You know that really big river that flows through Chicago? Yup, that one, the Chicago River. Well, “Friends of the Chicago River” is the only organization solely dedicated to the Chicago River. Since 1979, this organization has been working hard to improve and maintain the health of the river system for the benefit of people, plants and animals. The Chicago River is a total of 156 miles long. Friends’ work spans the entire thing from focusing on a greener habitat to making sure the water is clean and usable for everyone to enjoy.
There are many volunteer opportunities available. Friends is always welcoming those interested in participating to make the river a cleaner place for everyone. Whether you’re looking to get your hands dirty or help work on special events there’s something for everyone. For those looking to get involved, you can sign up at chicagoriver.org.
Saturday, May 12th is Chicago River Day! This is an annual event where people can collectively make long term improvements to the Chicago River. Anyone and everyone of all ages is welcome! There are 60 locations spanning the Chicago River to choose from.
Each year, Friends of the Chicago River chooses a spirit animal to help spread awareness about the health of the river and how it affects many living creatures. This year’s spirit animal is the Monarch Butterfly, known to make very large two way migrations from Canada to Mexico, nearly 3,000 miles. Many butterflies follow the Mississippi River along with the Chicago Rivers important extension of the fly.
Summer is just around the corner and Chicago is seeing more bicycles hit the street every day. However, many of us take bicycles for granted. We buy a bicycle, ride it sometimes, but also allow it to collect dust. Sometimes, we even decide we’re just never going to ride it so we throw it out. But throwing out your bicycle isn’t the only option. You can donate it to Working Bikes to give it a new life and purpose.
Working Bikes is a non-profit organization stationed in Chicago, Illinois, but its reach goes much farther than Cook county’s borders. Founded in 1999 by Lee Ravenscroft and Amy Little, the organization continues to grow from its humble beginnings. Since its inception, Working Bikes has been refurbishing bicycles to donate to people in need in Chicago, while also providing bicycles for communities in countries such as El Salvador, Panama, Uganda, and Ghana.
In Chicago and around the world, these bicycles are a mode of transportation to work, school, and in scarier circumstances, medical attention. They can also be used to create electricity and tow cargo from one location to another. But access to bicycles, especially in poorer communities, tends to be very limited. Working Bikes is working to eliminate that problem because bicycles can help a community thrive.
There are several ways you can get involved with or help Working Bikes.
You can donate your bicycle to Working Bikes.
You can volunteer at their shop to help fix bicycles that will be donated to people in the Chicago.
You can purchase a bike at their shop.
Whichever route you decide to follow, you are helping Working Bikes and people in need.
If you want to visit Working Bikes in person, they are located at 2434 S Western Ave in Chicago. You can also visit Working Bikes online by clicking HERE.
There is no better form of feeling than having someone in your corner that has fought the same battle you are facing. Cancer is no different. Imerman Angels connect cancer fighters, survivors, and caregivers who have fought cancer, are fighting cancer, or have cared for a loved one with cancer.
One of the co-founders, Jonny Imerman, was diagnosed with testicular cancer at age 26. It changed him more than just physically, it taught him just how precious life really is. As he made his courageous recovery, he was surrounded by loving family, but none of which shared his experience. This inspired gave him the idea to create Imerman Angels.
Since its inception in 2003, thousands have been connected with someone who understands their experience first hand. These angels are connected via email, phone, and some are connected in person. They organization provides support throughout all 50 states and 93 countries.
If you are fighting or have fought cancer, even if you have been a caregiver for someone with cancer, you are invited to become a mentor to someone else going through that experience. If you have never battled or cared for someone else with cancer, you can support Imerman Angels by volunteering to run for Team Imerman in different marathons throughout the U.S., which are listed on their website), or volunteer to work at fundraising events. For more information on this organization, visit ImermanAngels.com