During these uncertain times, it’s critically important that we all come together to support each other. We ask that you consider giving just a little more of yourself to your fellow Chicagoans. It’s these moments of give and take that will strengthen the bonds of our community.
- Volunteer to work with the children of Chicago’s First Responders. While first responders, healthcare professionals, and other essential personnel work on the frontlines during the fight against the spread of COVID-19, their families are in dire need of child care during this unprecedented time. You can help by volunteering to provide child care for the family of one of these workers keeping our city going through Sittercity’s “Chicago Responds” program. Launched in partnership with the City of Chicago, the “Chicago Responds” program will connect you with first responders who are looking for volunteers to provide sitter services in their homes. The program will also give all Chicago parents working as first responders free access to Sittercity Premium. Please consider donating your time to these local heroes and their families by signing up at www.sittercity.com/chicagoresponds.
- Volunteer with the Illinois Medical Reserve Corps if you are a licensed medical professional. Please help Illinois provide the surge capacity needed for public health emergencies.Volunteers of all backgrounds are welcomed and are encouraged to register. There will be a need for volunteers with all types of skills and expertise, such as those who are skilled in interpretation (languages and hearing impaired), administration, transportation training, provision of daycare, and IT and security services. Learn more at www.illinoishelps.net/.
- Share information with essential workers on how to secure reliable, safe childcare during the school closure period. A dedicated helpline has been created so Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) can help connect essential worker families to emergency child care. If you know an essential worker in need of childcare during the school closure period, please share Chicago’s Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies helpline: (888) 228-1146. The helpline will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday to answer calls, but callers will be able to leave a message 24 hours a day.
- Donate to the Children First Fund: The Chicago Public Schools Foundation (CFF) Compassion Fund. Year-round, the Compassion Fund directly supports CPS students and families facing hardship and crisis. During COVID-19, CFF is directing resources from the Compassion Fund to provide critical support to our most vulnerable students and families who are most impacted by the current school closures. This includes meals and food distribution efforts, remote learning (Internet access, Chromebooks, iPads, and laptops), and emergency relief (toiletries, clean clothes, and support for extenuating circumstances). CFF’s Compassion Fund is the place to go for those looking to give and make a direct impact on Chicago students and families. Gifts of all sizes are welcome and are matched with opportunities to create the greatest impact.