Using a small amount of cash to make a big difference in Chicago -- that's the idea behind "Hit the Hood" micro-grants. Hit The Hood Micro-Grants Aim To Prevent Violence In Chicago This July 4th Weekend – CBS Chicago
By Tara Molina

CHICAGO (CBS) — Using a small amount of cash to make a big difference in Chicago — that’s the idea behind “Hit the Hood” micro-grants. They create fun activities throughout the city with the hope of keeping the peace and preventing violence.

“How do you bring positive attraction? You bring some visibility,” said Cleopatra Draper.

She grew up on the South Side and still calls the area home. She said she has invested in a better tomorrow on the South Side.

“One life is too many that is lost,” she said.

“That’s why she is one of the dozens of community and neighborhood leaders who applied for a Hit the Hood micro grant through My Block, My Hood, My City. That grant helped her organize events throughout the city through the weekend.

“Good people have to come outside and detour whatever is plaguing our community,” she said.

Last weekend Chicago saw 63 people shot. Sixteen were killed, including at least two small children.

Through $80,000 in donated money, 40 Hit the Hood grants were awarded, and those grants will be at work through similar over the next few days as part of an effort to keep the peace and inspire change throughout the city’s neighborhoods this holiday weekend.

Draper said being able to organize this and her community means everything to her and the neighborhoods she wants to impact.

“Today feels like Christmas,” she said. “Any time we’re in the community and we are doing some good in our hoods? That’s what matters. That’s what you need to make Chicago great.”

There are similar, everything from movie nights to fish frys, scheduled through this holiday weekend to make a positive impact in the city’s neighborhoods.

Tara Molina