CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Volunteers from throughout the city joined a shoveling brigade on Friday, helping clear walks and driveways for seniors on the city’s South Side.
The volunteers were organized on social media by Jahmal Cole of My Block, My Hood, My City. They gathered at the CTA station at 79th and State.
“Instead of complaining and saying the city is messed up or the politicians are messed up or the weather is messed up, I’m challenging people to say ‘what’s something simple we can do to have a positive impact on Chicago,’” Cole said. “It’s pretty simple to get out and help your neighbors shovel.”
He brought along shovels, hoodies and coffee for volunteers.
Louis Uhler, from the Heart of Chicago neighborhood, joined the dozen or so volunteers, many of them white and not familiar with the South Side. He was enthusiastic about helping and about leaving his comfort zone.
“Volunteering is amazing because it’s a big city and there’s a lot of things to see, but we don’t – we never see it, we stay in our own little bubble,” Uhler said.
The dozen or so volunteers piled into a van and headed south with about three dozen stops planned shoveling driveways and walks for seniors.
“They represent some of the most durable enthusiasm I’ve ever seen and they come from hundreds of different neighborhoods all over Chicago. I love Chicago because of our spirit,” Cole said.
One north side woman said she didn’t know how to shovel. No matter, said Cole. He was happy to have the people who showed up to help out.