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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Pilsen Mutual Aid Event Saturday Will Collect Gear For Neighbors While Local Artists Perform

Community groups are meeting at the Pilsen love fridge to collect donations of winter clothes, groceries and more for neighbors in need.

Organizers will collect winter gear, groceries and other goods at an event at the Pilsen love fridge.
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PILSEN — You can hear local music and help Pilsen neighbors prepare for winter at a winter supply drive this weekend.

Two local groups — ChiResists and Pilsen Love Fridge — will host the Sounds of Solidarity celebration noon-5 p.m. at La Michoacana Premium, 1855 S. Blue Island Ave. They’ll collect donated items to give to neighbors in need.

The ice cream shop is home to the Pilsen Love Fridge, a community-run refrigerator where people can access fresh and preserved food for free. 

Donations will be accepted throughout the event. Organizers are asking for people to donate winter gear such as boots, thermals, wool socks and N95 masks, as well as more general supplies such as hygiene products, infant care products, fresh food and pantry goods. 

The donated supplies will be managed by the Pilsen Solidarity Network, which hosts distribution events every other Saturday at Harrison Park or Pilsen Alliance, depending on weather. 

In addition to accepting donations, there will be music and vendors. The lineup includes RodStarz, of Chicago-born hip-hop group Rebel Diaz, a community choir and chicha/cumbia group Chicha Roots.

Vendors will include local publishing company Flatlands Press and handmade jewelry by Wata Beads, among others. 

“I think a big thing we want to do is create nice memories around the Pilsen Love Fridge to get people to be connected to it,” said Amara Martín, a DJ and artist who works as the lead organizer at ChiResists. “We want for people to know [the fridge] is there and to be reminded of it and help us care for it.” 

Martín said the work of these organizations is ongoing, and there are always opportunities to get involved. 

“There’s always somewhere someone can get plugged in,” she said. “There are a lot of parts that go into the Love Fridge portion of it.” 

If you want to support the event but can’t attend, you can donate to support the organizations involved online.

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