In Chicago’s Auburn Gresham community struggling to survive isn’t new. The covid-19 pandemic has only made things worse. So anonymous Black donors are pooling their resources to tackle food insecurity and help the residents.
Makiea Love is a lifelong resident of the neighborhood that is 96 percent Black. In a report by ABC News, Love shared their plight.
“In this area we don’t have a lot of the resources that we need to have, whether it is dealing with food or dealing with health, just the everyday things that people need, the necessities we have to have,” Love told ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts.
According to ABC News, Auburn Gresham is considered ground zero for covid-19 in Chicago, and the state of Illinois overall, as the location of the first fatality from the virus.
With unemployment on the rise and herself being furloughed Love sad she didn’t know how she would provide for her daughter. “It is challenging… the first thing that went into my mind was, How am I getting ready to feed my child every day, all day?” Love said.
She is one of many across the country.
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Enter a network of anonymous Black donors working with charities like Chicago’s Greater Auburn Development Corporation, Detroit-based Focus Hope and the Black Entertainment Network (BET).
“What we really understand is that as a community we have to take care of ourselves, we can’t rely on anyone else to take care of ourselves,” Mills told ABC News.
The Greater Auburn Development Corporation changed its business model to focus solely on covid-19 relief and offer things like rent assistance, food distribution, testing, etc.
Focus Hope was able to offer struggling families $500 vouchers and Bet President Scott Mills raised $17 million to help Black communities with covid-19 relief, ABC News reported.
“While the country was focused on how this was going to impact the country at large, we were very specifically focused on, Holy cow, the effect of this on the African American community is going to be uniquely devastating because it’s going to compound these preexisting conditions,” Mills added.
Love is happy to hear that privileged people who look like her are not only sympathetic to her plight, but allocating resources to help mitigate it.
“We are very intelligent people…. I’m grateful to hear that…. It actually encourages me more to keep going, one day I will be on the other side helping the next person giving back to my community,” Love said.