic need volunteer sign up NOW. Contact Stephanie Franklin at 773 955-3622.

The organizers of the next Celebrate Hyde Park (June 30 and July 1) seek volunteers, particularly commitment of various community organizations. Contact Wallace Goode at the HP Chamber of Commerce, 773 288-0124 or Wendy Williams of SECC 773 324-6926.

The Glass Slipper Project helps teen girls who cannot afford it get rom dresses etc. They seek donations- including dresses, slippers, etc.-and volunteers for the "boutique"including seamstresses (at McCorkle Schoo, 4421 S. State, Saturdays April 14, 21, 28 from 8 am).

My name is Lily Gordon and I am helping to launch a community garden in the backyard of the Rohr Chabad House this spring.

Students and community members interested in gardening, sustainability, or just volunteering are encouraged to get involved - no experience is required, although it is welcomed. We are looking for volunteers to help plan the garden and turn over the soil. We also, of course, want to hear from people who are interested in growing on their own plots of land!

Please pass this message on to anyone you think might be interested. I can be contacted at The process of setting this project into motion will be very exciting!

Kozminski School has joined the others seeking help from anyone in the community and business.

The Op Shop SHoP is S.H.o.P. Southside Hub of Productivity in Fenn House, 5638 S. Woodlawn. Volunteers are always needed.

SHoP looking for teachers, accountant. We have started a Friday Night family restorative series called Family Camp. We have a camp leader, Jacob Luse who has extensive experience working with kids and runs a grass roots camp during the summer.
Every Friday from 5:30 to 8:30, we will have an Open House for parents to bring their kids for an accessible fee and go off and have a nice dinner or take in a movie, some will choose to stay and for them we provide free classes in restorative yoga, dance and or other rejuvenating physical classes, with some time to get to know each other after with a potluck. For the kids, Jacob will have "all kinds of fun inside of a mansion" activities.

We are looking for teachers of Yoga, Dance, bodywork of all kinds who might be willing to donate one class to a group of weary parents! This will hopefully help them by getting their practice out there and we will certainly advertise for them in our weekly letters and blogsite!

For SHOP's internal workings, we are looking for anyone with accounting skills, financial skills and or small non-profit business skills to help us create a budget for the next years. We can't afford to pay anyone yet but we can trade hours with our time bank or exchange services in other ways!

If you know anyone who would like to participate, teach, hang out and or drop off kids, let us know! Or just direct them to us at my emails address.

Thank you again for reading this! It takes a village!

Laura Shaeffer, Artistic Director of SHOP (Southside Hub of Production)

To support SHoP on a sustainable basis visit

The Op Shop needs help getting set up with S.H.o.P. Southside Hub of Productivity in Fenn House, 5638 S. Woodlawn. Opening party Saturday October 1, 4 pm-whenever. (ask for "wish list" attached to original send from Laura Schaffer re: workdays starting August 27.

Needed now:

1. Vintage fabric for pillows and curtains
2. Old comfy seats, lounge chairs, pillows or blankets
3. Anything old and well loved, warm wood things, Danish or 60's things (can be on loan or bought)
4. Cooperative toys, building things for kids, well loved games
5. Cloths, sheets, towels
6. Lamps, rugs and candle holders.

Now: Fellow builders, makers, artists, good neighbors and friends of the Op Shop,

S.H.o.P. (the Southside Hub of Production) recently signed a 1-year lease with the Unitarian Church on the Fenn House, (formerly the Blue Gargoyle) to develop a temporary cultural and community space. SHoP’s main aim is to stimulate local cultural activities and to foster artistic and cultural enrichment of all kinds in the community. Attached you will find the invitation (containing details on the project) and our wishlist.

We need helping hands to make this beautiful old mansion fabulous again and ready for all to come. We are looking for people who can do many different types of tasks, who might have some tools with which to do them, and want to help this project get off the ground. For the first few weekends we particularly need people who are able to take up old carpeting, clean floors, and remove curtains and fixtures, as well as patch and prep surfaces to be painted. We also need a couple of folks who know how to putty windows or are willing to learn. (We will have a skilled contractor who will teach us.)

Work days begin this Saturday, the 27th, from 10 – 6. They will continue every Saturday from 10-6 for a number of weeks, until our expected opening on October 1st.

If you can lend a hand- please email Laura Shaeffer at, or Michael Eastman at If you want to help but don't have Saturdays available, let us and we will work with your schedule.

Rather than being paid in dollars, any labor you put in for SHoP can be logged into the time-bank and later redeemed for other goods and services volunteered by other community members through out time bank. More details on how the time-bank works will be available soon or upon request.

In addition to the attached wishlist, we are starting a sponsorship program based on the model of the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), our Community Supported Cultural Center welcomes your tax deductible contribution of any amount! Any questions can be directed to Laura or Michael.

We look forward to working with you and seeing you at SHoP soon.

What. Fellow builders/makers/artists,

S.H.o.P. (the Southside Hub of Production) in collaboration with Dilettante Studios would like to invite you to propose an installation, project, built-in, or work with other artists/designers/builders on existing projects, for our upcoming grand opening. SHoP recently signed a 1-year lease with the Unitarian Church on the Fenn House, (formerly the Blue Gargoyle) to develop a temporary cultural and community space as an extended iteration of the Op Shop, Laura Shaeffer's ongoing project.

SHoP focuses on cooperative learning, skill sharing, community involvement and development, inter-generational events and programs, and developing manual competency. SHoP will house exhibits, salons and conversations, workshops, classes, potlucks, a kunstverein (community museum), a recording studio, a wood working studio, social clubs for various ages, a library for unpublished and self published works, a seed bank, and a time bank ... and other things that may develop.

The Fenn House has 16 rooms, some available for rent as artists studios or small not-for-profit businesses. Some may remain open as installation spaces or experimental rooms that will be adaptable to artist/design projects. Follow this link for pictures of Fenn house. There will be an open house this Saturday the 27th, between 2 and 4 p.m. if you would like to see the space and propose an idea.

We would like to invite you to design/build something for the space, a piece of furniture, an installation, a treatment of a room, a playful interactive design of a room, a meditation on some aspect of domestic/family (in the broadest sense)/community life... or something we haven't thought of yet. Projects will be judged according to relevance and suitability to the space and expected audience, which will include a wide range of age and ethnicity.

Aside from proposing your own projects, there are a couple of possible ways to contribute your talents and skills.

1. Artist/builder John Preus recently relocated furniture (desks chairs, office and classroom furniture) from his installation, the World as Text, at Columbia College down to the Fenn House, as part of his project, Slow Recovery. The project considers forms of care and usefulness, and will document the varied and ongoing transformations of the pieces of furniture over the course of their lifespan, as the objects are re-written into varied and novel functions. Some of the furniture will be turned into a bar/jungle gym, and Preus welcomes help from adults and their children in designing and building the Jungle Bar, which will serve local home brews to the parents, and lemonade for the kids. Parents can chill while their children get hopped-up on sugar.

2. Re-imagine John's furniture in some other form, such as one of the following:

3. SHoP will need a number of functional installations that also welcome creative, artistic, poetic, conceptual play. Needs include:

-a stage for performances, either movable or able to be used as a seating platform, or able to accommodate potlucks, sitting/eating.
-modular and portable seating


Volunteer to help with such events as McDonalds Thanksgiving Parade.

First Response Team (CERT). Timika Hoffman-Zoller, HPKCC Safety Co-chair, writes:

I am a CERT - a volunteer emergency first responder for the City of Chicago.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is free and offers an all-risk, all-hazard training designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation. The CERT 20-hour program educates citizens about disaster preparedness and trains individuals in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, disaster psychology disaster medical operations, and terrorism and homeland defense.

It’s a valuable course and I would like to encourage everyone in the community to take it because the more of my friends and neighbors who are trained the more it will help lighten the burden should an emergency arise. Then after taking the 20 hour course, you’ll have a choice of taking the CERT knowledge for your own personal use or you can also consider becoming a volunteer first responder for the City. Then when emergencies happen, you will be able to give critical support to first responders, and provide immediate assistance to victims. Also, as a CERT member you can also assist with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community. I must add that we CERTs have a great time throughout the year by participating in a variety of educational, fun, and free refreshers first responder activities.

So please consider taking the CERT course. You can email Matt at to find out when the next CERT classes are coming up.

Shoesmith friends and parents put out an appeal for volunteers and other help for its year end festival June 18, 10 am-2 pm. Contact

Sought by Shoesmith to supplement Neighborhood Schools and other Tutors:

The school is seeking four or five additional people to do literacy tutoring for low performing students in the primary grades (k-3). The school has a specific curriculum for tutors to use with these students. This opportunity requires a 10-week commitment, two 45-minute sessions per week. The school can work with your schedule and can match you with children for before, during or after-school time slots. Email Sabrina Gates, assistant principal, if you’re interested:

Read or Listen to a Student Read

Shoesmith kids need to be read to AND need a chance to read to you. If you would like to commit to reading to a child on a weekly basis at a regular time (during school is best!), contact assistant principal Sabrina Gates:

White Sox Celebrity Bowling for Pediatric Cancer Research and Treatment. June 12, Sunday, 5-9 pm. At Lucky Strike Lanes, 322 E. Illinois. 312 674-5391, and make a donation. Proceeds to U of C Comer Children's Hospital and Children's Memorial Hospital.

Participatory Budgeting (now called Menu 2012) in the 5th Ward- get involved.

Inviting the ward to shape the budget. By Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) in June 1 Hyde Park Herald (She expanded slightly on this to the HPKCC board June 2.)

I have long championed moe transparency and inclusion in city governance, especially in the microcosm where I have the power to effect change. That's why I am so excited to help pioneer a process known as participatory budgeting.

According to its advocates, "Although participatory budgeting has been recognized as a best practice of democratic governance by the United Nations, no elected official in the United States had ever invited citizens to allocate public money directly -- that is, until May 2009, when Chicago's 49th Ward took the leap." This past may, Ald. Joe Moore held his second annual PB election.

Basically, constituents determine how to allocate the $1 million "menu" budget each alderman receives to infrastructure improvements. Moor's office devoted over a year to planning and implementing PB. About 199-150 steadfast constituents spent three of those months prioritizing their neighbors' suggestions, conducting research and developing the proposals for worthy and feasible projects to place on the ballot.

Items eligible for this process include thoroughfares, lighting, parks, speed humps or public murals, but not human resource programs and services (e.g., after-school activities, youth sports, eldercare, at classes). Project approval and completion also depend upon seasonal factors, possible conflict with previously planned projects, legal restrictions and policy decisions of governmental entities.

Beginning with my March ward meeting, I asked Moore and PB Director Josh Lerner to present us with th pluses and minuses of this major undertaking. I understand my office would need a dedicated staff person and to expect associated expenses between $16,000 and $40,000, primarily for outreach/education. Voter turnout may be comparable to the 1-5 percent typically attending zoning, CAPS and other public meetings.

I have begun addressing representation concerns by seeking input from a cross-section of community, tenant and condo organizations. Certainly the 5th Ward is reich in talent and ingenuity. Like the 49th, we should be able to utilize local resources, fundraisers and grants to offset costs. We can no doubt count on many more than the 50 or so who have already volunteered from this civically engaged community.

As committed as I am to this process, it will move forward only if various assemblies determine it should. We have through at least July to continue recruitment, education and discussion. If given the green light, we would begin the real work on he 2012 menue budget in late summer. A community steering committee would tailor the process to 5th Ward needs. Ballot development and voting would take place early next year.

I urge any 5th Warder interested in knowing more about or taking part in this initiative to contact my office at 773 324-5555,, or 2325 E. 72nt St. You might also want to visit This is definitely an opportunity for those wanting more transparency to see how things get done and what they cost, at the same time bringing different parts of the ward together to make decisions about our common good.

Girls need prom outfits. The Glass Slipper project, started by Hyde Parker Dorian Carter, refurbishes gowns etc. and sells them at greatly reduced prices. This year at McCorkle School, 4421 S. State St.

Check with Harper Court Arts Council for its next round of grants.

Hyde Park Art Center is seeking Arts Corps volunteers in January 2011. 773 324-5520.

Robie House is looking for volunteers. 312 994-4046,

To help the Greater Chicago Food Depository, go to

Hyde Park Suzuki. Classes year round based at Augustana Lutheran, perfs quarterly include in Mandel Hall (such as Nutcracker). Buy their CD for outreach classes in south suburban schools-

Blackstone Bicycle Works trailer burned with the inventory of 400 bikes, and they need financial help. Contact Experimental Station,

Faithful Few local organization is one of several with several organizations offering ways to help others during the holiday season, including buy-a-toy-online. Visit

Mentors sought- One Hope United. 707 E. 47th Street, Chicago, IL 60653, 312 949-5500, Tajuana Rice program coordinator. Licensed child welfare and family service including residential and outpatient serving over 15,000 children and families. Two-by-two mentoring program for 11-18's to improve school performance included.

Tutors sought for Shoesmith School.

Serality has a number of ways you can use on line purchasing to help local organizations. One is the Hyde Park Village.
Go to This will take you to Amazon etc.

Project HEALTH is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2010-2011 school year.

Project HEALTH is a national organization (and University of Chicago RSO) that works to alleviate the factors of poor health in our communities. Student volunteers work with patients at 4 area health centers to help them obtain food, safe housing, employment, child care, and more. Last year over 5,000 families were aided by Project HEALTH volunteers. It's a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in medicine, public policy, public health, or community involvement.

If you're interested in applying, please visit our website at to view and complete the Chicago application. The applications are due Sunday, Oct. 3 at 6pm.

We are also hosting 3 information sessions during first week to give an overview of our program, go over details of the application process, and share volunteer stories of time spent with Project HEALTH. The information sessions will be held:
Tuesday @ 7:30 pm, Harper 103
Wednesday @ 6:00pm, Harper 148
Thursday @ 6:30pm, Harper 103

We'll also be at the RSO fair on Friday. Stop by and check us out! We look forward to meeting you.

The Project HEALTH Chicago Leadership Team

"Project HEALTH is exactly the kind of of social innovation and entrepreneurship we should be encouraging all across this country."
--Michelle Obama, Project HEALTH supporter


Park workdays are still going hard and heavy. See appropriate calendars. Elm Oct. 3 and 10 12:30-3 pm- 5215 S. Woodlawn.

Ray school needs more neighbors to donate their RecycleBank points to Ray (40 lbs = 100 points = $10) by March 15 to fully fund the butterfly/Amanda's Garden with Ace of Spaces Community Gardening and the vegetable garden. the kids are really learning a lot. Check with the school and
April 24, Saturday, time? Ray School has a community party and pitch-in for its garden's grand opening. East side north of 57th St. Chandra Garcia.

Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture, which draws intern teachers and social workers from dozens of campuses in the Midwest and nationwide, is raising money inter alia to pay for the remodeling of its new dormitory. Call 773 363-1323, 1-800-747-6059 or email



Blackstone Bicycle Works. Apply in person to sup. kids 9-16 including with homework... 7100 S. Blackstone, 773 241-5458. (see in next section)

Blackstone Branch Library needs helpers. This summer also needs artists to share their life experiences with the kids in the Reading is Art Rageous Summer Reading Program. Contact

Comer Children's Hospital. Visit patients, comfort, children's playroom, book cart, donate blood, knit stuff. 16+ and commit to at least 4 hours a week, health screening. 5721 S Maryland, 773 702-1000.

Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House. Lead tours, special events, ed. programs, office, gift shop, info booth. At least 4 hours a month. Training. 5757 S. Woodlawn, 798 848-1976.

Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company Hyde Park.

Hyde Park Art Center. Exhibit building and installation, family and class workshops, events like Cocktails and Clay, auxil/bd service orgs... Apply in person or ask for Crystal Pernell at x 1003 or 18+ with a year to commit can apply for Art Corps for in depth training. 5020 S. Cornell, 773 324-5520.

Hyde Park Historical Society. Adult members can work as docents, assist with archives and programming, event and exhibition planning, and maintain the building. 2 hours a week. 5529 S. Lake Park, 773 493-1893.

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club.

Hyde Park School of Dance. Sew costumes, help with stage production, sell merchandise. 18+. Email Ann Billingsley a 5650 S. Woodlawn, 773 493-8498.

Hyde Park Suzuki Institute. Assist with grant writing, tech support, instrument tuning, chaperoning. Apply online or email 5500 S. Woodlawn, 773 643-1388.

Little Black Pearl. Assist students with homework and artists with projects and exhibits. Some require background check. 1060 E. 47th St. 773 285-1211.

Metro Squash. About 60 students get academic instruction and squash lessons 3 times a week after school. Vols-- High school sophomores or older, help mainly with the tutoring or as chaperones on field trips, games, community service projects. E-mail or call 773 251-1711. 5655 S. University, 773 241-5150.

Museum of Science and Industry. Act as an exhibit guide and lead interactive activities. Adults and teens (14-17) must commit to 40 hours a year with no less than one shift every three months, and attend orientation. Also opportunities for youth to train with professionals. Apply online , call volunteer coordinator Rachel Carter at 773 753-1382, or e-mail 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, 773 684-1414. http:/

Oriental Institute Museum. Lead tour, work in the gift shop, assist with the archives, and participate in outreach programs. Not less than three hours a week fo one yer required. Extensive training and great rewards to those avid in the areas of study. Apply online; interview and training will follow. Email or 1155 E. 58th T. 773 702-9514.

University of Chicago Medical Center. Volunteer for as in Comer above. 5341 S. Maryland, 773 702-1000,


Neighborhood Club seeks volunteers for Sept 17 2011 playground site preparation and October 1 to help with installation and spreading the fibar.I am writing to request the participation of your organization in our Playground Project. KaBOOM! and Kraft Foundation have generously donated a WHOLE NEW PLAYGROUND to HPNC. We can't do it alone. We need LOTS of volunteers (ages 12 and up, please) to help prepare the site, fill it in and then build the playground. The first opportunity to get involved is Site Prep Day on Saturday, September 10. Visit our website to learn more about the project at October 1 is the assembly day, October 3 the build day.

Here's a timeline of the day:
8:30 check in
9 am - 10:30 Dig, Pull, Dump, Repeat
10:30 am Break
10:45 am Dig, Pull, Dump, Repeat
12:00 noon - lunch!
1 pm - Dig, Pull, Dump, Repeat
2:30- Break
2:45- Dig, Pull, Dump, Repeat
4 pm- Admire your hard work - a site ready to be filled in!

If you're available, please e-mail me back with the following info for each volunteer. If you're bringing anyone under 18, please include their ages:
Name, e-mail address, phone number. Please RSVP by August 26 (the sooner the better, of course)

Questions, Comments, Concerns? E-mail me! Thanks for taking the time to read this! Monika Burchfield, 773 643-4062.

Information on volunteering at Hyde Park Jazz Festival:

From the Blackstone Bicycle Works, 6100 Blackstone:

Tuesday through Saturday, we are cranking out bikes with the help of our regular after-school crew of 10-20 students mostly from the neighboring Carnegie Elementary and our Saturday youth who trek here from all across the South Side. They work on homework and bikes with us and a few dedicated volunteers (including the absolutely fabulous Eliza, Riley, Seth, Laura, Tommy, Olivia, and Amima), but a few of our kids could use some extra attention and tutoring. We need two volunteers buddies/tutors (male and female) who are skilled at focusing attention and willing to commit to one or more days a week of after-school tutoring. Must be able to tutor in basic math, reading, and writing and be vaguely interested in bikes.

In other news, following our fire at the end of last summer, the University of Chicago graciously donated a storage container and a load of bikes to fill it, all of which we have fully refurbished to sell! Which brings us to another one of our needs, which you may be able to help us with: we need more bikes. With spring just around the corner, the more bikes we have ready, the closer we will be to meeting our budget for the summer. If you have a bike to donate or know of an apartment building's bike room that could use a fresh start, let us know! ...and just to plant the seed, we are starting to organize volunteers willing to donate storage space and serve as drop-off locations for bikes and parts. More information on this will come next month, but if this interests you, please let us know.

A couple of final requests: our kids often come to us hungry. Any easily served food, in particular, fresh fruit, gives a boost in the energy, morale, and wellness of the shop. Contact us if you've got a donation! Lastly, (and I know this is a long shot) we've got a 18 year old baseball star youth volunteer whose lefty baseball glove can't hold his whole hand. If anyone has a x-large lefty baseball glove for a 6' high-schooler, we will pick it up wherever you've at.

Hyde Park Hunger programs accept monetary donations and such items as tooth paste and brushes, dental floss, canned goods, pasta, fruit juice, protein sources like dried beans. No space currently for fresh food. Large orgs. wishing to donate please first call Hyde Park Union Church -- Rev. Johnson, 773 363-6063 or NEED IS DESPERATE AS NUMBERS HAVE DOUBLED AND WITH SCHOOL ENDING LOTS OF CHILDREN WILL SHOW UP.

Music teachers aid food programs- Herald, June 2, 2010

A local food program that continue to report a record surge in need is being lent a hand by some local artists this week. The Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Food Programs are reporting a doubling of users of it food panty and an increase in visitors to its soup kitchen's four meals per week. More than 800 people visit its Saturday food pantry at Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn Ave., each month, according to Rev. Susan Johnson, head of th church. More than 200 people are visiting the soup kitchen, she said. '

"This is obviously very important right now," said Elaine Smith, a music instructor who is the founder and a past president of the Music Teachers of Hyde Park, a group that will raise money for the programs through a "Performathon" this weekend. Current music teachers President Andrea Holliday agreed. "We sense the pressure on the hunger project mounting since the recession began," Holiday said. "Things have gone from bad to way worse for a lot of folks."

The timing couldn't be better, Johnson said. "The summer is always harder for us, Johnson said, explaining that the children of lower income families who are fed by chicago Public Schools food programs during the school year ar often left out in the summer, meaning they have to find a nourishing meal wherever they can. "We'll have more children on our docket all summer," Johnson said. "during the year, we hardly see children in the soup kitchen.

The Performathon is a two-day-long performance by students of the Music Teachers of Hyde Park, where residents can sponsor a student who wil perform works of their own choosing during a recital at Montgomery Place, 5550 S. Shore Drive, and a Saturday recital at the Blackstone Public Library, 4904 S. Lake Park Ave. Holliday noted the proximity of Montgomery Place to the annual 57th Street Art Fair, happening at the same time. "Our principal venue at Montgomery Place is a pretty short stol away from the art fair," she said.

beyond the weekend event, Johnson said the program is accepting monetary donations, durable goods and toiletries. Also clothing, especially professional clothing is needed. The Hyde Park Hunger Programs accept monetary donations and are always on the lookout fort the following items: tooth paste, tooth brushes, dental floss, canned goods, fruit juice and sources of protein. The program does not have the space currently to store fresh food donations. Any large organizations considering a donation should call the church first to determine need. 773 363-6063, The recession has driven many middle- and working-class Hyde Parkers into underemployment and unemployment, according to Johnson, and these families largely make up the spike in need. Johnson urges all Hyde Parkers to make donations, no matter how modest. "Even when we're in a recession, I continue to feel the best way is for everyone to give a modest donation so that if anyone has a problem, the need can be met," Johnson said, adding that support of the program is in keeping with Hyde Park's character. "That's the reputation Hyde Park has," she said.

[How to help through the Performathon:] Visit the Music teachers of Hyde Park web site -- -- and click on "Performathon" on the right hand side of the front page. from there, you can see the Performathon schedule and schedule a pledge form. Send an e-mail to and you will be connected to a teacher whose students you can pledge support to. Write a check and send it to MTHP, 1456 E. Park Place, chicago, IL 60637. Write "hunger" in the memo space.


Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust seeks volunteers for Robie House, starting February 23 (sign up by Feb. 15). Adam Ross, 708 725-3852.

Seeking and training tutors now: Woodlawn Children's Promise Zone. Prof. Charles Payne of SSA should have contacts-

Donating furniture etc.- H.O.M.E will pick up. The Arc. Half-Priced Books (takes children's)

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club seeks seniors to volunteer and read with children aged 6-9 about a half hour at its Children's House program, esp. about 2:30. Or on literacy with 9-12 year old Mondays and or Wednesdays after school. Contact Emily Schuttenberg,, or 773 255-3505.
And Golden Troubadours is recruiting spring singers (many in this program are having memory or functional problems-- it would help to have the less-impaired of us participating or helping). Tuesdays at 1- can eat lunch with them at 11:30. 773 643-49062.

Blind Services Association (Madison and Wabash) needs volunteers to read to the blind, help them read their mail and do correspondence. Call Mary Scully or Peggy Grossman at Blind Services Association 312-236-0808.

Interested in helping fund an archeological dig with Oriental Institute? Inquire about the Adopt a Dig program.

Hooked on drums is seeking energetic and enthusiastic Board
Hooked on Drums: Board Members Needed! Volunteer instructors needed.


• To provide high quality, constructive educational
opportunities based in the art form of the drums of the
Malinke from West Africa, to youth of diverse cultural
backgrounds in after-school, in-school and out-of-school programs.
• To offer professional instruction, leadership, artistic
direction and resources for youth performance projects during
out-of-school hours.
• To create opportunities for youth to learn from experts in
the ethnic arts, with specific focus on the drums of the Malinke.

Brief Overview of Programs
Hooked On Drums brings the upbeat, inspiring rhythms of
African djembe drumming from the Malinke people in Guinea,
West Africa, to kids in urban Chicago. We offer Hooked On
Drums classes and youth drum performances through the Chicago
Park District, local schools and community organizations.
More than just a way to “blow off steam” or “keep kids off the
street,” the program gets kids hooked on authentic,
traditional music, allowing them to explore African heritage
while sharpening their minds on a complex musical idiom. And
the rhythms are irresistible!
Hooked On Drums is deeply committed to using African music as
a vehicle for fostering creativity, curiosity, discipline,
self-confidence and well-being in youth—above all, inner-city,
at risk youth of diverse ethnic backgrounds.
Board Members Needed

Hooked on Drums is undergoing substantial Board and
organizational development focused on greater structure and
professionalism. Current efforts are on developing a
committed, diverse, flexible and professional 7 person Board
that will put energy into creating and carrying out a business
and fundraising plan and help free the artistic Founders to do
what they do best – teach and perform. These steps will bring
long term sustainability to this dynamic and successful
organization so that it can continue to be a resource for
Chicago youth. Join us!

Join us: Interested candidates contact

Looking to Get Involved in the Arts? Join Art Corps at the Hyde Park Art Center !

Want to get more involved in art and serve your community at the same time? Then the Art Corps needs YOU!

The Hyde Park Art Center Art Corps is a special group of volunteers who receive in-depth training about the Art Center and our programs. Art Corps members commit to volunteering 10 times a year at our events and in our gallery. In exchange, Art Corps members get a back stage view of the Art Center , a chance to interact with our staff, and to learn more about our programming. Here’s more information:

•A select group of volunteers interested in learning more about contemporary art with a community focus
•Art Corps is a volunteer program where participants assist the Art Center staff at least ten times per year and can specialize in specific program areas, such as exhibitions, publicity, and our school and studios
•Art Corps members will receive training on how to interact with our visitors through art, our exhibitions program and the history of the Hyde Park Art Center and our place in the community
•You must be at least 18 years old to join.

Interested? Click here to visit the website and download an application. The deadline is December 27, 2009. If you have questions, please contact Crystal at

Crafts teachers, such as at Nichols Park fieldhouse, can always use common household remains, such as toilet and paper towel cardboard rolls, plastic water bottles.

Community Shares of Illinois-- your way to donate online. 218 S. Wabash, Ste 540, 60704, 312 379-0190.

Yearly last Saturday in September. Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival is FREE and will bring together world-class headliners and local emerging artists from 11 a.m. until 2. a.m. with nonstop jazz performances in Hyde Park's many landmark and nationally renowned cultural and artistic venues. The James Wagner Main Stage located on the Midway Plaisance on 59th Street wil be the central location for the Jazz Festival produced by the Hyde Park Alliance for Arts and Culture, the University of Chicago, and teh Hyde Park Jazz Society. For more information visit: Our Jazz Festival page.


Nichols Park Meadow cleanups underway certain Sundays. 54th/Kenwood. Carol Schneider, 773 684-2619. Workday in the Nichols Park and Meadow. Clean up, weed removal, grass and wildflower seeding. 54th at 1322 E. at the meadow. Tools provided. Carol Schneider, 684-2619. April 18 3-5, May 2, 16, 30, June 6, 27, 11 4-6 pm.

Burnham 47th 1st Sats 9:20 am

Jackson 2nd and 4th Sats 10 at the Darrow Bridge

Washington 3rd Saturdays and other days. May 9-noon, meet at the fieldhouse, 5531 S. King.

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust has restarted its docent program both in Oak Park and for Robie House even as it continues crucial interior renovation there. Volunteer training begins June 2 and is conducted during the next two weeks. Volunteers enjoy numerous membership benefits, invitations to special events and educational opportunities. The Trust seeks to work with volunteer schedules and interests and skills. Visit or call 773 708-848-1976.

Little Black Pearl and Prologue Arts and Design contract/charter school seek volunteers:

Black Pearl is also starting to host a charter/contract school, Joshua Johnston Fine Art and Design Academy to teach 200 at risk youth ages 17-21 the technical field of art and design.


Hyde Park Cats: (Trap-Neuter-Release and home-finding services)

Dedicated to helping stray and feral cats in the Hyde Park/Kenwood/Woodlawn area, with our main goal being to control feline overpopulation through 'TNR.' TNR (trap-neuter-return) is promoted by the national feline advocacy groups Alley Cat Allies and the ASPCA, as well as 'no-kill' shelters in the Chicago area like PAWS and Treehouse. Quarterly meetings; periodic TNR workshops; email alerts. See blog site for details.
The group has been 'in the news' several times lately:
1. From the Chicago Tribune:
2. From the UofC's Chicago Maroon:
3. From the Chicago Weekly:

Summer jobs are available to youth in partnership with the city.... Read print in pdf.

From: Youth Ready Chicago Youth Ready Chicago
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 1:07 PM
Subject: Hire youth under the Economic Stimulus

Dear Business Leader,

Mayor Daley's Youth Ready Chicago provides individuals, ages 14-24, the
opportunity to obtain apprenticeships, internships and jobs that will bridge
their classroom experiences and possible career choices. This summer, the
Youth Ready Chicago program will provide up to 7,300 youth between the ages
of 14 and 24 with a government-subsidized paid work experience. The
Department of Family and Support Services (FSS) is seeking applications from
qualified non-profit organizations, public-sector employers, local
government and faith-based organizations to serve as hubs and work sites for
the Youth Ready Chicago program.

Youth Ready Chicago will operate through a system of hubs and work sites.
Hubs will provide operational and administrative oversight of the program
including paying all youth associated with that hub. Work sites will be
assigned to a hub and will provide youth with jobs in the community and
supervise them. Hubs must complete and submit a Request for Proposal (RFP)
and a HUB application by April 13th, 2009. You can obtain the applications
by downloading them from two locations at or

If your organization is interested in being a work site for Youth Ready
Chicago, please visit our web site at and email the
following information to

-Organization Name
-Organization Address
-Contact Name & Title
-Contact Phone
-Job Description
-Number of Youth Positions Available

Please e-mail for additional questions or view the
attached PDF for more information.

Bret Harte TEAM school-based mentoring program for 4th-6th graders seeks more volunteer tutors. For information, call Melvina Coleman, 773 268-3815, X 26 or


They will continue to need help throughout the year.
Local flavors - Annual "Taste of Hyde Park" helps homeless.
Herald, March 9, 2011. By Daschell M. Phillips

The Hyde Park Transitional Housing Project will hold its sixth annual "Taste of Hyde Park" benefit to raise money for families in need of temporary housing. "The Taste of Hyde Park," which was inspire by an idea from Hyde Park Transitional Project board member Rita Glass, will take place from 5 p.m. (6?) to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at St. Thomas the Apostle School, 546y7 S. Woodlawn Ave. The event will feature a buffet dinner provided by many Hyde Park restaurants, a silent auction and music by jazz pianist Willie Pickens. the donation is $35, $25 for students and $15 for children 6-17, with 5 and under free.

[HPTHP] provides housing and mentoring services to homeless families for up to two years, helping them to achieve independent living. Depending on the amount of funding the program can raise each year, the [HPTHP] can support between two to four families each two-year period.

Volunteer mentors, supported by a case manager, meet weekly with client families to provide ongoing support with budgeting, goal setting and other family needs. Professional services may be provided as the mentors working with the families determine the needs of the client.

For more information, contact Mark Granfors at 773 351-2049 or

Transitional Housing Project seeks mentors contacts- see community nonprofits directory.

Herald, December 24, 2008. By Kate Hawley

The Hyde Park Transitional Housing Project is seeking volunteer mentors to work with families who have been homeless. The organization provides apartment and a range of other services to homeless families for up to two years. Two families are currently housed under the program, according to Allan Lindrup, the group's treasurer.

Volunteer mentors are critical to the organization, Lindrup said. They generally work in groups of two or three, meeting each week with a family for up to two years (with up to six weeks off over the course of each year). The also might attend courses of each year.) They also might attend counseling sessions, support groups or other meetings. The commitment involves advising the families on employment, schooling, parenting, money and a range of other issues, with the goal of helping them become permanently house and financially independent.

While the mentors are not social service professionals, they are expected to link the families with professional help when necessary.

The Hyde Park Transitional Housing Project began its work five years ago, launched by the local chapter of Interfaith Open Communities, an affordable housing advocate. For the last three years, the organization has held the Taste of Hyde Park to raise money for its efforts.

Ronald McDonald house reopens in splendid, friendly new quarters north of 55th. December 13, 2007, seeks volunteers.

Hyde Park Herald, December 19, 2997. By Georgia Geis

A large crowd braved the brisk wind last Thursday to witness the ribbon cutting at t he new 30,000-square-feet, Victorian-styled Ronald mcDonald House at 5444 S. Drexel Ave. The 22-bedroom house has amenities that would rival any luxury hotel.

Architects George Pappageorge and David Haymes with their colleagues designed the house with an elaborate turret, oversized windows and a wrap-around veranda to fit in with the turn of the century row houses on Drexel Avenue. "We pride ourselves in being a god neighbor," said Doug Porter, Chief Executive Officer of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. "We strive to fit in with a neighborhood."

The house was designed with a "Growing Tree" theme based on the popular children's book and is double the size of the original Ronald McDonald House that opened in Hyde Park in 1986 and that will make the work of volunteers like longtime Hyde Parker Noel Brusman easier.

Brusman has volunteered for the Ronald McDonald House for twelve years and has met countless families dealing with a child's serious illness. Brusman said one man's story stands out. A young man from the east cost whose twins were just born was flown here with his one baby who was born with cancer. The man, whose baby dies without ever seeing his mother, was a resident a the home for ten days. "He said eh felt very supported during this terribly sad time. He has come back to visit," said Brusman. In lieu of sympathy gifts, he asked that his friends make donations to the Ronald McDonald House in Hyde Park, brusman said.

Brusman said this story is typical for those staying at the house and this is why she volunteers eight hours a week, doing everything from admitting new guests to loading the dishwasher. "I have never stopped being touched by it," said Brusman, who stated volunteering after she retired from high school teaching. "My eyes tear up along with theirs."

According to Porter, many Hyde Parkers have been involved with the house, for example one generous Hyde Park resident who wishes to remain anonymous donated a million dollars for the project. Porter said he wants the neighborhood to feel welcome at the house and said there is a conference room for meetings and get-togethers.

"It is a big day, it has been a lot of work," said House Manager Mardelle Grundlach, who started herself as a volunteer 20 years ago. Grundlach said a lot of Hyde Park people volunteer at the house. She said there are many volunteer opportunities and "everyone is welcome." Grundlach said she is especially happy about the private bathrooms, which wil make a big difference for the families.

Besides the private bathrooms the house has age-appropriate play rooms from the toddler room, which can be seen from the kitchen, and a family room to a teen room equipped with video games. The house also boasts a computer room, a state of the art kitchen with five fully equipped work stations and a chapel that will provide a place for reflection where the families can see the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital through the huge picture window.

Brusman said one thing people could do is make dinner for the families. Many school, church and work groups come in to make dinner for what typically is 25 people. Brusman said working at the house give her a sense of being blessed. "I just say thank you, God. I have five healthy children and 11 healthy grandchildren," said Brusman.

For more information about volunteer opportunities, call Grundlach at 773 324-5437.

Volunteer for the U of C Folk Festival 2nd weekend of February r one of their other events such as fiddler's picnic or shape note. visit or call 773 702-9793.

Fast growing "green" groups are seeking help. Sustain Partners of Civic Knowledge and the Religion and Environment Initiative (,

Help on park workdays. From home go to parks main or Burnham (1st Sat ams), Jackson (2nd, 4th Sats 10 am), or Nichols, or Washington, Kenwood May Clean and Green.....

Washington Park Natural Area Workdays. 3rd Saturday of the month from March-October 9-noon meet at southeast corner of lagoon near Fountain of Time. (March meet at the fieldhouse). Tools and gloves provided. Steward Madiem Kawa at 773 203-3418 or Becky Schillo, Stewardship Coordinator at 312 742-4072. Please call as a head count is needed.



Hyde Park Herald, March 19, 2008. Jackson Park seeks volunteers

Hyde Parkers can welcome spring by volunteering for the first Jackson Park work day of he season form 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The tradition of volunteers work days first started in Jackson Park's Bobolink Meadow and the Wooded Island in 1988.

"These areas need a lot of attention," said Ross Petersen, who has been directing the work days for six years.

Volunteers can expect to do general garden work, removing invasive species such as buckthorn and mulberry bushes, and replanting native vegetation to restore historic nature areas. Petersen said he usually gets about a dozen volunteers to help, six of whom volunteer through the non-profit group Chicago Works [Chicago Cares?]

"We would like to reach out to school, church, community groups to help out on our work days," said Petersen. The volunteer work days are on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month and start at the Darrow Bridge [2nd Sat in Bobolink meadow]. Tools and refreshments are provided. For more information, call Petersen at 486-0505.

In other news, the Wooded Island working group was given special recognition for their hard work by the Friends fo the Park during the organization's annual luncheon last month.

Nichols Wildflower Meadow- , Sunday, 3-5 pm or 4-6. Nichols Park Meadow cleanups start 54th/Kenwood. Carol Schneider, 773 684-2619.

Burnham Nature Sanctuary n. of 47th by Metra/Lake Shore Drive 1st Saturdays 9:30.

Anyone wishing to participate in the Hyde Park affordable housing collaborative. Coalition for Equitable Community Development, can call George Rumsey, 773 955-4455 or Pat Wilcoxen. Website There find the CECD webpage.

Find out how to join the Hyde Park Disabilities Task Force and its outreach teams. Disabilities page.

You can host or help with a charity event to aid local hunger programs. Call Hyde Park Union Church at 773 363-6063 or visit, click Hunger Programs.

La Rabida Children's Hospital, 65th and the Lake, seeks volunteer tutors. The focus is on basic math and reading skills for 4-6 year olds. Commitment of at least one hour a week. Sessions are 4:30-7:30 p,./ Tuesdays and Thursdays. October 2- early May. 773 256-5985.

Going green bike collection for working bikes. Learn about next year's collection at Chase bank.

Or bring it to Blackstone Bicycle Works, 6100 S. Blackstone. Donated bikes help fund educational programming including the earn-a-bike program, mechanical skill training and entrepreneurial training for area youth .Tuesday through Friday 2-5 pm Saturday 12-5 pm. 773 241-5458.

Join the Kiwanis in their projects for children and adults. For more information about Kiwanis projects or to participate contact Jon Will at Nationally, (More in Community Resources page.) Children are also welcome to participate through the Builders Club and Key Club/

VOLUNTEERS ARE ALWAYS NEEDED FOR THE BIG BIKE RIDES OR RUNS/WALKS IN THE AREA. Chicago's Half Marathon, TriMasters Aug. 4 (call 5th Ward Office, 773 324-5555), Boulevard Lakefront Tour Sept. 9...(call Chicagoland Bicycle Federation).

Hanging Baskets in the business districts again are seeking donations. Call South East Chicago Commission at 773 324-6926. Visit our Hanging Baskets page.


Military families needs

The U.S. Army has opened up offices, for example in the General Jones Armory at 5200 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, to help support, inform and serve soldiers deployed from this and like facilities and their families. It's the Family Readiness Group.

"These are young men and women who have left their jobs, in some cases their schools, and their families to serve their country overseas for the next year. Family members are left here trying to cope not only with fear, but sometimes with financial problems, with health problems, with family crisis..." It's staffed entirely with volunteers. Needed: people to talk to the soldiers and family members, help with shopping trips,...

Karen Hunt, 708-753-1803 or


A resident, Yvette Anderson, is seeking to form a cancer survivors group and to crate an outreach center. Anyone able to help, contact Anderson at, PO Box 53-163 Chicago, IL 60653.

Volunteer at The Hyde Park Art Center's 24-hour celebration! of its first year since the opening of its own facility. Fri. April 26 8 pm-27 5 pm: Creative Move THREE.

The Hyde Park Art Center is celebrating their second year in a brand-new
facility with *Creative Move TOO,* 24 hours of free hands-on-art-making,
exhibition tours and artist talks, a parade, live music and performances. Last
April, the Hyde Park Art Center welcomed over 7,000 visitors to its grand
opening; this year the Art Center celebrates with another all-day, all-night
celebration of art, community, and creativity.

There are a lot of exciting things happening, but we can't do it all without
some help! We are looking for volunteers for a variety of activities
throughout our 24-hour celebration, including greeting visitors, helping
performers set up, assisting our teaching artists, and manning the
membership booth. Volunteers are asked to work a minimum shift of four
hours. You'll get a free Hyde Park Art Center t-shirt and we'll keep you
going with free snacks during your shift.


If you'd like to be a part of *Creative Move TOO,* or if you'd like for more
information, please contact Colleen Coyne at 773-324-5520 or email


Blackstone Bicycle Works and the rebuilt Experimental Station seek volunteers.

6100 S. Blackstone. Connie Spreen is one of the officers. 773 241-5458.

These cross boundaries as they engage youth, teaching real skills and responsibility alongside academic engagement (to aim toward college and business), serving as safe haven, and giving hope and sense of achievement. It currently has 24 regular enrollees and several taking"just in time learning."
The Experimental Station is like a commune for incubator and successful businesses, arts, environmental (especially) , and education programs. Heavily engaged are the University of Chicago Service Center, Civic Knowledge, summer Links, BSD and more.and the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. Volunteers welcome!




Hyde Park Hunger Program, contact Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn, click hunger. 773 363-6063.

Many congregations (example St. Ambrose) have canned good and other pantry drives regularly.

Maggie LaBarbera wrote in the Oct. 18 Herald, Many thanked to Sophie Johnson for a fine article on the Food Pantry. My 14-year-old daughter read it at breakfast this morning and immediately wanted to see how much allowance she had saved up so she could donate it to this excellent program. I hope and trust many of your readers will have the same reaction. Top

Bread for the World gives training in abatement of hunger and working for justice. 205 W Monroe St.
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 629-9529

Help the Greater Chicago Food Depository- getting really low. Giving down, need up.

Barbara Currie appeals for help for local hunger programs. Nexus for this area is the Hyde Park and Kenwood Hunger Program, centered at Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn and satellites at churches to the north. There is also a monthly Saturday breakfast at United Church. See in Helpline for more. Watch for announcements of benefit concerts in November and December.

Nov. 19, 2008: I was thrilled to see in the Nov. 5 edition of the Herald a story focusing on the increasing needs of the Hyde Park and Kenwood (HPK) Hunger Programs. I was recently given the opportunity through the United Counties of Illinois, to direct a donation of $500 to a neighborhood charity. It was with great pleasure that I directed that donation to the HPK Hunger Programs. The food pantry is currently serving more people than it has in its 27-year history. With the economy in trouble and chilly weather driving utility bills up, more and more people will join the line. The pantry and soup kitchen are safety nets -- serving the jobless and the underemployed, the homeless, the disabled, seniors and children. They all need your help, and I encourage everyone to make a donation.

Donations can be made online at, or checks can be made out to the Hyde Park and Kenwood Hunger Programs , c/o Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, Il 60637. For further information on the program, please call Rev. Susan Johnson at 773 363-6063.


Kiwanis collects clothing, toys and food. Esp at holiday times. 773 324-8645.

First Mt. Calvary M Baptist accepts donations for food giveaway M-F 10:30-6:30. 6118 S. Kenwood. 773667-3209.

Hyde Park Seventh Day Adventist Church, 4608 S. Drexel Blvd., needs volunteer help Tuesdays and Thursdays with the soup kitchen. 773 288-0429.

Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Food Pantry. 1169 E. 56th at Hyde Park Union Church needs volunteers to distribute food, fill food bags Friday and Saturday mornings Jan Deckenbach, 773 702-7034.

Streetwise needs volunteers. 1201 W. Lake. 312 829-2526. 312 554-0060 also given.

Join the Wright Team, the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. Lead tours, help visitors in Oak Park of at Hyde Park's Robie House. Fall training class forming.,, 708 848-1976.

Oriental Institute is looking for docent volunteers. Lots of perks. Contact the Volunteer Office t 773 702-9507,

Back Again- Flower Power. SECC and Chamber of Commerce have contracted with Panoramic Landscaping to install 2 seasonal planting and water and maintain all the baskets on 53rd and 55th. Cost is $26,000. The University pays half and matches additional dollars. Send checks to Flower Power at SECC, 152 E. 53rd Street, 60615. 773 324-6926.
$590 all for a pair of baskets. $295 one, $150 plant material pair of baskets, $50 for one.

Collecting goods, seeking volunteers, holding benefits for the season or victims

Black Star Project seeks mentors for school kids: "One Thousand Mentors, One Hundred Schools." Share your life experiences with kids in Hyde Park and Bronzeville schools, along with student mentors. Shoesmith is one of the schools that has and appreciates the mentors.

The Blue Gargoyle Adult Literacy Program seeks tutors. Next training 5638 S. Woodlawn. 773 955-4108. Blue Gargoyle is again seeking volunteers and tutors--it uses 85 in morning and evening classes and in one-on-one with students. The next training is June 10, 12, 17, 19 6-9 pm at headquarters, 773 955-4108.

Volunteers needed and at partners of The Elliott Donnelley Youth Center (of Chicago Youth Centers) is located in Bronzeville at 3947 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60653, serving children ages 5-17 years old in the following capacities: tutoring, mentoring, after-school programming, swimming lessons, recreational activities, “CPS Out-of-School-Day” care, and teen leadership programming (including career and college readiness). Fees are assessed based on the family’s income level (sliding scale). To apply, contact EDYC to have your child become a member: 773-268-3815 Website: Christy Beighe-Byrne, M.A. Director of Mentor and Volunteer Services. Email: Christy. Beighe-Byrne@chicagoyouthcenters.
Chicago Youth Centers T.E.A.M. School-Based Mentoring Program Visit our website:
CYC’s goal is to bring critcal mentoring resources to students grades 4-6 at our partner schools to help them improve their academic performance and acquire essential social skills. Our partner schools also serve a significant homeless population.

Local Partner Schools: § Bret Harte Elementary: 1556 E. 56th Street (Hyde Park)
° Mondays 2:50 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. / Tuesdays 2:50 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
§ Overton Elementary: 221 E. 49th Street (Bronzeville/Grand Blvd.)
° Mondays and Tuesdays 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Melvina Coleman, Program Coordinator, Elliott Donnelley Youth Center, 3947 So., Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60653, Office Phone: 773/268-3815, Ext. 26, Fax: 773/268-9460 Email:


Help stop litter--and clean street gutters before they flood, and clean snow and ice too!

Residents of condo buildings on Everett Avenue are increasingly frustrated with the problem of litter on the street, curbstrips, sidewalks, and yards. We've had no luck getting the alderman's office or streets and sanitation to help with prevention. We'd like to do whatever we can to raise awareness and let neighbors and visitors know that we care how the area looks. Perhaps something like the following could be posted on your good neighbors page.

Keep Hyde Park Boulevard and the whole neighborhood beautiful

Residents of Everett Avenue are concerned with a persistent littering problem. Trash from cars is dropped in the street and along the curbs, and pedestrians are dropping trash along the curb strips and yards. We appeal to our neighbors and visitors: please don't litter! Every dropped candy wrapper or stray newspaper adds up, making the neighborhood look shabby, unwelcoming, and uncared for. We care, but we have been unable thus far to convince the city to supply and empty trash bins or post signage. Please help keep the neighborhood clean and pass the word that littering is unacceptable on this street. If other neighborhoods have found successful
solutions to this problem,
--or anyone else--please post your ideas here at We will send them to neighbors.


Please support the Blue Gargoyle Service Centers. Programs supported include Adult Learning, Bronzeville Academic, Counseling Program, Family Learning, Youth Tutoring, Employment Training and Readiness.

Help a south side neighbor improve in reading, writing, math or computers:
Become a Volunteer Adult Literacy Tutor.
You can work with a south side neighbor who is striving to improve his or her education. By sharing your skills and enthusiasm for reading, writing, math or computers, yu can help change someone's life. This set of programs teaches those 16 and older. Tutors attend initial comprehensive training workshop then met individually with a student or small groups 2-4 hours a week.
Training- Tues. Jan. 17, Thurs. Jan. 19, Tues. Jan 24, Th. Jan. 26 6-9 pm.
5638 S. Woodlawn. Call Daschell at 773 955-4108.

Volunteers needed- Blue Gargoyle Youth Tutoring After School Program
Individual or group, CPS students grades 1-12, math, reading, core courses. M-Th 3-6. Volunteer opportunities for adults 18 and older. One on one, small group. Call 773 955-4108 x301,

Volunteers needed and at partners of The Elliott Donnelley Youth Center (of Chicago Youth Centers) is located in Bronzeville at 3947 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60653, serving children ages 5-17 years old in the following capacities: tutoring, mentoring, after-school programming, swimming lessons, recreational activities, “CPS Out-of-School-Day” care, and teen leadership programming (including career and college readiness). Fees are assessed based on the family’s income level (sliding scale). To apply, contact EDYC to have your child become a member: 773-268-3815 Website: Christy Beighe-Byrne, M.A. Director of Mentor and Volunteer Services. Email: Christy. Beighe-Byrne@chicagoyouthcenters.
Chicago Youth Centers T.E.A.M. School-Based Mentoring Program Visit our website:
CYC’s goal is to bring critcal mentoring resources to students grades 4-6 at our partner schools to help them improve their academic performance and acquire essential social skills. Our partner schools also serve a significant homeless population.

Local Partner Schools: § Bret Harte Elementary: 1556 E. 56th Street (Hyde Park)
° Mondays 2:50 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. / Tuesdays 2:50 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
§ Overton Elementary: 221 E. 49th Street (Bronzeville/Grand Blvd.)
° Mondays and Tuesdays 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Melvina Coleman, Program Coordinator, Elliott Donnelley Youth Center, 3947 So., Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60653, Office Phone: 773/268-3815, Ext. 26, Fax: 773/268-9460 Email:

Old computers for Schools. Although the city now has several collection points for old computers and other electric devices, an alternative that refurbishes these for schools is Computers for Schools, 3350 N. Kedzie, Dock 2. 773 583-7575. Chicago Theological seminary also has a program.

It's never too late even though the retailer's programs may have expired! For fall 2006
Help buy 12,000 needy kids their school supplies; CPS' School Supplies Drive for Homeless Students. Less than $15 at or call 800 974-KITS.
You can also drop off donations at FOX Studios, 205 N. Michigan. Did you know that homeless students in CPS is up from 3,500 in 2000 to 9,000 today?

There are many opportunities to give to or receive from needy (especially homeless) kids school supplies programs. Home Depot and Staples have 2 different programs that get the kits to the school of your choice. There is also a website.... or 800 975-KITS for purchase of kits. CPS Director of External Resources Alyson Cooke says the priority is the 9,000 homeless students. Prepared school supply kits are available to purchase, separated into 3 grade levels.. Supplies such as dictionaries, folders, safety scissors can be dropped at FOX News downtown also. And your name will be entered in the raffle to win a BB King guitar donated by his daughter.

Host a foreign student in your home. Here's an appeal, passed on by Dina Weinstein, with contacts.

Here is information about hosting an international student from Chicago's
Sister City office:
Dear Friends of Sister Cities,

While attending the annual Sister Cities International Conference in Spokane, Washington, I met with some representatives of AYUSA, a wonderful organization morally supported by Sister Cities International of Washington D.C., who organize international student exchange programs.

I am taking on a volunteer role of Chicago Host Family Coordinator with AYUSA, and I wanted to reach out to you to see if you would like more information on how to host an international student in the near future. Please see the following link and information, and let me know if I can add you to my interest listing for future consideration.

I speak from personal experience, having participated in two study abroad programs in university, that these types of exchanges absolutely change the lives and futures of the students and families involved.

Thank you in advance for your time. Regards,

Karin Tinta
International Program Coordinator
Chicago Sister Cities International Program
Department of Cultural Affairs
78 E. Washington St., 4th Fl.
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: 312-744-9181
Fax: 312-744-2178

"AYUSA is a non-profit 501.c.3 educational and cultural exchange organization with headquarters in San Francisco, California. Since 1980, AYUSA has provided opportunities for more than 37,000 students from the U.S. and around the world to live and study through our programs.

"At AYUSA, we believe that the greatest way to learn the true heart and soul of a culture is not through a tour of its monuments, but by opening your heart and home to a young person from a distant land. All across the world, teens yearn for more knowledge of the American way of life, our language and our ideals. When you choose to host an AYUSA international exchange student, prepare to embark upon a unique and exciting journey. Simple day to day activities, family dinners or holiday traditions become brand new experiences with a fresh perspective and new insight. Along with a suitcase and passport, these amazing young people bravely carry their heritage and values across the world with the hope of living, learning, and sharing with an American host family.

"Welcome A New Family Member!

"The host family/student bond is the most important part of the AYUSA program. Your exchange son or daughter looks forward to full participation as a member of your family. This includes sharing quality time as well as household chores.

"Your student will strive to create a special friendship with each member of your family. Young children enjoy a patient, playful, big brother or sister. They often learn bits of foreign language ahead of their peers, and develop an early appreciation for cross-cultural friendship.

"Older children and teens often look to this new family member for companionship and shared interests. A trip to the mall or attending a sporting event, becomes a new experience, appreciated through the eyes of an exchange sister or brother. American teens develop a more open-minded perspective, and a greater thirst
for world knowledge -- better preparing them for work in the global marketplace of the future.

"Adult families without children at home, enjoy filling their nest with the laughter and warmth of a new son or daughter. Students love the undivided attention, and enjoy exchanging ideas and customs with their host mom and dad.

"Hosting Equals Fun & Learning!

"Hosting an AYUSA student is a wonderful learning experience for the whole family. Social studies textbooks come to life as you sample a cake baked the Brazilian way or a dish of Japanese-style rice and vegetables. A simple family discussion about German politics or a fun lesson in Spanish slang, adds color and interest to an ordinary day. Host brothers and sisters often incorporate this new cultural knowledge into school reports, presentations and research projects. Teachers have a special appreciation for these enrichment opportunities provided at home."


There is always a severe shortage of blood in the Chicago area. Sufferers from Sickle Cell need continual transfusions and matches are difficult. The University of Chicago is one accepting donations of blood and platelets. 773 702-6247.
LifeSource needs bone marrow. Could you be a match? find out Sept. 10, 9-1 at Northern Trust 2nd floor, 7801 S. State. This is the Rhonda Whiteside-McCoy Bone Marrow Drive. Call Alma Dodd at 773 520-1551. YES, EVEN IF ONLY IN MIDDLE AGE, MULTIPLE MYELOMA COULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR BACK DETERIORATION, especially if you are African-American (it's in the top 10 killers of African-Americans).

ORGAN DONATION. The Secretary of State's Office provides a form with Driver license or Illinois ID signup. Note, family consent is no longer required, but should be informed. For information about the program, call toll free 800 210-2106 or visit

Yvette Anderson appealed in the Herald in April 2006 for sponsors for herself and others in the 3 day walk event of 60 miles September 8-10 for the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Look around- many places are selling holiday cards made by their patients, clients et al. Comer and La Rabida children's hospitals. Ray School. La Rabida sells about $100,000 raising between $5,000 and $7,000!

University of Chicago Hospitals Comer Service Committee is making dolls used to show children what procedures are to be done on them. Heather Refetoff is in charge.

You can donate your old computer or cell phone for reuse- Don't dump them, they're toxic and orgs or less affluent or (for the phones) women needing a press-for-emergency-help device. Contact, phones: Rep. Currie's office, 1301 E. 5rd St., 773 667-0550.

Old computers are also accepted, refurbished by persons with challenged abilities who are professionally trained to do this, then sold or given at reduced cost to individuals or to organizations of limited means. The program is managed locally through Chicago Theological Seminary. They would appreciate hearing from you.

Many find great satisfaction in volunteering at our museums, hospitals such as University of Chicago, the Neighborhood Club or the Blue Gargoyle Service Center. Museums with strong volunteer programs include Museum of Science and Industry and the Oriental Institute. Others work with religious organizations or local nonprofits or in schools and parks: Search the pages at the top or Parks home to find contacts.

The Neighborhood Club is looking for volunteers for the Annual Pancake Breakfast April 2 and setup April 1.


Volunteer to visit with others, from children to the elderly. One organization is Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly. Also the Jewish Community Centers.

Visit the Help Line and Community Resources--almost all the organizations and service agencies there could use volunteers.


Do a favor- see that walks are clear-- see what the law really requires and how it also reassures.

Merry Bolt, a member of the Conference, wrote this appeal in the Herald, February 2, 2005:

The recent snow can be trying and to some dangerous. We neighbors can do better. Do your part by making sure the snow you shovel or plow isn't deposited on your neighbor's walkway, driveway or in front of his garage. If you hire someone, make sure he understands that he won't be paid if he deposits snow on a neighbor's property. Churches or temples that plow their parking lots but fail to clear their sidewalks are sending mixed messages to the community.

It would also be great if bus stops, paths leading to bus stops and crosswalks could be cleared early and routinely. Many in our neighborhood, including the elderly, depend on walking or buses for transportation.


You can join and get together a team from such organizations as Chicago Cares (located 300 W. Adams, 312 780-0800) to do work in, among others, our parks (Jackson and Spruce are two that make frequent use of Chicago Cares teams, Nichols sometimes does), schools and schoolyards, elderly housing, and much more.

There are so many ways to be a good neighbor by being green. Only 13% of households participate in the Blue Bag program--can't we boost that a little? Call 311 for information--there are free distribution programs. There is the Hyde Park Garden Fair Committee, leading a pack of greening programs.


In addition to nearly every org. in this page (or our Nonprofits and Community Resources pages), college students can volunteer and learn a lot about this and surrounding communities through the UC Service Center, Center for Urban Schools, Civic Knowledge Project, and

Chicago Center/Urban Life Center
Valerie Wallace, Administrative Director.
1515 E. 52nd Place, other locations, Chicago, IL 60615. 1-800-747-6059, (773) 667-6419, others. fax: (773) 363-1150.
Purpose: Counseling and other social services. Celebrating 35 years in June 2006.
We're a nonprofit experiential educational organization in Hyde Park.
Urban Life Center engages college students with Chicago's diverse communities through innovative seminars and internships, expanding the traditional classroom through an experience-based, first-voices pedagogy.
Urban Life Center also designs day to week-long LearnChicago! tours and workshops to teach groups about the city's cultures and communities.

Organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs seek volunteers.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago tutors in Hyde Park (and many other) schools. To volunteer. 312 727-0637. Look in Education Resources-Tutoring--nearly all of the providers listed accept qualified volunteers.

Pantries.Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council looking for supporters, volunteers as the needy escalate. Did you know": Volunteers count in the quota of food for needy from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The Council thanks the many who have significantly increased contributions and closed the big deficit at the end of November!! See further on the reorganization now necessary for HP Food Panty.

As reported in the December 15, 2004 Hyde Park Herald, the number of families seeking food assistance jumped 162% from June to September 2004 (122 to 320) putting a great strain on volunteer organizations such as Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council. The Council, made up of 40 congregations and groups, has put out an urgent appeal for help. The Council looks to other organizations to help families get food, particularly the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which since 1979 has grown into a network of over 600 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters--20 in the Hyde Park to Bronzeville neighborhoods. Being a member of GCFD, the HPandKIC pays 7 cents per pound for USDA food. And it gets credits towards food purchases through volunteers it sends--$5 per volunteer hour up to a certain percent. Please note that the Depository does not help the Council raise funds.

Chairman of the Council's Hunger Program is Rev. Susan Johnson, pastor of Hyde Park Union Church. She notes, "Some people have been temporarily displaced since the Chicago Housing Authority resettlement," Johnson said. Also contributing are increased long-term unemployment and the end of the 5-year grace period under the former TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). See details in Ending Homelessness. she sent 3,200 appeal letters in November 2006. Funds also came from the Thanksgiving service at Rockefeller. More appeals are coming in December and January. Donate online at

Especially needed are items not covered by food stamps such as soap, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo. Also sought are canned meat or fish, tea , coffee, sugar , cooking oil, and flower. 773 363-6063.

(See the Help Line page for description of the Food Pantry monthly grocery distribution (since 1982), now at Union Church and the Kitchen at St. James.)

Also contributing since 1992 is Council member Church Home at Montgomery Place, 5550 South Shore Drive. Director is Dr. Robert Petite.

90% of proceeds from the Interfaith Service at Rockefeller Nov. 23 went to the under funded Hyde Park pantry. Maybe $10,000.

Other contributors are the schools--Whitney Young student organization Jack and Jill volunteers organize boxes of food at he Hyde Park Food Pantry and read to children. Kenwood students do likewise.

St. Gelasius closing leaves shelters overwhelmed. But still operates in some capacity as St. Gelasius/St. Columbanus- contact Calvert House Catholic Center for information on collections, volunteer help. (Update of Nov. 2005)

Hyde Park Herald, December 22, 2004. By Nykeya Woods

The recent closing of the St. Gelasius Church food pantry in Woodlawn meant that nearby First Presbyterian Church of Chicago, 6400 S. Kimbark Ave., has had to provide hundreds more needy families with food out of its pantry. Rev. Gerald Wise said that due to the increased numbers, First Presbyterian has had to turn away some hungry families. "We can't carry [the load]," Wise said. "[St. Gelasius] had done such good."

Wise worries that his congregation of 189 members cannot handle the new burden. There are people waiting as early as 7 a.m. for the hot meals they serve on Tuesdays. And Thursday's food pantry, which has always begun at 11 a.m., is now running out of items after only one hour, he said.

First Presbyterian's pantry has been handing out 150 bags of groceries a week since St. Gelasius Church moved out of the neighborhood, thereby closing its 6415 S. Woodlawn Ave. food pantry.

"Susan [Johnson of the Interfaith Council] was right on the money," Wise said, referring to the Dec. 15 Herald article on food pantries. "A lot of people are working and aren't making enough money."

Soup kitchens are places hungry people can go for a hot meal and food pantries offer groceries to needy families. The following is a list of neighbor food pantries and soup kitchens.



Hyde Park Union Church-see Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith-Hyde Park Pantry in Helpline.

United Church of Hyde Park. 1448 E. 53rd St. Breakfast for the Hungry last Saturdays. 773 363-1620.

First Presbyterian Church of Chicago,6400 S. Kimbark Ave., hosts a food pantry every Thursday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and also hosts a soup kitchen [Tuesdays 1 pm]. For more information, contact Kenneth Martinez or Harold Witherspoon at 773 363-0505.

Second Faith Temple COGIC, 424 E. 49th St., hosts a soup kitchen every Friday between 6:30 pm. and 7:30 p.m. For more information contact Robert Robinson, Jr. at 773 625-0799.

Project Care, 710 E. 62nd St. hosts a food pantry every Thursday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.. For more information, contact Janett Nelson at 684 685-9688.

Hyde Park [and] Interfaith,5600 S. Woodlawn Ave., hosts a food pantry once a month on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and also a soup kitchen Monday through Friday [at Kenwood United Church of Christ, 4608 S. Greenwood] beginning at noon. For more information, contact Bob Naftzger at 773 363-6063.

Lutheran Child and Family Services Refugee Settlement, 6127 S. University Ave., hosts a food pantry every Thursday between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. For more information, contact Lonnie Richardson at 773 753-0600.

St. Philip Neri Service Center, 2132 E. 72nd St. hosts a food pantry every Tuesday between 10 a.m. and non. For more information, contact Margaret Williams at 773 363-1700.

Parkway Garden Christian Church, 6600 S. King Dr., hosts a food pantry every 4th Saturday of the month between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. for more information, contract Rev. Edward Morris at 663 667-0770.

St. Phillip Lutheran Church, 6232 S. Eberhart St. hosts a food pantry every Tuesday between 10 a.m. an noon. For more information contact Ella Jefferson at 773 846-0393.

Martin Temple Community, 6930 S. Cottage Grove Ave., hosts a soup kitchen every Monday between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. For more information, contact Betty Davenport at 773 493-8624.

Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, 1238 E. 46th St., host a food pantry Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. For more information, contact Roderick Wilson at 773 548-7500.

St. Elizabeth Church, 50 E. 41st St., hosts a food pantry every 4th Saturday o the month between 10 a.m. an noon. For more information, contact Lanzie Harris at 773 268-1518.

Tabernacle Baptist Food Pantry, 4130 S. Indiana Ave., hosts as food pantry every 3rd Friday of the month between noon and 4 p.m. For more information, contact Minie Bruce at 773 624-6722.

Ebenezer Baptist Church Food Pantry, 4501 S. Vincennes Ave. hosts a food pantry every Tuesday between noon and 2 p.m. For more information, contact Georgia Coleman at 773 373-6144.

Operation Pull Grant Memorial, 4017 S. Drexel Blvd., hosts a food pantry every Friday between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and a soup kitchen every Tuesday between 1 p.m.and 3 p.m. For more information, contact Rev. Leroy Sanders at 773 285-5819.

Kenwood United Church of Christ, 4608 S. Greenwood Ave., hosts a soup- kitchen Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between noon and 1 p.m. and a soup kitchen every Tuesday between noon and 1 p.m. For more information, contact Rev. Leroy Sanders at 773 373-2861.

Hyde Park Seventh Day Adventist Soup Kitchen, 4608 S. Drexel Blvd., hosts a soup kitchen every Wednesday, between noon and 1 p.m.. For more information, contact Jewell Lenoir at 773 373-2909.

Hyde Park and Kenwood Food Pantry being reorganized, pressure and demand threaten to overwhelm. October 11 2006 Herald. By Sophie Johnson

Last week's treacherous thunderstorm left..the Hyde Park and Kenwood Community Food Pantry --located in the Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn Ave.,--cut off from the power they needed to supply clients with emergency groceries.

Rev. Susan Johnson and other volunteers were in a frenzy to find another area kitchen to relocate to so their USDA frozen meat wouldn't spoil. They were finally able to move their operations to the Bartlett Dining Commons at the University of Chicago for two days until the church had fully regained power.

Unfortunately, power outages are the least of the problems currently facing the Hyde Park and Kenwood hunger programs. Within the last few years, the Interfaith Council-sponsored Community Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen have fallen into dire financial straits. For the first time since the Food Pantry opened in 1981 (with the Soup Kitchen following suit in 1982), the Interfaith Council can no longer afford to fund these programs.

"Our situation is pretty precarious at the moment," said Johnson, who is spearheading a committee to broaden the support base for the hunger programs in the area. Due to an increase in demand and less food available through the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry have hit the bottom of their remaining finances.

These programs would benefit from a change in governance, Johnson thinks. "I want to see them supported by the community," she said. "This is a reasonably affluent, socially- and economically-diverse community that ought to be able to support its more vulnerable residents."

Johnson and the Hyde Park Union Church--where she is the reverend--will be taking over fiscal management of these programs for two years until a new financial base can be built.

Those who are passionate about the hunger programs are committed to their survival. With 500 people--including those with mild to severe physical or mental disabilities, single parents, and residents between jobs--benefiting from the food pantry, and up to 200 people a day receiving noon meals from the soup kitchen six days a week, these are arguably programs Hyde Park and Kenwood cannot afford to lose. At noon on Monday through Saturday, the Kenwood United Church of Christ is filed with volunteers and guests working together to set up, cook, and serve each other with respect. after the preparation is done and the meal is ready, Senior Minister Leroy Sanders gives a spiritual pep talk before guests and volunteers enjoy their lunchtime meal. Johnson argues that this easygoing, quiet group of people is a portrait of the community at its best. We've never shut down, we've never closed early, [and] we've never run out of food," Johnson said. "I'm not going to let this rough period change that."


Barbara Currie appeals for help for local hunger programs. Nexus for this area is the Hyde Park and Kenwood Hunger Program, centered at Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn and satellites at churches to the north. There is also a monthly Saturday breakfast at United Church. See in Helpline for more. Watch for announcements of benefit concerts in November and December.

Nov. 19, 2008: I was thrilled to see in the Nov. 5 edition of the Herald a story focusing on the increasing needs of the Hyde Park and Kenwood (HPK) Hunger Programs. I was recently given the opportunity through the United Counties of Illinois, to direct a donation of $500 to a neighborhood charity. It was with great pleasure that I directed that donation to the HPK Hunger Programs. The food pantry is currently serving more people than it has in its 27-year history. With the economy in trouble and chilly weather driving utility bills up, more and more people will join the line. The pantry and soup kitchen are safety nets -- serving the jobless and the underemployed, the homeless, the disabled, seniors and children. They all need your help, and I encourage everyone to make a donation.

Donations can be made online at, or checks can be made out to the Hyde Park and Kenwood Hunger Programs , c/o Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, Il 60637. For further information on the program, please call Rev. Susan Johnson at 773 363-6063.



Thanks to the many organizations, congregations and businesses that provided the needy with Thanksgiving and will provide at Christmas and the other coming December and January holidays and festivals. Many provide benefits for the givers also. Here is one example of an annual collaboration: Top

St. Martin de Porres and Kiwanis and friends.

This year Kiwanis will adopt families from St. Martin de Porres House of Hope, 6423 s. Woodlawn, for food baskets and clothing on December 18. Helping are Kenwood Academy homerooms, Powells Bookstores, 57th St. Books. 773 324-8645.

Others include First Unitarian, Hyde Park Vineyard, Metropolitan Apostolic, Christ the King Lutheran School, Haymarket House (4910 King), Subway, Harris (bring in new toys through Dec. 18 for Toys for Tots- 773 241-5100), K.A.M Isaiah Israel.

St. Martin de Porres House of Hope takes clothing, food staples, and other need items.
6423 S. Woodlawn. (773) 643-5843
Battered women and children shelter and services incl. job training, child care, tutoring, GED, substance abuse rehab. Volunteers esp for tutoring children, taking them on outings, visiting the women. Food, clothing, and monetary donations welcome (canned and boxed food and baking supplies).

Another shelter: First Unitarian Cathedral Shelter Program. 5650 S. Woodlawn. 773 324-4100.

Hyde Park Interfaith Cluster/Transitional Housing Project- inquire for need of volunteers. See contacts in Community Resources.
No longer associated with University Church. A contact number will be set up.
Director or president- in search mode. Download brochure.
For more information visit the Ending Homelessness page and the Affordable Housing Information page. A quarterly brochure is available.
Helps families become self sustaining in mentored settings. Volunteers needed and trained.


Select social service agencies and facilities needing volunteers

All kinds of Walks/runs/bike rides for various causes need participants and volunteers. One is :

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Holds a Lakefront Overnight Walk "Out of the Darkness" July 26-27 2005. 888-NIGHT-05, 888 644-4805.

There are many services and institutions in and out of the neighborhood that take in or mentor from tots to seniors, such as Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, including their Friends First program. 1140 W. Jackson, 312 738-6365.

Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline. Contact Elizabeth at 312 252-0520 x 12. Help survivors of assault and abuse. Answer the only 24-hour toll-free citywide hotline in Chicago. Crisis intervention work, referrals. Non-judge mental. Men also needed for outreach side. 50 hours of training, 12 hours a month commitment on hotline.

Chicago Association of Retarded Citizens. 5333 S. Greenwood. 773 241-5700. Currently seeking, inter alia, potential foster parents. (Info meeting April 20).

Chicago Recovery Alliance. Locations throughout city. Dan Bigg 773 471-0999. Syringe exchange, medical care, overdose prog., safe educ., shelter referrals, legal assistance. Full training.

Court Appointed Special Advocates. Darryl Calhoun, 312 433-4928. 1100 S. Hamilton 8 West. Non legal advocate and friend for a child in the court system. Training provided.

Unity Hospice. 439 E. 31st St. Doris Mitchell, 312 949-1188. Support to terminally ill patients and their families, visiting, reading, conversing, sharing meals, light errands, companionship. 8 h0urs training provided.

Sell or give your goods to help: Christian Industrial League, Salvation Army accept goods (the Co-op?).

The Caring Closet, formerly on Harper south of 53rd, has moved to South Shore.

Deja Vu Consignment Boutique.
5212 S. Harper. 773 667-2118. Clothing including business. Replaces The Caring Closet (now in South Shore) selling at low price and almost giveaway for homeless. Tuesdays through Thursdays 4-7 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10 am-6 pm, Sundays noon to 5 pm. Seeking new or nearly new women's business and parts suits and designer clothing. Appointment req, price will be decided. Consigner gets 40% of profit.

Kilimanjaro sells hand-crafted art, clothing, jewelry. Much of the profit goes to One Tree of Black Artists of America, which raises money for homeless and abused children in America and Africa and to teach artistic children about entrepreneurship.


Foster, retarded, senior programs etc.

Chicago Association of Retarded Citizens.

Hyde Park Neighborhood Club. Senior care

Chicago Child Welfare League- see in Help Line.

Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, including Friends First Mentoring Program
The Friends First mentoring program matches adult volunteers with at-risk youth in the community. The volunteer and youth go on outings together to parks, museums, zoos, etc., and the Friends First volunteer serves as a friend and positive role model. Outings are typically on weekends, 3-4 times a month. We take care to set up a good match between the mentor and a specific youth; we provide ongoing support, we help to find fun, free things to do in Chicagoland, and we give tips on building a friendship. Friends First mentors must be at least 21. To learn more about this volunteer opportunity, please go to or call 312-738-7552.

Kristin B. Meyer, MSW
Director - Friends First and Volunteer Resources
Mercy Home for Boys and Girls
(312) 738-6365

Seniors Volunteering: Chicago Dept. of Aging's Light Up Chicago One To One. (312) 744-5795

There are so many agencies linking up seniors and youth to help each other. One that is seeking volunteers of all ages and serving clients in Hyde Park is Little Brothers--Friends of the Elderly. 312) 455-1000.


Many find helping victims through hotlines, counseling, direct assistance, and advocacy rewarding. Here is a starter list.

Friends of Battered Women and their Children. 773 274-5232.

Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) and
Rape Victims Advocates
228 S. Wabash, 312 663-6303 and
Family Violence Prevention Fund

Kiwanis nationally and locally is a good organization to give to and volunteer with as its activities are focused and practical but highly various, and include hands on helping while being part of socializing-civic organization.

Hyde Park Kiwanis (see above on coordination with St. Martin de Porres)
President Clifford Doyle, vp. Richard Nayer, secretary Gwendolyn Teamer, treasurer Jon Will.
1509 E. 53rd St., Box 120, Chicago IL 60615, 773 324-8645.
Purpose: To raise money for charitable purposes locally and nationally, including Christmas gifts for local indigent children, supporting the Neighborhood Club, supporting a camp for disabled children, research in medicine related to children, and the 57th Street Children's Book Fair in September. And it fosters sociality and the business community. Watch for the peanut vendors several times a year. Looking for young additions!
Late Sept. is peanut day. More info in Collaborers in the Community.

"We're a group of men and women in Hyde Park who are members of a world-wide service organization founded in 1916. The Hyde Park Club dates from 1921 and is composed of business and professional leaders; it is non-sectarian, apolitical and non-discriminatory. Our cause: to serve kids!"
-Support Hyde Park Neighborhood Club
-Cosponsor 4th on 53rd July community parade
-Support the Blue Gargoyle Youth Center's Tutorial Prog dram
-Underwrite the board and room costs of a physically handicapped child at Kiwanis Twin Lakes summer camp
-Cosponsor the 57th Street Children's Book Fair
-Prepare food and gift baskets for needy families during the holiday
-Mentor a family from St. Martin De Porres battered women's center going off welfare
-Sponsor and actively support the Kenwood Academy and King High School Key Clubs


Neighborliness comes in many forms: not parking in handicapped spaces unless you qualify with the sticker, cleaning up after snow or ice, sparing time, or, Dina Weinstein argues, not giving a dime to panhandlers

The 2004 city ordinance on aggressive panhandling provided the following:

Application: Complete ban on panhandling within 10 feet of a bus shelter or bus stop, a public transportation vehicle or facility, any vehicle parked on a public street or alley, a sidewalk cafe or restaurant, a gas station or within 10 feet in any direction of an ATM machine, bank or currency exchange.

Fine: 1st and 2nd within 12 month $50. 3rd within 12 months $100. No jail time.

Police say most violations are with aggression. This means touching, chasing, yelling.

Help for panhandlers doesn't come in a dime

Dina Weinstein, Herald commentary, November 24, 2004

I haven't seen one particular Hyde Park street character in a while. I wonder where he is even though when I see him (and some days our paths cross a few times) I'm filled with a mixture of pity and fear. I feel pity for him because he always looks bloated and raw. Maybe it's the effects of a beating, Maybe it's the effects of alcohol abuse. He walks the streets of Hyde Park, looking behind him, as if being pursued, sometimes changing his course. He is often overdressed for the weather, sometimes with gloves.

I feel fear because there is an air of aggression around him; I don't have a sense of this man's mission. He seems unpredictable. And we often cross paths without another soul around. He never asks for a handout, but it's somehow common knowledge that he doesn't have a home and he lives in the 53rd street Metra station [sic]. My friend offered him food once and he declined it. That friend said he didn't make much sense. His communication was impaired. Perhaps you've seen him too. And you'll let me know if he's OK.

There are a whole cast of street characters on our streets. Many are asking for a handout. Take a walk down Hyde Park's main commercial strip on 53rd street and you'll pass psychotics, junkies, crack heads, alcoholics, panhandlers and drug dealers. Go through Nichols Park, there's an encampment of homeless. The other day, I saw a street character looming behind the utility boxes behind Borders. I think he was urinating. It was not a pleasant site for me or my two small boys.

According to a Chicago Police Department beat cop, people come from all over the city to Hyde Park to panhandle and hustle because people here don't mind giving money. Another cop put it this way: the neighborhood is more liberal than others and people usually are generous.

But police would tell you that as much as those street people seem to be in need, handout s don't help. More often than not, when you give a dollar or some change, you're just enabling an addiction or habit. It may be heartbreaking to stonewall an often blunt, aggressive or pathetic appeal, but Hyde Parkers have got to stop giving money on the street. Police hand out information cards to people who appear to be in need, which are put together by NAMI, the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Chicago. The card offers resources for homeless, substance abusers and crisis/mental health services in Chicago. Officers have told me that moments after they hand out the car they find them discarded on the sidewalk.

But the spirit of giving is sometimes instantaneous. Most people do not think of a panhandler when they are inside their homes. The urge to give often comes up when one is about to pass a panhandler and rummages for change or a bill or two. I would seek out those selling Streetwise, a newspaper dedicated to empowering men and women who are homeless. Streetwise vendors are legitimate; they must display a badge to prove they work for Streetwise. Sixty percent of what you give goes into their pockets. They are in no greater financial condition than a typical panhandler, yet they sought out Streetwise as an alternative.

I asked one vendor why she sells Streetwise. She told me that she does not have any other skills but cannot hold her hand out to beg for money. To donate to Streetwise, call 773 554-0060 or email

[Be aware there is a new ordinance regulating panhandling--see Public Safety.]



Brother,could you spare some time?

Dina Weinstein Herald commentary November 24, 2004

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we've got. Often this time of year, we give to those in need. I urge Hyde Parkers to put their resources into legitimate organizations. Shoppers at the Hyde Park Co-operative stores can easily give $1, $3 or $5 donations while in the check-out line to the Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council. This organization operates a food pantry and an open kitchen. The pantry distributes emergency supplies and groceries to residents living between 39th and 60th Streets, and Cottage Grove Avenue to the lake on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers help package, recycle, clean and do clerical work. The kitchen serves hot meals at noon Monday through Friday.

Greater Chicago Food Depository. 4100 W, Ann Lurie Pl. 773 247-3663.
A not-for-profit food distribution center trying to end hunger in the community by distributing donated an purchased food through a network of 600 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. Information on how to start a food drive is available. Needs volunteers. Has walks yearly.


Seniors Volunteering: Chicago Dept. of Aging's Light Up Chicago One To One. (312) 744-5795

There are so many agencies linking up seniors and youth to help each other. One that is seeking volunteers of all ages and serving clients in Hyde Park is Little Brothers--Friends of the Elderly. 312) 455-1000. More above.

The Hyde Park Garden Fair Committee
A programmatic committee of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference
Contact: Sue Purrington, 773 363-4368. President: Lesley Bloch.,, Committees, Garden Fair.
Purpose: Beautify the community and promote gardening and green space through volunteers and proceeds of its spring and fall sales at Hyde Park Shopping Center.

Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. 18 S. Michigan #806. 312 236-8714.

Real Men Cook/Real Men Charities. Includes Sweet Potato Pound Cake for sale in Jewel and Cubs and a cook book for sale, "Real Men Cook: Rites, Rituals and Recipes for Living" by Kofi Moyo. Activities range from prostrate cancer awareness to annual cookout in the South Side YMCA, building healthier communities physically, mentally, spiritually, financially, connectively. Rael H. Jackson, 773 651-8008 or 773 459-4115.

Salvation Army. 7158 S. Indiana. 773 487-2600, An evangelical Christian based movement which works in more than 108 countries around the world. Programs vary from alcohol and drug rehab to youth ministries to continuing education to soup kitchens. Volunteers needed, especially holidays. You can donate on line. Top

Connected with UC Hospitals or not, they are a good place for you to volunteer --and here are a few of their extramural programs:

The Hospitals say: Volunteers are Vital! Do you have friends who enjoy making new friendships, Are they curious about where you work? Why not invite them to become a volunteer! We are looking for friendly, out-going people to become greeters and way-finders at our hospitals. For information, call 773 702-4421 or visit

University of Chicago University Service Center. Not just for students or UC related anymore. Volunteer information sessions January 10th and February 7, 6 pm, 5525 s/ Ellis, Ste. 160.
Day of Service in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 15, 10 am -reservations required., 773 753-GIVE.
University of Chicago Service League (now open to all)- Do many activities and sponsor many programs throughout the community as well as at the University.

Vitas Healthcare. 1424 E. 53rd st. Bereavement, life-enrichment, patient care provided for terminally ill patients. Volunteers needed. 708- 283-6230.

Unity Hospice. 439 E. 31st St, suite 213. Doris Mitchell or Bryan Hodges, 312 949-1188. Support to terminally ill patients and their families, visiting, reading, conversing, sharing meals, light errands, companionship. 8 hours training provided.

Unity Hospice volunteers make a difference. Bryan Hodges in Hyde Park Herald January 26, 2005

We at Unity Hospice wish to celebrate our Knitting Angels at Breakers program at the Edgewater nursing home located at 5333 N. Sheridan Road in Chicago. The Hospice is located at 439 E. 31st Street, Suite 213, Chicago and provides end of life care for patients with terminal illness.

The seasoned volunteers at this nursing home are heavenly sent. They spend countless hours carefully knitting shawls, booties and scares for our terminally ill patients. Jacques, the activity director, solicits participation through the nursing home's newsletter. These hand crafted wonders are the perfect holiday gifts for terminally ill patients and their families. To earn Bryan Hodges at 312 949-1188.



Holiday cards by and for kids. There are many such with sales going to charity. University of Chicago Children's Hospital, Ray School and many others make and sell such, usually based on designs by children. Watch here for list in December, 2005. Top

Being a responsible pet owner, many of the items below required by law. Visit also Dog Friendly Area page and Dogs off Wooded Island.

Volunteer with the committees and programs of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference: (contact us)