BPI Recommends Ways to Take Action During COVID-19

As the reality of the COVID-19 crisis became clear to the staff at BPI, we quickly pivoted to working from home for the health and safety of our team.  Like many of you, we were unsure at first how that transition would go.  Our office is relatively small and our work, highly collaborative.  And while we miss our kitchen chats around the coffee pot and the ability to pop into a colleague’s office for a quick meeting, we’re happy to report that everyone at BPI is doing well under the new – and ever-changing – circumstances.

Our program work continues, and just as importantly, we’re also taking time to identify new ways to get engaged in the communities we serve and the places we live.  To that end, BPI has put together a list of ways to take action and support the people, places, and things that are important to us, both professionally and personally.  This list is by no means exhaustive, and we’ll continue to update it as new opportunities present themselves.

At a time when it’s easy to feel everything is out of our control, finding new (or more) ways to take action is providing us at BPI with a measure of feeling empowered.  We hope you’ll take a moment to check out the links below and share them within your own networks.

Make Your Voice Heard

  • Housing Action Illinois is asking Illinois residents to call and email their senators and representatives to demand robust resources for low-income people and those experiencing homelessness during and after this crisis.  Look up your elected officials online to get started.
  • The ACLU has created a petition that calls for an immediate reduction in the numbers of people in immigration detention, starting with the release of those most vulnerable to serious illness or death. Add your name to the 25,000+ signatories.
  • The Obama Foundation is sharing Stories of Hope on their website, calling upon people from every corner of the globe to share the stories—big and small—that are lifting their spirits.  Add your own story to the growing list.
  • Brave Space Alliance is collecting donations by mail and via Amazon Wish List for their COVID-19 Crisis Pantry that prioritizes the needs of queer and trans folks on the south side of Chicago.  Visit their website to see all the ways to get involved.
Spotted at a local business, this hand-made sign was created by the young neighbor of BPI staff member.

Donate

  • The City of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust, and United Way of Metro Chicago have partnered to create the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, which is raising funds from philanthropic, corporate, and individual donors for nonprofits across Chicagoland. Donate here.
  • Ounce of Prevention supporting families living in under-resourced communities with support for working remotely or finding suitable short-term child care so that they can continue to earn an income. Many will be forced to stay home—likely without pay—for the foreseeable future. Donate here.
  • Feeding America is coordinating hunger-relief efforts across the country for food banks and the individuals they serve. Learn more and take action here.

Find Resources

  • Forefront has launched an online COVID-19 Resource Page for nonprofits, funders, and other supporters.  Topic range from human resource concerns to technology challenges to storytelling during a time of crisis. Browse the list of resources to see how you can support a nonprofit where you work or volunteer.
  • South Side Weekly created the COVID-19 South Side Community Resource Guide, a collection of items of particular relevance to South Siders, including information about unemployment benefits, public health, elder care, emergency food assistance, housing and tenants rights, and more.
  • Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights has assembled a list of legal and funding resources for small businesses and nonprofits.  For general legal assistance, Cook County residents can call CARPLS at 312-738-9200.
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