CHICAGO -- A call to action by a Chicago nonprofit drew volunteers from across the city to help seniors in need Sunday, and they gathered to shovel out sidewalks and help improve a neighborhood across town from their own.
The founder of nonprofit My Block, My Hood, My City, Jahmal Cole, made a post on social media asking for volunteers willing to come out and help seniors in the Englewood neighborhood, while meeting other Chicagoans from across the city, by shoveling the sidewalks in the neighborhood.
77-year- old Patricia Harper and her husband were delighted to see the group of about a dozen volunteers outside shoveling the sidewalk and stairs of homes from 74th to 69th and Princeton. The gesture was right on time for the Harpers, since Patricia says her husband, who has a heart condition, would have normally been the one to clear the way for them to get out of their home.
“That was the best thing! I could not believe it!" Patricia said. "My husband would have still be out here and I would have still be out here fussing because the doctor told him not to."
"It was fantastic to see it!" said Englewood resident Christopher Ford. "Englewood, we get forgotten.”
Cole said it was part of a broader effort to unite Chicago's neighborhoods.
"When you hear about something negative happening in another Chicago community, especially where people look a lot different than you, it might as well happen in another country. Visiting different communities and interacting with the residents can change all that," Cole said.
After Cole put out the call for volunteers on Facebook, about a dozen showed up from Wicker Park and Pilsen, and even Englewood.
"The Change Chicago needs is inside all of us. One block @ a time." Cole posted on Facebook.