By SONIA SCHLESINGER
Volunteers from the South Side and the South Suburbs packed lunches for the homeless, Saturday, June 25, at the Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave., for Hashtag Lunchbag’s monthly event.
The organization, which started in Los Angeles three years ago and grew through social media, brings people together in various locations throughout the country each Saturday to pack and distribute lunches to the homeless. Volunteers decorate brown paper bags, make sandwiches to put inside, and write personal notes to include in the bag. They are asked to donate $10 to purchase supplies for the next month’s event.
The event began in Chicago when Ebony Washington, a resident of Kenosha, Wisc., learned about the group and decided to start a regional branch. The group has worked in several locations throughout the city and came to Hyde Park last year.
“We love this location because it’s small but everyone is so friendly,” Washington said of Hyde Park. “I feel like this group represents the neighborhood well because no matter who you are, you can walk around and see people who look like you.”
According to Washington, both regulars and new groups, including girl scouts, high school students and sports teams, volunteer each month. She explained that she appreciates the common interest volunteering provides.
“I like that it doesn’t matter who you are, that you can wake up on a Saturday morning and say I want to help people, and it becomes like a party where you meet like-minded people who just want to help Chicago,” she said.
Volunteer Racquel Fullman, an Auburn-Gresham resident, agreed that she is grateful for the opportunity to help her city.
“I love knowing I can help put a smile on someone’s face even with so much violence and corruption in Chicago,” she said. “It feels good to create more peace and positivity within my city; I love it and am so grateful I found it and every month I am here.”