Here’s how some Chicagoans helped each other during the pandemic’s toughest days

Like the woman who started radiation for breast cancer the day the COVID shutdown began and says of her neighbors, ‘People I had never met left their only supplies on my porch and asked for nothing in return.’

SHARE Here’s how some Chicagoans helped each other during the pandemic’s toughest days
In one example of Chicago neighbors helping one another, professional musicians Mary Jo Neher, Jeremiah Frederick, Joanna Schulz and John Schreckengost, all laid off due to the pandemic, played a free backyard concert for their Horner Park neighbors last July.

In one example of Chicago neighbors helping one another, professional musicians Mary Jo Neher, Jeremiah Frederick, Joanna Schulz and John Schreckengost, all laid off due to the pandemic, played a free backyard concert for their Horner Park neighbors last July.

Pat Nabong / Sun-Times file

In the toughest times of the coronavirus pandemic, people had to rely on each other more than ever. And they routinely came through for each other.

That’s what readers told us when we asked Chicagoans to tell us about their experiences with neighbors helping one another during the past 16 months. Some answers have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

“My neighbors in Rogers Park picked up my prescriptions, brought me masks and Lysol, returned my library books because I was hesitant to go out.” —Ayani Good

“On my block, everyone helped our elderly neighbors with the yard work and lawn care. Good to see my neighbors doing good things.” — Mary Constanzo

“Sharing baked goods, exchanging magazines and checking on each other every other day.” —JoAnn Hartford

“Local restaurants in Bucktown, Wicker Park and West Town brought the community together to donate money for meals to those in need. There was a crew that bought out local tamale vendors in the morning, keeping them paid and warm. They distributed the tamales to the homeless, keeping them fed.” —Starr Spencer

My neighbors cooked for one another, offered to run errands for others who were medically compromised.” — Tamara Fermaint

We kept texting each other to make sure everyone was OK. And some offered to get groceries if needed.” — Linda Brons Douglas

“I bought a big pool last summer! With pools and beaches closed, I saved our summer. They said it was the best summer they had!” —Annie Lopez

We seniors looked out for one another by sharing cleaning products and food. We shared masks because sometimes you had to go out. Meals on Wheels gave extra food boxes during the really tough beginning days of the pandemic. I don’t eat pork, so I shared what I didn’t need with others. We let each other know what stores had essential supplies so we could survive. And those on my block did. I did lose three friends to COVID who lived in other cities.” — Gale Watson

“I started daily radiation treatments for breast cancer on the first day of the statewide shutdown. My neighbors made sure I had hand sanitizer, Lysol wipes, etc., when there was none to be found in stores. People I had never met left their only supplies on my porch and asked for nothing in return. People are still good!” —Anna Casey

The Latest
The fire began in the basement of a house in the 4000 block of West Potomac Avenue about 12:20 a.m., officials said.
Alex Lyon stopped all 28 shots in the 4-0 victory in Game 5
State Sen. Darren Bailey had been seeking Trump’s endorsement for months. The downstate farmer met with Trump last year and attended a fundraiser in April in which he snapped a photo with the former president.
Offense has scored three runs in its last three losses to the Orioles, who entered Saturday’s game with a 4.10 ERA - 12th in the AL