As the Director of Development at Block Club Chicago, there’s a question I’m asked a lot: How does hyperlocal news help people? 

While that’s an easy question to answer — there are so many ways we help at Block Club. 

Helping our neighbors means seeing potential wrongdoing and investigating to expose it, like Kelly Bauer did in her coverage of the Loretto Hospital vaccine scandal. Those stories led to an FBI investigation.

It means launching a free coronavirus hotline in English and Spanish, which has helped nearly 1,000 callers in the year it’s been live.

It means listening to and elevating all voices, something Pascal Sabino did when he listened to 4-year-old Jett Hawkins’ mom on the West Side, taking her quest to ban hair discrimination all the way to the governor’s desk, where her message became a law.

It means launching an extensive hyperlocal gift guide, urging Chicagoans to support struggling local businesses during a critical time

It means treating neighborhood issues with care and nuance, as you’ll see in Maxwell Evans’ report today on efforts to combat violence near the University of Chicago.

Today is Giving Tuesday, and we know a lot of folks are asking for your help. If you’re able, I’m asking you to donate to support the food banks, shelters and other mutual aid efforts that help our neighbors most. If you don’t know where to start, Block Club has a list of local efforts here.

If you have money left over after, we’d be grateful for your support. We’ve set an ambitious goal of raising $20,000 for our new Block Club Investigative Fund, because there are so many important stories that impact our neighborhoods going uncovered. The first $10,000 in donations will be matched, thanks to the generous support of The Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation, Thomas Rudbeck and others. 

And here’s our pledge to you: Every dollar donated today will help Block Club reporters investigate wrongdoing, shine a light on solutions, hold our elected officials accountable and help you when you need it most. 

You can donate here. Block Club is a 501(c)(3) and your donation is tax-deductible. 

Thank you for proving everyday Chicagoans will support local news that serves them first. 

Maple Walker Lloyd
Director of Development

Director of Development and EngagementnnDirector of Development and Engagement Twitter @MJsChicagoLoop