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Bronzeville, Near South Side

South Side Dancing Crossing Guard Soars Past Fundraising Goal To Keep Her Apartment: ‘You Have No Idea What This Means To Us’

Tammy Anderson hoped to raise $5,000 to avoid eviction from her Hyde Park home. Block Club readers and well wishers donated more than three times that.

Tammy Anderson, a crossing guard at Beasley Academic Center in Washington Park, outside the school Apr. 28, 2022.
Enrique Reyes/Block Club Chicago
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WASHINGTON PARK — A beloved South Side crossing guard will get to stay in her home thanks to an outpouring of donations from Block Club readers.

Within hours of Tammy Anderson’s story going live, readers donated thousands to help the hardworking mom pay off back rent.

Anderson faced a June 1 deadline to pay $2,400 in back rent for her Hyde Park apartment, which is convenient to Kenwood Academy for her daughter and to Beasley Academic Center, where she’s been known for years as the joyful, unstoppable crossing guard greeting students, parents and passing drivers.

Anderson exceeded her $5,000 goal less than two hours after Block Club’s story posted last week. The total is now over $18,000.

Anderson found herself out of work when the pandemic hit. Despite falling on hard times, she remained a source of light for students, parents and staff.

Fitting, then, that the village she’d spent years looking after would now look after her.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Anderson said Friday, after donors already surpassed her fundraising goal. “All I heard this morning was a ‘ding’ and I just thought they were regular email messages, but then the dings kept coming. I started looking and I was in shock. People really are good.”

Credit: Enrique Reyes/Block Club Chicago
Tammy Anderson, a crossing guard at Beasley Academic Center in Washington Park, dances, waves at and guides passing cars outside the school Apr. 28, 2022.

It wasn’t just the donations that warmed Anderson’s heart, but the notes of love and encouragement that accompanied them, she said.

“We see you every morning on our way to school and we so appreciate the warmth you radiate! I hope you find the support and security you need for your family’s stability! Thank you for being you!” wrote Alicia McGhee.

“People like you are why I love this city,” wrote Jose Eguiguren.

“No one who brings joy to others should be without a home to call her own,” wrote William Starck.

What does Anderson plan to do now that the burden has been lifted?

“I’m going to do something nice for my daughter,” Anderson said. “I’ve wanted to for so long, and now I’ll be able to do it. You have no idea what this means to us.”

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