Quick shout-out to Madhurima Chakraborty and husband Kris Stokes, who organized an online hyperlocal crafts fair to support local artisans and Oak Park Mutual Aid — all the artisans donated at least 10% of sales (some a lot more) to OPMA as part of the project. (Madhurima is now on the ballot for our local library board, and I encourage you to vote for her in April; she’d be terrific on the board.)
These are a few of the packages I have out for porch pick-up today as a result of her fair, and more importantly, we’ve raised over $800 to support OPMA, which has been offering grocery deliveries, small direct grants of cash, winter coat donations, and more, since the pandemic began.
If you missed the fair, you can still donate directly — we’re currently at a little over $40,000 of a $50,000 goal. And we’re always looking for more volunteers.
Here’s a little more information on what OPMA has done so far, and what we’re hoping to do going forward. Give if you can, and if you need a hand right now, ask.
We’re here for each other; we can get through this pandemic winter, together.
COVID-19 affects all of us, but it doesn’t affect everyone equally. We want to help those in greatest need.
– Some of your neighbors have lost their jobs and are unable to purchase groceries or pay for basic living expenses.
– Others are immuno-compromised or are actively quarantining because of sick family members and need help picking up groceries or prescriptions.
– State-level unemployment benefits are expiring for many, and future Federal relief remains unknown.
Oak Park Mutual Aid is dedicated to mitigating the ongoing impact of COVID-19 through dynamic economic and social support.
We strive to provide the following services:
– Referral to Federal, State, and other local sources of ongoing assistance
– Food Assistance
– Medication Pick Up
– Grocery Pick Up
– Limited Financial Assistance
– Referrals for Mental Health Support
– Clothing Drives
– Wellness Phone Check-ins
– Tutoring/Homework Help
Thanks to generous donors and Oak Park Mutual Aid’s volunteer network as of November 15th, 2020, we have raised more than $37,649 through GoFundMe and $16,545 through other channels.
These funds have made possible:
– $35,890+ in limited financial assistance, food, personal protection equipment, cleaning supplies, medication , and clothing
– 465+ deliveries of healthy food and other items
– 312+ online requests for assistance and referrals reviewed and fulfilled
– Help for more than 200 families and individuals in and around Oak Park, River Forest, and Forest Park
Website to learn more, request help, become a volunteer: https://oakparkmutualaid.com
The craft fair is over, but we may bring it back in the spring — you can still take a look, if you’re curious, to see what sorts of items were available, and many of the artisans have their own online stores where you can still shop: https://oakparkmutualaidcraftfair.com