Category Archives: Real Talk

Working Bikes in Chicago

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.

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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.

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There are several ways you can get involved with or help Working Bikes.

  1. You can donate your bicycle to Working Bikes.
  2. You can volunteer at their shop to help fix bicycles that will be donated to people in the Chicago.
  3. 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.

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Chicago’s Food Bank – One Meal At A Time

The Greater Chicago Food Depository was founded by Tom O’Connell, Robert W. Strube, Sr., Father Philip Marquard, Gertrude Snodgrass, Ann Connors and Ed Sunshine in 1978. Since then they have been trying to make an impact in the city of Chicago. They have been a part of many programs over the years and the amount of food they have supplied has grown exponentially. The main goal of the Greater Chicago Food Depository is to make an impact on the amount of hungry people in Chicago.

Personally, I have volunteered for the Greater Chicago Food Depository before and I was pretty impressed by the staff and the amount of people that would show up everyday to help volunteer as well. I talked to a couple people while I was there and some of them show up everyday to volunteer just because it makes them feel good to know that they are helping to make a difference. Another thing that I found interesting was that they have a program where the participants take 12 weeks and learn some new culinary skills as well as participate in a 2 week internship following the 12 week period of training. This could be a great way to help people get jobs that have no experience what so ever. Another reason to look into the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

The fight against hunger remains constant on the south side of Chicago and also with the rest of the city. I have seen people constantly walking up and down the streets asking for money to help get them back on their feet. It saddens me to see these people outside in all types of weather with seemingly no hope in their heart. Below I have left you guys a video that explains a little bit more about their mission and why they are doing what they do. They are always looking for volunteers that are ready to make a difference in their community.

“Pray For Me” – Kendrick Lamar & The Weeknd

The song “Pray For Me” from the Black Panther soundtrack by Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd really has you thinking about the lyrics. It’s one of those songs that makes you look at the bigger picture and feel a deeper feeling then you were expecting. The Weekend and Kendrick Lamar’s collaboration for this song is fantastic. It really couldn’t be any more perfect. Once you listen to the whole song through it makes you think, wow, I need to hear that again.

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The Weeknd

The song begins with The Weeknd straight up sharing some true feelings. He starts off, “I’m always ready for a war again. Go down that road again. It’s all the same. I’m always ready to take a life again. You know I’ll ride again. It’s all the same.” Then he gets real and starts sharing some true feelings, “Who gon’ pray for me? Take my pain for me? Save my soul for me?” After these few versus it starts to make the listener think, feel and connect to the song on a different level.

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Kendrick Lamar

It gets even better when Kendrick Lamar pipes in. He goes, “I fight the world, I fight you, I fight myself. I fight God, just tell me how many burdens left. I fight pain and hurricanes, today I wept. I’m tryna fight back tears, flood on my doorsteps. Life a livin’ hell, puddles of blood in the streets.” He doesn’t go full blast here but you can feel the sharp anger in his lyrics. I find that to be pretty powerful!

“Pray For Me” is pretty intense and continues to escalate as the song goes on. It’s powerful words and deeper meaning bring out the best in the lyrics and really make you think. After I heard it for the first time I just sat there and thought about it for a minute. I kept listening to it and would pull out different emotions each time. Such a good song! If you haven’t heard it yet definitely check it out. Get ready to feel some feels!