Chicagoans Aren’t Waiting on Lightfoot to Begin Cleanup, Rebuilding

Teens organized cleanups on the West Side. (Facebook) Teens organized cleanups on the West Side. (Facebook)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced her administration will allocate $10 million in funds to support businesses damaged by recent riots and looting, but Chicagoans aren’t waiting on help from the city to begin rebuilding.

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Neighbors are taking care of one another, sweeping up broken glass, raising money for repairs or to bail out protestors, and distributing food and other essentials to those who’ve lost access to grocers and drugstores.

Chance the Rapper and fellow entertainers have organized assistance; groups have launched GoFundMe sites; chambers of commerce and nonprofits have marshalled resources and launched their own small business relief programs; and local teens have mobilized volunteers.

“Chicago had a necessary breakdown,” one volunteer posted to social media. “I grabbed a broom and some bags. I’m cleaning up my community on behalf of my people.”

We’ve collected images and information about various cleanup efforts, including some being planned for later in the week. In addition to the social media accounts featured below, some groups are using the hashtags #southsidecleanup and #chicagocleanup to spread the word about volunteer opportunities.  


All I can say is, one day I hope that these photos will only be memories of what was and proof of a time in history that was a part of what led to a permanent change. One thing is for certain, the media is highlighting the chaos but all I saw today was love, unity, and humanity. From a range of ages, men, women, boys, and girls all from diverse cultures. I can say I hope I dont have to do something like this again, (as a result of such devastation) but I thank God to know that there are so many more for each other than against. Thank you to all those who responded to the call with 1 days notice and came out to help make these moves with me!! (I didnt coordinate all these people pictured the community came thru from all over but we had a small mighty group nonetheless) #blacklivesmatter #justiceforblacklives #GeorgeFloyd #cleanupchicago

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Jun 2, 2020 at 10:52pm PDT












If you aren’t busy come help us out!!!

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Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 | [email protected]


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