Donation campaigns and community rallies held across Chicago in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS)– From giving drives and community gatherings to family yards, many local events took place Monday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Day is traditionally a day of service, with people encouraged to volunteer to better their communities to honor Dr. King’s legacy.

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That’s why volunteers gathered for an MLK Day wrap party at UCAN Chicago in North Lawndale, and organizers said it was a party for a good cause.

According to Melanie Ware of the Chicago Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, members of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and Omega Psi Phi fraternity prepare hygiene kits for the homeless and for families at Ronald McDonald House.

“We have soap, hand warmers, masks, toothbrush, toothpaste,” she said.

Organizers said it was all in the mind of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

“He was drum major for peace and justice, but he was also for community, and so that’s what we’re excited to do today,” Ware said.

“We all come from a place where maybe people are unhappy, or we know someone who is unhappy, and now is the time for us to be able to give back,” said Dagogo Obomanu, of the Rho Mu Mu Chapter. of Omega Psi Phi.

The packing party was just one of many events taking place on MLK Day. Because we are still dealing with a pandemic, some others are holding their celebration virtually, including the official City of Chicago MLK Service Day.

The virtual event started at 10 a.m. with a virtual ceremony and Mayor Lori Lightfoot was in attendance. The second part of the event will continue in person at Kellman Elementary School.

Meanwhile, Rainbow Push moves forward with its 32nd annual MLK celebration. The breakfast event was virtual on Facebook and YouTube.

Then there’s the Chicago History Museum Family Event from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The day’s activities are free with admission to the museum, which is also free for Illinois residents on Mondays.

Events include a youth poetry workshop, musical performances and a panel discussion on Chicago’s housing rights movement.

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If you plan to attend museum events, you must wear a mask and show proof of vaccination to enter.

The DuSable Museum of African American History is hosting various virtual events from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., including a screening of the 1999 film Our friend Martin, a public conversation about King’s legacy and a meditation workshop.

From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the nonprofit group Ladies of Virtue is hosting an event to distribute groceries, school supplies and PPE to people living in Oakley Square apartments on the Near West Side. Organizers said 80% of households in the apartment complex earn just $10,000 a year.

At Cook County Forest Preserves, volunteers can help clean up litter and undertake ecological restoration efforts at various locations. Bags and gloves will be provided. Contact [email protected] or [email protected] with any questions.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Cradles to Crayons is collecting donations of children’s items to help those in need. You can donate winter clothes like coats, boots and scarves as well as other necessary items.

Check out the purple donation boxes at any of the 34 Chicago-area drop-off locations listed below:

  • Acorn Library – 15624 Central Ave., Oak Forest, IL 60452
  • Alcott Center – 530 Bernard Dr., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
  • Alternatives, Inc. – 4730 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60640
  • Aw Yeah Comics – 7925 Lincoln Ave., Skokie, IL 60077
  • Bank of America – 1301 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville, Illinois 60563
  • Bank of America – 1300 N. Arlington Heights Rd., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
  • Buffalo Grove Park Community Arts Center – 225 McHenry Rd., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
  • North Central Chicago Children’s Lighthouse – 2600 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago, IL 60618
  • Cloud and Bunny – 1600 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago, IL 60613
  • Creative Scholars Preschool – 1735 N Elston Ave., Chicago, IL 60642
  • East Bank Storage – 429 W. Ohio St., Chicago, IL 60654
  • Edgewater Playhouse – 1048 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, IL 60660
  • Flying High Sports & Rec Center – 5400 East Ave., Countryside, IL 60525
  • Fry Family YMCA – 2120 W., 2120 95th St., Naperville, IL 60564
  • Highwood Public Library – 102 Highwood Ave, Highwood, IL 60040
  • Indian Frontier YMCA – 711 59th Street, Downers Grove, IL 60516
  • Jewett Park Community Center – 836 Jewett Park Drive, Deerfield, IL 60015
  • Lake View YMCA – 3333 N Marshfield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
  • Little Beans Cafe – 430 Asbury Ave, Evanston, IL 60202
  • Ravenswood Mathnasium – 1754 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
  • McGuane Park – 2901 S Poplar Ave, Chicago, IL 60608
  • Moonwalker Café – 4101 W. Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60641
  • Quilter’s Trunk – 10352 S. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60643
  • Reebie Storage and Moving Co – 2325 N. Clark St. #300, Chicago, IL 60614
  • Soul 2 Sole Dance Inc. – 799 Central Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035
  • South Side YMCA – 6330 S. Stony Island Ave., Chicago, IL 60637
  • StudioUs – 4806 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640
  • The Donation Factory – 4141 W. George St. Chicago, IL 60641
  • Timeless Toys – 4749 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625
  • Tiny Tots Incorporated – 2603-2611 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
  • Ultimate Ninjas Chicago – 2915 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
  • Universal Source of Wellness – 1902 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
  • West Cook YMCA – 255 S Marion St, Oak Park, IL 60302
  • Windy City Fieldhouse – 2367 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647
  • Kangaroo Kids – 4161 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Also at 10 a.m., the Greater Englewood Residents Association is hosting a community rally and gift giving event at Lindlom Park.

There will be booths for COVID tests, vaccines as well as food and voter registration.

Rainbow Push is hosting a virtual celebration at 10 a.m. The event is open to the public, but you must register online.

Then there are the Chicago History Museum’s in-person events that kick off at 10:30 a.m.

Events include a youth poetry workshop, musical performances and a panel discussion on Chicago’s housing rights movement.

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If you plan to attend museum events, you must wear a mask and show proof of vaccination to enter.

Sara H. Byrd