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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Neighborly Asks Customers To Nominate Health Care Workers, First Responders For Free Care Packages

“We wanted to do something for them as a little pick-me-up at the end of their day," said the store's owner.

Neighborly owner Jenny Beorkrem is opening a second shop in the heart of Lincoln Square.
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LINCOLN SQUARE — Neighborly has a new Lincoln Square location and is asking customers to sponsor care packages for health care workers and first responders. 

The independent shop, which specializes in home goods, gifts and artwork from a variety of local artisans and fair trade vendors, has been around since 2012. Its original location was at 2003 W. Montrose Ave., but the shop moved to Wicker Park last year. 

The new location at 4710 N. Lincoln Ave. is right next to the neighborhood’s iconic arches.

“We’re coming back to the neighborhood with a second location in the heart of Lincoln Square,” said owner Jenny Beorkrem. “But everything is so up in the air right now we’re only offering curbside pickup. I’m not really sure when the store will be open to the public yet.”

Like many business owners, Beorkrem has adapted to the shutdown. In her case, this means transitioning to online sales, contactless pickup and offering curated “care packages” with a mix of her store’s products. 

Neighborly’s also offering free shipping on orders that are $50 or more.

Credit: provided
Some of the curated care packages Neighborly is offering.

“Obviously despite the stay home order our lives are still going on. People are still having birthdays and celebrating other events like Mother’s Day from a distance,” Beorkrem said. 

The packages are $35-$95 and the items inside are selected based on a theme like “Mother’s Day morning tea” or “virtual happy hour.”

Beorkrem also offers an option to sponsor $15-$100 care packages for health care workers or first responders. 

“Simply select the amount you’re able to contribute and we’ll pack a box up and send it as a gift to someone on the front lines to show our gratitude for their hard work,” Beorkrem said.

Customers can nominate a health care worker or first responder to receive a free care package by filling out this form. The recipients will be picked at random and Beorkrem plans to send as many care packages to as many people as she can. 

“We’re just kind of getting that rolling now and have already collected 15 nominations and a few contributions so far,” Beorkrem said. “We wanted to do something for them as a little pick-me-up at the end of their day.”

Beorkrem also offers a mystery box with two or three surprise “mood-lifting” items. Proceeds from the mystery box sales are going to cover the business’s essential expenses — like payroll, rent and utilities — while the Wicker Park and Lincoln Square locations are closed to the public.

RELATED: Neighborly, The Gift Shop That Celebrates All Things Local, Moving To Wicker Park

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