CHATHAM — My Block, My Hood, My City has as many as 100 volunteers ready to help Chicagoans in need of snow removal following the overnight snowstorm.
Jamal Cole, founder of the nonprofit that creates opportunities for underserved youth to experience the world beyond their own neighborhood, had a team of three volunteers out on streets shoveling snow Monday afternoon. He’s been doing it in Chatham for years, and his plan is simple: sign up volunteers and shovel the blocks with the biggest need.
Individuals interested in volunteering to shovel can sign up here.
Senior citizens, people living with a disability, under-resourced schools and those who are concerned about an area that never gets shoveled can request a volunteer snow shoveler here.
In an effort to be more strategic instead of reactionary to particularly heavy snowfalls, Cole and his team are signing up volunteers by the community they wish to serve. Volunteers can now enter their address, phone number and a message in the snow removal request forms.
“I’m trying to use technology as best I can to connect the will to do good with the good that needs to be done,” Cole said.
Volunteers are most commonly helping shovel in Chatham, Englewood, Roseland, South Shore and Washington Park now, but they can be deployed anywhere in the city where there is a need, Cole said.
And volunteers don’t need a shovel. The My Block, My Hood, My City crew has 100 shovels and a snowblower to help them move snow — all of which Cole purchased. He’s looking for someone with a truck and a snow plow to donate their time to help, too, so the crew can do even more good.
In the summer, My Block, My Hood, My City volunteers trade in their snow shovels for lawn equipment, trimming bushes and cutting lawns for neighbors who can’t do it themselves.
Some neighborhoods in Chicago are in great need for assistance after the overnight snowfall. Massive power outagesare still being reported in the city.
Snow shovelers should be careful as extended periods of shoveling heavier snow can come with health risks.
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