Category Archives: Community

How Black Men 100 Of Chicago, Inc. Is Changing The Lives Of Chicago Youth

When you think a Chicago youth what do you picture? Growing up on the West Side of the city it’s not always pretty. Some people may think of drugs, gangs, and teenage pregnancies while others see hope, future, and stability. 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. sees possibility. Possibility in guiding local youth on the West and South Sides to be the best they can be.

100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. started in 1994 when a group of men wanted to help guide youth, focusing on young men in the city, in positive directions through educational opportunities and mentoring. Programs that the organization provide encourages young black men in the city to achieve and think of themselves as more than where they come from.

Programs

100BMC Youth Images, Photography by LeVern A. Danley III
Photography by LeVern A. Danley III http://www.LeVernDanley.com

Mentoring, a large component of the program, happens on a weekly basis where mentee and mentor relationships are formed. This program aligns with the school year to provide services to young men during their academic year.

Scholarship fair and fundraiser are to help young men to be exposed and afford college. For more than 15 years, the scholarship fair happens during the fall where youth and their families get a chance to see colleges and universities from all over. This event provides youth with information for  post-secondary education, provide millions of dollars in grants and scholarships, and offers for enrollment to eligible students. In addition, the scholarship fundraiser is monies gathered by 100 BMC to support graduating men from high school and their mentoring program to pursue post high school education.

 Why Is This Needed

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Before 100 BMC, I have never been exposed to an organization that particularly focused on black men. There are a lot of controversy that seem to surround black men but, here is a program that provides a helping hand. This guidance comes from other black men who may have shared similar struggles and can advise on how to overcome them. The program also provides young women with the opportunity of mentorship and guidance into young adulthood.

In order to see a change in youth residing urban Chicago areas, there has to be an example and what 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. is doing is only the beginning.

 

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A View into Lakeview Food Pantry

“Opened in 1970, we originated from the efforts of a few dedicated neighbors who wanted to help people in their community who were struggling to secure the food they needed.”

A few good neighbors and some hard work is all it took to start Lakeview Food Pantry. Now it is one of the largest and most successful pantries in Chicago! Between two locations, they serve over 1.5 million pounds of food each year and are one of the founding organizations of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Their original building is at 1414 W. Oakdale Ave. but they have a newer building at 3945 N. Sheridan Rd.

In addition to having fresh food, they offer tons of services like job application help, mental health counseling, among other things to help the people in their community stand on their own two feet and become a more independent member of society. The organization doesn’t ignore the fact that many of its clients might have other issues than just hunger and they want to help those issues at their core. It’s programs like this that help Lakeview Food Pantry standout.

Being one of the most successful food pantries in Chicago, Lakeview Food Pantry takes a lot of man and woman power to keep it running. They now have over 1,000 volunteers operating for both locations. Volunteers of any age are welcome but special restrictions are put on people younger than 16. T

he holiday season is always a good time to get into the spirit and help out your fellow humans. Anyone interested in helping Lakeview Food Pantry can sign up here: http://www.lakeviewpantry.org/become-a-volunteer.html

Lakeview Food Pantry is “committing to it’s community” with more than just food and I can’t wait to help out this wonderful organization.

For more information and ways to help go to: http://www.lakeviewpantry.org/

Random Acts of Flowers!

Have you ever attended an event, like a wedding or funeral, and wondered what happens to all those flowers after everyone goes home?  What about flowers in grocery stores and flower shops, that are not longer fresh enough to sell?  In what may be the ultimate in recycling, “Random Acts of Flowers” takes those flowers and repurposes them into something beautiful and inspiring!

Think about the joy you experience when you give or receive flowers.  That’s the joy that volunteers with “Random Acts of Flowers” get to experience regularly.  

The non-profit began in 2007, in Tennessee, by Larsen Jay.  After a near fatal accident Jay credited the daily visitors and dozens of floral arrangements he received as being a crucial element to his recovery.  Once able to leave his room, Jay noticed many other patients sitting alone, in rooms devoid of flowers.  He began going around the hospital gifting some of his floral arrangements to other patients and was struck by the effect it had on them  That’s when the seed for “Random Acts of Flowers” was sewn.

 

Today this wonderful non-profit has expanded and now has five branches around the country, including Evanston, Illinois.  Teams of volunteers do everything from refreshing the flowers that have been donated, then creating them into beautiful bouquets and arrangements and finally bringing them to patients.  Nurses and caregivers in healthcare facilities and nursing homes identify patients who seem in need of an extra emotional boost.

And science bears them out.  Research shows that patients who receive flowers recover more quickly and require less post-operative pain medication.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/sally-augustin/health-benefits-flowers_b_2992014.html

As we head into the holiday season WCRX FM is once again “Committing To Our Community”.  If you’d like more information you can check out http://randomactsofflowers.org