How You Can Help
In times of need, we turn to one another. We are stronger together.
The hospitality industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. Meanwhile, as residents are mandated to "shelter in place" through May 30, some Chicagoland citizens have nowhere to go. Thankfully, relief is coming and every little bit counts.
Additionally, Governor Pritzker is directing healthy citizens to a state website to match their skills with organizations that work with the homeless or seniors, or deliver meals. So far, tens of thousands of Chicagoans and residents across Illinois have volunteered to support State and City responses to COVID-19 through Illinois Helps.
Read below for local charities and fundraising efforts to support The Magnificent Mile community. If you are able, please consider a donation.
Support the Hospitality Industry
Businesses and Workers in Need
We are excited to welcome you back to The Magnificent Mile once it is safe for you to visit!
In the meantime, there are so many who need your help. Support businesses around The Magnificent Mile and their employees by donating to fundraisers and/or buying gift cards.
Here are additional resources:
- The Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation
- Chicago Service Relief Fund
- Chicago Artists Relief Fund
Are you out of work?
- Here is a list of companies hiring right now in Chicago.
- Web-based orientations, tutorials, digital literacy courses, and one-on-one career counseling and more services are available for jobseekers from the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership. Similarly, consultative services for employers including hiring, lay off aversion, rapid response (layoff support) and training resources remain available through the Business Services Teams. Access these services here.
- Unemployment Insurance claims can be filed by phone (800)-244-5631 or online. Read more information about unemployment benefits.
- Under the Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge, Chicago’s landlords affirm they may provide one or more of the following for eligible renters who demonstrate a significant financial impact resulting from COVID-19:
- Grace Period for Rent Payments: Offer deferred payments with repayment terms that avoid repayment at the end of the deferral period.
- Written Repayment Plan: Permit renters with a missed rent payment to amortize the payments over time.
- No Late Fees for Missed Payments: Provide relief from rent-related late fees.
- Apply for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, from the Illinois Department of Human Services, which provides financial assistance to expectant mothers and families with one or more children.
- Apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, from the Illinois Department of Human Services, which helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health.
- The State of Illinois launched a new way residents can request assistance. Text the following words to 552020 for help with these needs:
- Text "FOOD"
- Text "UNEMPLOYMENT"
- Text "SHELTER"
- Text "TALK" (mental health)
Support Local Charities
Chicago Help Initiative
The Chicago Help Initiative (CHI) provides meals and social services to the homeless, underprivileged and today’s jobless citizens of the near North Side of Chicago.
- CHI staff will be on hand every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday outside the entrance of Catholic Charities from 10:00 am - 10:30 am to receive your meal donations. Ideally, each meal should contain one sandwich; a piece of fruit; a bag of chips or other snack; one single-serving drink, preferably juice; and a sweet treat, such as a cookie or candy bar.
- You can volunteer to pick up and deliver the bag meals to different areas. The bags would be picked up at Catholic Charities (721 N LaSalle). Deliveries vary, but none are very far. It would entail about 1 hour of your time from start to finish on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and/or Saturday.
- You can also donate socks, bar soap and/or hand sanitizer.
If you are able to donate bagged meals, please email Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you think you can help with deliveries, please contact Rosalind Hecim at (312) 543-0356 or email@example.com.
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is committed to providing clean and healthy family-centered spaces for families to rest, recharge and connect with one another around the world.
Here is how RHMC Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana is responding to COVID-19.
"One of our greatest needs is offering daily meals to our 162 families. With the temporary suspension of our on-site volunteer meal program, you can help by giving a financial gift or donating restaurant gift cards so we can purchase meals and other necessary items."
Here is how you can help families:
- Search for your local Chapter to learn what items or meals are needed or make a monetary donation.
- RMHC programs also rely heavily on in-kind donations such as food items and cleaning products. If your company or organization is interested in supporting these efforts on a national or global scale, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Ways to Help
Are you a CPS teacher or childcare worker? Volunteer to watch children of Chicago's first responders and essential workers.
- Register with Sittercity
Are you a CPS nurse or other healthcare provider? You can help the most vulnerable in our city.
- Sign-up with Illinois Medical Reserve Corps
Want to help support those who are shut-in or food insecure? Contact one of the organizations below.
Are you able to donate blood to help those who need it most?
Sign-up with the Red Cross