My Personal Donation List

No pressure:). Just wanted to share the list of fundraising efforts/organizations which I support during these difficult times.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Chicago’s bars were hit hard from day one, because they can’t even switch to the carry-out/delivery. I’ve already posted this fundraiser:

US Beverage Group : https://www.usbgfoundation.org/covid-19-response

And here are two more, for those people who’ve been in Chicago, been there with me, and might remember the people behind the names of the places.

Elixer/Replay Andersonville: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-the-replay-andersonville?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet

The Gage: https://www.gofundme.com/f/gage-hospitality-group-emloyee-relief-fund?utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_email%2B5102-48hr-donor-share

Both of those are relief funds, not to support the business itself, but to give directly to all these people who greeted you with a smile and sent to your tables “desserts on the house.”

And now about most vulnerable people.

I made an additional donation to the Night Ministry. Volunteers can’t help anymore, and you can (or can’t!) imagine what Chicago’s homeless population is experiencing these days.

And also to the Greater Chicago Food depository: https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/

Their situation was far from perfect even before the current events, and now it is worse than ever.

Also, all of the museums where I am a member promise to extend the membership to the duration of time they are going to stay close. I am planning to renew at my regular time and donate the unused money. And I think I will do the same with my CSO subscription and with Whenever Goodman.

That might be a very egotistical list, but I wanted to share.

If You Want to Help …

I wrote a couple of days ago, that tipped workers are in my list of the categories I worry most. In normal life, you could hardly think that bartenders and homeless have something in common, but not these days. Both of these categories of people were hurt the most by all the dining establishments being closed.  

Today, I asked Vlad how I can help. One thing he pointed out (and he already posted it earlier on his Facebook) – you could donate to the USBG COVID-19 Relief Effort. First, I wanted to write – if you want to have any of that industry alive when life gets back to normal. But you know – it does not really matter. Just donate. If you can.

The State of the United States

I don’t understand how officials of all ranks issue their orders without even thinking about the consequences—both for the economy in general and for each person.

I can’t imagine the impact on the entertainment/catering/restaurant business. All so sudden and so abrupt. I talked to Vlad yesterday; he said he would be fine, but he worries about other employees in the bar, people who are paid hourly wages, and who now will get no paid time off, and no tips. That is such a significant portion of the country’s population! They have no safety net, no savings. When I was talking to Vlad, just twenty hours ago, he was saying that the closing will only apply to bars and restaurants, that the fast-food cafes will stay open – not anymore!

I do not understand how people are expected to manage: schools are closed, daycare facilities closed, and you should not ask grandparents to babysit, and you are still supposed to work. And some are not even allowed to work from home.

Last week I was saying that the world is canceled. But I was optimistic – this week, it is even more so now. I could not even imagine how many things could be canceled. Most of my volunteering is canceled, including the youth shelter; they do not reply to my emails, although they sent a generic email about preventive measures. I do not want to think that I was the only person who answered that I could come. The Forest preserve volunteering was canceled last weekend, which made me mad – ten people outside – really? The weather was bad anyway, but I was still upset with the fact itself. The only volunteering which is keeping the schedule is Clinic escorts. I went to escort on Saturday. It was a bad idea because it was cold, and I do not tolerate the cold when I need to stand in one place. But I felt I needed to do at least something good.

Continue reading “The State of the United States”

In Connection with School Closing

Yesterday, it happened that I was listening to Mayor Lori’s announcement of the city schools closing. Five minutes into her speech, she said: “We all know that school is not only about education but also about meals.” And it was so appropriate! In the Chicago Public Schools district in many schools, over 90% of students receive free or reduced meals (breakfast and lunch). During the teachers’ strikes, schools remained open from 8 to 12, to distribute reduced and free meals. And now, when schools will be closed, they will continue to serve as food distribution centers. Parents will be able to receive three days’ worth of food at any given time over the next two weeks. And if the parents won’t be able to collect the food, they can request delivery to their homes.

I am not sure why I am writing about this, but it was such a right thing to do!

I Voted!

I voted in the primaries last Sunday, March 8, the first day when I could early-vote.  

The Greater Palatine Area Democrats newsletter stated that in Palatine Township, we are seeing a 64% increase in Early Voting so far, over the first week of Early Voting in the 2016 Primary. And more than three-fourths (1,299) of those ballots are Democratic. And this is great!

It was tough for me to cast my vote after all of my favorite candidates dropped from the race, and I had difficult conversations with my children about the situation. They both decided to vote for Sanders; as for Vlad, he was going to vote for Sanders from the very beginning. When we talked with Vlad, I mentioned that I agree with 95% of what Sanders is saying, but… And Vlad interrupted me: what are the 5% you do not agree with? I stopped to think for a moment and realized that it’s not something on his agenda that I disagree with, but rather I do not like his personality. And when I realized that I thought that I should vote for ideas, not for a personality. 

And one more thing. When we talked with Vlad, he mentioned how many people got out to vote for the first time in their lives because of Sanders. And I thought that if each of us is thinking about “who is electable,” we all won’t vote for the candidate we prefer, because we all think they are not electable. But if we all would vote for the candidate of our choice, then they may become very electable. 

And that’s why I voted the way I voted 🙂

March for Life, and a Very Small Protest

It is hard for me to write about Saturday’s events because I feel like we (pro-choice activists) lost miserably. I am going to copy the summary of the even from Igor’s Flicker album: 

Album description

Every year, on the second Saturday of January, pro-life groups organize March for Life in downtown Chicago. This year, one new addition was a pro-life organizations convention and an evening banquet at Congress Hotel. (You had to pay to get into the banquet, but the convention was free, but you had to register ahead of time)

This year, the pro-life groups assembled at the Daley Plaza for a rally featuring several pro-life speakers. Then, they marched toward the Congress Hotel, where they had another rally and some prayer circles out front, even as some marchers slowly but surely headed out, and some groups boarded the buses to get to… whereever it was they came from.

There are usually counter-protesters, and, this time, they assembled at the southeast corner of Dearborn/Washington. My mom, who was there earlier, mentioned that there were speakers, and a number of pro-choice activists attended. But by the time I crossed to the pro-choice side after taking the photos at the Daley Plaza, most of them were gone, and Revolutionary Communist Party members and affiliates took the position. They mostly chanted about kicking out Trump and Pence, and about no war in Iran, with only occasional pro-choice chants. When the March for Life left the plaza, the pro-choice chanting (and some pro-choice taunting) started at its earnest. While a few pro-lifers did try to talk to the Communists, and some pro-lifers clearly wanted to shout at the Communists, it didn’t get beyond shouting.

Also, there was a “patriot” group at the southwest corner of Dearborn/Washington. While RevComm shouted some anti-war slogans, members of the group shouted something along the lines of “no war in Iran, save the babies!”

Igor

So – yes. I knew about the counter-protest, but the weather was miserable, actually, let me put it very miserable. For a moment, I was not sure whether I am going to go. Still, after all, I did, and I am glad I did! 

Yes, there were speeches, and I recorded a couple, but I was really upset with the low number of pro-choice activists that showed up. The picture looked horrific, and Igor’s pictures look even scarier… I can’t understand why so many people are … just not getting it! 

Continue reading “March for Life, and a Very Small Protest”

The Confrontation

Igor wrote an article about last week’s rally, which was finally published a couple of days ago. When being at the rally, he took a lot of pictures, of which I wanted to show these two.

Pro-life and pro-choice activists face off
Pro-choice counter-protesters move to a pedestrian island

Can’t stress enough – it’s scary when there are fifteen of you against the five hundred. Marching with thousands feels good. Standing against the big crowd requires courage.

The Counter Rally Against Pro-Life Activists

The first political protest I ‘ve organized happened on January 2017, and that was a very successful one. But back that everybody was freshly angry with Trump, and in three days it grew from four people going to come to seven hundred people who came. But again, it was back then. And a reason for the protest was an elected official who didn’t want to meet with his constituents. 

That time was different. Only 15 people had shown up. And a protest itself was different.

***

Igor forwarded to me this facebook event more than two months ago. The pro-life people were planning a big rally in my hometown. My first reaction was: I can’t stay silent. I thought that if I don’t speak, any woman in Palatine who faces abortion will feel like committing a horrible sin. My second reaction was: that’s my hometown. A small one. Everybody knows everybody. I knew the rally was going to be huge. I felt scared to stand against my neighbors. 

And then, this email was sitting in my inbox for quite a while. And after quite a while, I forwarded it to one of the escort leaders. She replied – thank you! We will send somebody. And then again, nothing happened. Then I’ve sent it to the leader of the women section of the local OFA. 

Things finally started to get in motion, and I saw that the counter-rally began to appear on the calendars of many progressive groups. At some moment, I was still not sure whether anybody would come. As I’ve said, there were only 15 of us, and when the pro-life people came, they blocked our signs, and we had to move to the opposite side of the intersection. Their rally was massive. We learned later that many of the rally participants came from other places, but it felt like the whole town is against us. 

We are getting ready
Continue reading “The Counter Rally Against Pro-Life Activists”

A Letter from the Night Ministry CEO

As most of my friends know, I am a long-time friend and supporter of the Night Ministry – an organization that provides food, shelter, medical services, and emotional support for the homeless population of Chicagoland.

Below is the email I received as a Night Ministry supporter several days ago. I have nothing to add to it, except of now, since the president is going to deny a health coverage for millions of people … time for another post, but first – email.

Continue reading “A Letter from the Night Ministry CEO”