Jahmal Cole, founder of My Block, My Hood, My City, has coordinated team of volunteers to help Chicagoans shovel snow. Credit: My Block, My Hood, My City/Twitter

CHICAGO — When Chicago Public Schools briefly paused its free food pickup over the summer, people from across the city sprung into action, creating mutual aid networks that continue to feed struggling neighbors and connect others to services they need.

These were not corporate-sponsored food giveaways or government-run pantries, but the actions of everyday people looking to do something positive in their communities.

This holiday season, Block Club Chicago is teaming up with Jahmal Cole and My Block, My Hood, My City to find and fund more efforts like these.

For Cole, struggle is nothing new. Long ago he learned how to pull himself out of any dark space: serving others. In his new book, “What’s Something Simple I Can Do That’ll Have A Positive Impact On My Block,” Cole explores the power of building community and helping your neighbors — and lets you know how easy it is to get started.

From lighting up King Drive for the holidays to shoveling sidewalks for seniors and revamping block club signs, Cole’s work shows the power of community service — and sometimes it just takes a shovel and some determination to brighten someone else’s day.

So, what is something simple you can do that will have a positive impact on your block? Do you have an idea for a project that would improve the block for your family and your neighbors? We want to help make your vision a reality.

Submit your ideas here by Dec. 31. Then, the My Block, My Hood, My City team will give out $25,000 in grants so dozens of you can put your plans into action.

Looking for inspiration? You can buy Jahmal’s book here or check out incredible community service projects from his organization here.

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Director of Strategy, Co-FoundernnDirector of Strategy, Co-Founder Twitter @jensabella

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