Want to help? Stay at home, give to those affected

For those of us not on the front lines of the response to COVID-19, figuring out where to turn to help can be daunting. Both traditional and innovative ways to leverage one's resources in support of the cause are available, and we've listed a few below with Hinsdale ties - opportunities to join this fight, together.

• HCS Family Services has seen demand for its services grow during the pandemic and is working with Northern Illinois Food Bank and other suppliers to purchase incremental food for its two food pantries. For those able to donate items, urgent needs include pasta and pasta sauce, cereal, pancake mix, canned tuna chicken, rice, household cleaning supplies, toilet paper and paper towels. Financial donations are also appreciated to allow the agency to purchase items in greatest demand.

For information, visit https://www.hcsfamilyservices.org/ways-to-give/donate.

• DuPage County has launched the first Giving DuPage Days event, a month-long effort through May 14 to rally together nonprofits to bring awareness to the work organizations are doing to support local communities. Assistance League Chicagoland West in Hinsdale, which serves the needy of DuPage and western Cook counties, is among the agencies participating.

To learn more, visit https://www.givingdupageday.org/organizations/assistance-league-chicagoland-west.

• DuPage Pads in urgent need of donations for the homeless population it serves through partners, including Redeemer Church of Hinsdale. The organization especially is requesting food donations of bottled water, microwave meals and granola bars, among other items, and supplies like paper plates and bowls, paper towels and Ziplock bags. Donations can be placed in the curbside bins located at the DuPagePads Client Service Center, 703 W. Liberty Drive, Wheaton, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Questions should be emailed to [email protected].

• Hinsdale resident John Schmidt alerted to us a group he recently became involved with - in partnership with his fraternity brothers from the University of Illinois - called Feed the Front Line Chicago

"It is a simple concept: they raise money to buy meals at local restaurants and deliver them to hospitals, police and fire fighters," Schmidt related.

The effort is part of national initiative to both show appreciation for frontline workers and support local restaurants hit hard by the restrictions in place. As of Wednesday, the cause was about $500 short of its $20,000 goal as posted at https://www.gofundme.com/f/feed-the-frontline-chicagoland.

"You make a donation to us via this Go Fund Me page or our Venmo account. Imagine the $10 you would spend on an Italian beef sandwich at Portillo's, on a cold beer at happy hour or on your morning coffee ...donate that money to us, and we'll make sure it gets to frontline workers who need it!" the site reads.

• Along those lines locally, The Hinsdalean is offering yard signs to express thanks for frontline workers for a $10 contribution to a fund that has already provided staff at Amita Hinsdale Hospital with gifts cards from village eateries and Hinsdale police and fire personnel meals from local restaurants.

Signs are available in front of the office at 7 W. First St., and donations should be left in the mailbox outsides (which is checked regularly).