After a terrible snowstorm this weekend, Chicagos’ streets and sidewalks were covered in snow and ice. In Chatham, a community on the South Side of Chicago, some areas accumulated up to a foot in snow.
Elderly residents of the Chatham community reached out to community leader and volunteer Jahmal Cole with a single request: Residents needed help clearing the snow in front of their homes. Some residents experienced so much snow that they could not leave their homes.
Cole decided to reach out to others in the community for help. He sent out a tweet on Friday night asking for 10 volunteers to come to Chatham on Saturday morning to help him shovel the snow.
Chicago, I need (10) volunteers to help me shovel for seniors tomorrow. I’m getting too many emails from elderly folks that need help. Meet me at the 79th St. Red Line stop at 10:00 am tomorrow. I got hoodies, hats and lunch for anybody that comes through. #formyblock pic.twitter.com/8Gb86cK3IH
— Jahmal Cole (@formyblockchi) February 10, 2018
When Cole showed up at the train station on Saturday morning with hopes of greeting 10 volunteers, he was floored. 120 people made the journey to Chatham to help Cole shovel – all as a result of Cole’s Friday night tweet.
Cole told the press, “The people who showed up, they showed that whether people have privilege or don’t have privilege, everyone recognizes a need.”
There were so many volunteers that Cole had to go out and buy more shovels, using money from his non-profit My Block My Hood My City. While shoveling snow is not an official mission of My Block My Hood My City, the organization dedicates itself to helping kids in the South Side of Chicago expand their horizons.
Cole’s tweet has been shared on Twitter more than 22,000 times and received more than 64,000 likes.
After the volunteers finished shoveling numerous sidewalks and streets, Cole and many of the volunteers went to a neighborhood restaurant to have lunch together.
“I’m proud of our city. We’re getting things done,” Cole said. “People could have been doing anything in the world. They could have been home with families or making snowmen, but they came out to help.”