Winter Gear Drive

Blocks Together & Youth Guidance partnered up with several local businesses and collected *NEW* coats and winter gear so that every student at Cameron Magnet School of the Arts had nice coat and were warm on their way to school this year. 

We are so thankful for the to the following donation stations that accepted donations and helped up spread the word across the city.

  • Atmos Coffee Shop – 2415 W. North Ave – we recommend that you try the Abuelita’s Latte 
  • Jerk Jamaican BBQ – 811 W. Chicago Ave – we recommend that you try the Jerk Yuca Fries & Smoked Jerk Chicken Quarters
  • Phodega – 1547 N. Ashland Ave – we recommend shrimp egg rolls and Pho Bo (beef brisket soup)
  • Soundz Good Chicago – 3449 N. Western Ave – great place to get a car stereo or remote starter
  • Blocks Together – 3711 W. Chicago Ave – 
  • Cameron Elementary School – 1234 N. Monticello 

We had over 40 direct purchases directly off the Amazon wishlist and the items will be shipped directly to the school.

We also had $2,000 in funds donate directly via PayPal!

Due to the generous donors we able to collect more than 200 coats in all sizes along with hats and gloves!

The Village Keepers Project at “Be The Healing” Conference

April 30, 2021, Chicago, IL – Staff from Blocks Together presented workshops on the community-based organizations trauma-responsive work at the Be The Healing conference. The keynote for both days was Dr. Joy Degruy, author of “Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome.” BT staff was instrumental in the planning of the conference that was a collaboration of multiple organizations including: Organic Oneness, UCAN, the West Humboldt Park/Garfield Park Community Action Council, the University of Chicago’s Education Lab, and the Chicago Public Schools.

The Be the Healing Conference addressed topics of systemic racism derived from Anti-Blackness, inter-generational and historical trauma, structural violence, mental health and COVID-19, sexism and xenophobia. This conference provided improvement strategies through an inspirational and solution-oriented lens. This year’s conference convened online via Zoom.

The session shared the origins of this innovative project that provides students and community members with training and resources to address trauma and resolve conflicts within their homes, schools, and communities. The discussion with panelists: Carolina Gaete (Executive Dir.), Lolanda Mills (Office Manage), Keith Muhammad (SCS Resources Coordinator), and Troy Withers (Trauma Services Coordinator) was moderated by Keith Kelley (Restorative Practices Coordinator). Troy Withers also presented also workshop on the relationship between trauma and nutrition. Keith Muhammad and Keith Kelley co-facilitated one of the intergenerational “community conversations” for West Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, and North Lawndale with two youth from UCAN on the second day of the conference.

Unlike most conferences, Be The Healing intentionally built follow-up into its structure. The next “community conversation” around trauma and healing for West Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, and North Lawndale will be on (or around) May 30, 2021. For more information, visit the Organic Oneness site for more information on Be The Healing.

Blocks Together Newsletter

Blocks Together has been hard at work this month! We’d like to send a huge shout out to our friends and partners for pulling together and bringing in valuable resources for our community. With the second round of shut downs coming it is imperative now more than ever for us to cooperate with one another and take care of all our neighbors in the community. Here are some the highlights from November and upcoming events in December!

Blocks Together Coat Drive
We were delighted to partner with Cradle 2 Crayons & Youth Guidance to distribute 180 coats, hats, scarves and gloves to community families.

People’s Budget Training
We have had the pleasure of hosting a second round of training the community on how the city budget is allocated. In these uncertain political times it is important for residents to know and understand how the city budget operates and where funds for resources come from as well as how the city decides who gets the funds. The community was equipped with the tools necessary to go to their political leaders and demand more resources be allocated back into their community. If you are interested in learning more please feel free to contact us at: blockstogether@gmail.com We look forward to equipping more residents with these vital tools.

We could use your help!
We will be accepting donations of new and clean gently used coats, hats, scarves, and gloves of ALL sizes for male and female. November 30th – December 4th 10am – 4pm

Healthy Food Hub Farmers Market Trolley
Our partners at Healthy Food Hub will be on our lot located at 3711 W Chicago Ave on December 1, 2020 from 11 am – 2 pm. Come support local farmers and get delicious produce at discounted prices with their unique matching program!

Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp Fundraiser
Our friends at Lawrence’s Fish & Shrimp at the 2120 S. Canal St location will be hosting a fundraiser for Blocks Together on December 3, 2020 from 11 am – 8 pm. They will be donating 15% of your food purchase to support Youth & Volunteer programming. We appreciate your support!

Supporting Children’s Mental Health Workshop
Join us for this free workshop and learn to identify stresses and triggers; get tips and tools to support your child’s mental health presented by our partners at the Latino Policy Forum. To register go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/supporting-childrens-mental-health-tickets-130459454741

Blocks Together Newsletter October 2020

COVID-19 RESOURCES

Blocks Together is responding to the needs of the West Humboldt Park and Garfield Park communities by focusing on Community Health, Prevention, Protection, and Planning/Organizing for the long term impact this will have on the families and communities we are working with and supporting. Please click the download button below to get our Covid Test Sites list.

BT NEWSLETTER

“Ant societies function through individual ants acting collectively in accord with simple, local information to carry on all of their survival activities. Every ant relies on the work of others in producing their own work. Cooperative work. Collective Sustainability.” ~ Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy

Welcome to BT’s newsletter!

www.bt-chicago.org 

October 2020

Blocks Together (BT) is a non-profit, grassroots, community-based organization made up of residents of the West Humboldt Park and Garfield Park communities on Chicago’s West Side. The Blocks Together mission is to build a grassroots community infrastructure governed from the bottom up by providing the resources, leadership development, and sustained efforts to achieve widespread improvements for their community and advance economic and social justice. 

Social justice principles and practices guide the development and implementation of campaigns focusing on education, housing, and protecting the rights of people who have been underserved and marginalized by “the system” including: women, youth and the formerly incarcerated.

Check out our new website!  www.bt-chicago.org 

Since the hit of the pandemic in March 2020 Blocks Together has been focusing their work on the ground bringing valuable vital resources to the underserved community on the West Side of Chicago.  Our Community Health Promoters have the understanding that some of the biggest threats that would have a detrimental impact on our community were going to be the lack of healthcare and access to healthy foods. BT worked with community friends and partners to bring immune boosting produce, prepared meals, and our specially formulated Mojo Juice; which is a prime component of our Village Keepers Peace Diet, to the residents. 

Upcoming Events

Fresh Food Market

BT has collaborated with friends to bring a Fresh Farmers Market to the West Side community. Community members can take advantage of the large selection of produce at discounted prices. The Fresh Farmers Market will take place October 28th from 11 am- 1 pm at 3711 W Chicago Ave. 

Torrance Shorter Legal Clinic

The Torrance Shorter Legal Clinic is now taking appointments to provide FREE legal services to the community. The legal clinic takes place every other Tuesday from 4pm-7pm. To set up your appointment please contact blockstogether@gmail.com 

Upcoming Dates:

October 27th; November 10th; November 24th; December 8th 

Coat Drive
We are currently seeking donations to provide the community with warm winter coats, hats, gloves, and scarves to brace the harsh bitter winters of Chicago. To arrange donation drop off please contact Blocks Together       

Boxing and Boot Camp Conditioning

Come work out with BT! Join us every Wednesday @ 3:30 pm 3711 W Chicago Ave for FREE Boxing Boot Camp Conditioning with a professional boxer. Please wear comfortable workout gear and a mask.

Community Parents Breakfast

Join Blocks Together for breakfast! Come learn about our upcoming projects and campaigns and how you can participate and benefit from them. Come prepared to discuss any community issues you all have experienced. November 5, 2020 @ 9:30 am 3711 W Chicago Ave.

Fundraiser

Lawrence Fish & Shrimp on 2120 S Canal St will be donating 15% of food sales on December 3, 2020 to Blocks Together to support BT Youth and Volunteer programming. To support the cause please register here! 

Village Keepers Project

Blocks Together Village Keepers project (VKP) combines leadership development and conflict resolution to reduce violence by addressing the root causes of violence.  Through training and leadership development, young people, and adults from the community gain an understanding of trauma and its impact, ways to address trauma, and mental health support through training, organizing events and initiatives with those trained leaders at local schools, and other community spaces. To join the Village Keepers please contact blockstogether@gmail.com 

READ MORE ON OUR WEBSITE 

Blocks Together  
3711 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL, 60651