Stories

Subscribe to our updates below.

2 minutes reading time (354 words)

Two Chicago Organizations Soothe the Pain of Loss on a Celebrated Holiday

Source: Chicago Tribune

The Saturday before Mother's Day, for three years running, Tamar Manasseh has thrown a party. It's on the corner of 75th Street and Stewart Avenue in Englewood. There's a band. There's a DJ. There's a photo booth. There's a whole lot of food.

Manasseh is the founder of Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings, a 3-year-old group that sits watch and builds community in one of Chicago's most violence-plagued neighborhoods — the neighborhood where Manasseh grew up. Volunteers gather in lawn chairs, talk, listen to music and serve as a block club of sorts. They're out daily in the summer, and they take the fall, winter and spring months off. The Mother's Day party is a bit of a "We're back," as well as a chance to honor moms on a holiday that, for many, is tinged by grief and loss.

This year, in addition to music and photos and food and friendship, there will be flowers.

Flowers for Dreams, a West Loop-based florist that donates 25 percent of its profits to a different charity each month, selected M.A.S.K. as its May charity.

"It made sense to really put them on a pedestal in May," Flowers for Dreams co-founder and CEO Steven Dyme told me.

But here's the really beautiful part. Also for May, Dyme's shop offered customers a chance to buy a $15 bouquet to donate to a mom who has lost a child to gun violence, which Flowers for Dreams staffers will hand-deliver to Saturday's party.

"It's a chance to send a bouquet to a mother who may not have someone to send her flowers," Dyme said. "I don't want to overstate our impact. I'm sure it's very little. But I think what flowers do really well is let you know someone cares. Some of the moms may not be getting a lot of those signs on a regular basis, so I think it's kind of cool that we can let them know someone in the community cares."

The bouquets, 80 of them, sold out in four hours. 

Read the full story.

This is a story about the Community Safety and Peace strategy of the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities.


From Exception to Norm
Guardians of Garfield Park

Everyone who cares deeply about Chicago’s future can play a role.

If you are an employer, you can hire young people at risk. If you are a community leader, you can help improve police-community relations. If you are a health care provider, you can support trauma-informed care to gun violence victims. If you are a funder, you can support any one of these efforts. Whatever you do, your voice matters when you speak up in support of policies that can make our neighborhoods safer. Reach out to learn more.

Privacy Policy and Terms of Use |  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.