In a recent video address, our president and CEO Steve Baird emphasized the importance of taking care of our Chicagoland communities. You can see his inspiring words below:
“First, take care of yourself. Second, take care of your family and loved ones. And third, help your community, whether that’s doing more takeout to support local restaurants, or helping a neighbor buy groceries. Part of what we do as a company is help our neighbors and our communities.”
Looking for ways to give back to your community, while staying safe and healthy? Here are some important ways that people across Chicagoland can make a difference and help others in need, right now:
Support Local Businesses
Small businesses make up the backbone of so many Chicagoland communities, and it’s important to keep thinking of ways to “shop small.” While many businesses are temporarily closed due to the state’s “Stay-at-Home” orders, there are still lots of ways to help support your local favorites. Choose Chicago has a great guide to supporting local businesses, here. Some ideas to try?
- Order pickup and takeout. Many restaurants are open for “contactless” delivery and pickup. You can find a list of participating locations around Chicagoland via Dining at a Distance, or search for your favorite cuisine on the Chicago Tribune’s interactive map of Chicago-area restaurants.
- Shop local, online. Many local boutiques, shops, and small businesses are setting up digital shopping options.
- Buy gift cards, memberships, and experiences. Many theaters, museums, restaurants, and art institutions have membership programs that you can sign up for or renew. You can also look into purchasing a gift certificate for your favorite local business, to use at a later date. For attractions and experiences, see if you can purchase tickets now that you can save and redeem later.
- Send virtual tips. Many restaurants and local services have set up virtual “tip jars” and fundraisers, so you can provide direct support to small businesses affected by COVID-19. You can find a list of ways to give on EATER Chicago and Block Club Chicago. To support local performers and artists, the League of Chicago Theatres has a helpful resource guide, here.
Check In With Your Neighbors
Want to be a helper in your community? Taking small steps to help your friends and neighbors can have a huge impact.
The Serve Illinois Commission encourages Chicagoland residents to call and check in on their neighbors, “especially those who may not have support networks or adequate resources.” Checking in remotely is a great way to build bridges and help people feel connected, while maintaining healthy social distancing. To help keep things simple, Serve Illinois suggests following the simple acronym “CAP:”
Check on your neighbors, through call or text
Assess needs and assist when possible
Protect yourself and your neighbors by adhering to social distancing guidelines
In addition to reaching out by phone, email, or video call, there may be other ways to help out — from delivering food and supplies, to making care packages with essential home goods, fun goodies, and a friendly note. This can be a great way to brighten someone’s day, while also making sure they have the supplies they need to stay safe at home.
Looking for some care package inspiration? FastCompany has a list of meaningful and useful ideas to give, available here. Want to make sure you’re keeping your packages safe and sanitary? Wirecutter has some important ideas and guidelines, here.
Find Ways to Volunteer and Donate
Looking for ways to give back? There are plenty of ways to help support the organizations that are making a difference in your community, while staying safe and secure:
- Find a local volunteer opportunity. From food banks to area agencies on aging, many Chicagoland organizations continue to do the vital work of supporting their communities, while maintaining safe social distancing practices. Many Chicagoland charities are also opening up opportunities for remote, at-home volunteering. To find a list of organizations seeking assistance, Serve Illinois has a list of current opportunities, available here.
- Give blood, if you’re able. The American Red Cross is in need of blood donations. Extra precautions are being taken to protect the health and safety of those donating blood. To learn more or find a location in your area, the Red Cross has a guide to getting started, here.
- Give supplies. Around Chicagoland, many organizations are collecting food, hand sanitizers, health supplements, toiletries, and personal protective equipment. NPR has a running list of Chicagoland organizations accepting food and supply donations here. You can also learn more about helping healthcare workers with UChicago Medicine’s guidelines, available here.
- Make a contribution. Making any donation to your favorite service organization, charity, or response fund can make an enormous difference right now. Many organizations are also opening up creative ways to give, like ordering food for healthcare workers to be delivered from local restaurants.
Chicagoland, We’re By Your Side — No Matter What
As our communities grapple with the difficult realities of the coronavirus, this is the time to remember what’s truly important — health, family, home, and the bonds that tie us all together. At Baird & Warner, we know from 165 years of experience that we can get through anything when we work together. Everyone here takes pride in being part of something bigger – part of a community that works together to make Chicagoland a better home for everyone.
In these uncertain times, we understand that you still have important real estate decisions to make, and our mission is to make achieving those goals easier. We will continue to provide the most updated information and guide you through this extraordinary time with a calm and steady hand.