Calumet Stewardship Initiative

South Chicago Chamber of Commerce

The South Chicago Chamber of Commerce has successfully managed to blend the business and community with the social services and religious communities through some very creative and unique social services actives.   The Chamber members have supported and operated the South Chicago Hot Meals Program for the past 7 years.  This program provides free meals to local seniors and the needy; Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Over 85 participate daily.  The complete cost of this program is underwritten by contributions from local businesses as well as from local schools and church members.  These groups also underwrite community dinners on Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners held at the South Chicago YMCA.  The Chamber also sponsors  Adopt-A-Family food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas, in conjunction with the local food pantries and social service agencies.  More than 750 individuals and families are served by these efforts.

The Chamber has proven to be a huge and effective resource to the local schools in the area.  The Chamber recognizes the accomplishments of both the students (through annual cash scholarships awards) and teachers (through educator of the year recognition awards).  The group tries to match up interested business and members with local school efforts for purposes of funding, mentorship, career days and  employment. The Chamber initiated a  pilot project that has gone state wide in an effort to reduce truancy and absenteeism in local schools.  The program has now been adopted in over 100 communities across Illinois that operates under the guidelines set by the local Chamber members.

The Chamber works very closely with the City of Chicago and the State, accessing any available information that can help the community to problem solve  local issues. The group is partially funded through a grant from the Department of Planning and Development  to  provide services and to promote the business district and community. The Chamber acts as a liaison between the business and government. Every  month the Chamber  provides  a “hit list” of  local problems within the services area. The list includes potholes, graffiti, abandoned and unsecured buildings and cars etc.

 

Contact Information:  (773) 768-1221 or staff@southchicagochamber.org

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