CHICAGO — At the end of every week we like to wrap things up with Erin Ivory’s Feel Good Round Up, a collection of some of the most uplifting stories from the past seven days. This week she shares how yeast is helping restaurant workers, how rocks are lifting spirits and a Chicago guy who found a crazy way to beat the COVID-19 blues.
About 2,400 pounds of turkey is being turned out as we speak. All of it, along with 1,500 loaves of cornbread and all the fixings are being boxed up for one heck of a Thanksgiving delivery.
“We were able now to distribute 700 meals to families that need it which is serving 2400 more people than we normally serve,” Katie Taylor, development director for Northwestern Settlement, said.
Taylor said they were going to have to cancel this year’s in person Thanksgiving Dinner because of the pandemic. That’s until they got a call from Catering by Michaels, who offered to put together nearly 3,000 meals to help out.
With support from the Winnetka Board and Associated Bank, Catering by Michaels has been cooking up a storm making Thanksgiving dinners, while also putting many of their furloughed staff back to work.
“We’ve been able to bring fifteen employees back to work this week that otherwise wouldn’t have been working and there’s also this huge downstream impact in all the vendors that Catering by Michaels orders from, and farmers that have been able to provide product for these meals it really is a great opportunity for so many people.” Jeff Ware, Director of Operations for Catering by Michaels, said.
Every last boxed meal for four will get handed out to those in need over the weekend.
And talking about putting in the time in the kitchen, there’s an update on generous bread baker —Eric Seo. He is the high school student who began making homemade bread to sell, so he could donate all the profits to help people who lost their jobs since the pandemic hit.
In a matter of months, Seo has single handedly sold enough ciabatta and sourdough bread to raise more than $5,000.
Bread for Bread campaign has donated every penny of it to organizations supporting laid off workers.
From the kitchen counter to Lisa Robinson’s table outside her Clearing neighborhood home, where she has been painting small rocks for months. It all started when someone left a small blue smiley face rock outside her home in April.
Surprised by how happy it made her, she and her neighbor started a facebook page encouraging others to do the same. They named it “The Kind Rock Project.”
Within weeks, nearly 2,000 people had joined in.
“It really made their day! Something as simple as a rock. Who would’ve thought a rock could make your day?” Robinson said.
Since then, hundreds of people have posted pictures of the rocks they found on their street — little rocks that brightened an entire neighborhood.
And finally, we end with a Chicago guy who came up with a crazy way to beat the COVID-19 blues by taking a spontaneous jump in Lake Michigan.
“After that I just started doing it everyday. It felt like a good thing to do and I was able to grab a few moments of zen,” Dan O’Conor said.
Try just over 160 moments of zen as O’Conor has jumped in the frigid lake every day since. He said he won’t quit until a sheet of ice stops him.