DES PLAINES, Ill. — Two years ago, Kevin Murphy returned to his native Des Plaines after living in North Carolina. After seeing several issues affecting the area, he decided to take action.
“I saw a lot of things going on in the community that needed addressing,” said Murphy. “You know, food insecurity, clothing insecurity, help with everyday services to run a household … the pandemic had really exacerbated that.”
Shortly thereafter, Murphy founded the Jet City Coalition, an organization serving the Des Plaines and O’Hare area that aims to help provide essential services and goods to the economically disadvantaged in the area.
Murphy said he started off small, with a coat drive that collected over 1,000 coats for those in need, but soon found himself shoveling snow from the driveways of neighbors.
“From there it took on a life of it’s own,” Murphy said. “To now we have a full years worth of activities for the community.”
Jet City Coalition now offers free lawncare and snow removal services to about 75 senior citizens and those with low income.
“What shocked me was [Kevin Murphy] came out on fathers day when he was a father and he cut my grass and I mean, I thanked him,” said one Des Plaines resident, who did not want to be identified.
Murphy told WGN News that even with a positive attitude, he can’t help out the entire Des Plaines community by himself, but he hopes that it will inspire others to step up and help one another out too.
“I can’t shovel every driveway in Des Plaines,” Murphy said. “But I can inspire people through my devotion and passion for this to be able to do a driveway in their neighborhood.”
If you would like to volunteer with the Jet City Coalition, forms to do so can be found on their website.