Share the Love

Want to make your own paper heart? Download the instructions here.

Socializing from a distance.

We asked each of our team members to highlight an organization that is helping on the front lines of the pandemic. Please join us in sharing the love.


As we cope with the COVID-19 crisis, the doors to RCM will remain open to provide food and shelter for our friends and neighbors who rely on this ministry, some of whom are the most vulnerable. We continue to serve lunch 5 days a week and serve breakfast on Sunday mornings to men, women, and families. We maintain our weekly food pantry by pre-packing boxes of food for those with restricted resources. Caring for the moms and children who remain in our shelter caused us to increase our staff hours because the children are not in school. We are doing the best we can to exercise social distancing and follow mandated health practices. Learn more.


Because a third of food pantries are closed due to Covid-19, people from all over the south suburbs and Chicago’s south side are looking for help at Restoration Ministries’ pantry. To keep clients and volunteers safe, they are serving their clients curbside. They are grateful to their volunteers and friends who’ve donated food and financial support for the pantry, but could still use help. Learn more.


Rowboat Creative, a Chicago-based custom branded merchandise manufacturer whom produces merch for some of the world’s largest musicians, creatives, and designers such as Joe Freshgoods, McDonald’s, Chance The Rapper, Live Nation, Nike, etc., has launched an initiative titled “Creatives Who Care.”

The Creatives Who Care initiative not only helps keep Rowboat Creative staff employed during these uncertain times, but also reacts quickly and compassionately towards those in the service industry, music industry, and many other business entities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.


Oxfam is providing support to marginalized communities affected by Covid-19. Learn more.


A black-led, trans-led LGBTQ Center located on the South Side is delivering food to those in need via their pantry program. Learn more.


Launched in March by bartenders to help hospitality workers deal with mental health challenges that may have arisen due to the public health crisis. Learn more.


A collaboration between the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois, private philanthropy, and individuals to support the arts community during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more.


Making media and helping artists during this time. Learn more.


PAWS is finding temporary foster homes for the pets of healthcare workers who aren’t able to take care of their animals right now. Learn more.


Helping the homeless people of Chicago and currently in need of donations. Learn more.


A faith-based organization providing homes and support services for people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Learn more.

They’re looking for the following donations currently:

  • Food and gas gift cards for staff
  • Donated meals for staff or donations for meals for staff
  • Bleach wipes or sanitizer sprays
  • Disposable gowns
  • N95 masks

Reach out to Julie Sathers at 708.371.0800 or for more info on how to donate.


From Seattle to New Rochelle, from Baton Rouge to San Francisco, food banks across the country are doing what they do best – feeding people in need within their communities. The Feeding America network is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States including in disasters and national emergencies. Learn more.


There is no known end date in this fight against coronavirus and the Red Cross needs the help of blood and platelet donors and blood drive hosts to maintain a sufficient blood supply for weeks to come. In times of crisis, the Red Cross is fortunate to witness the best of humanity as people roll up a sleeve to help those in need. They greatly appreciate the generosity of the public to keep hospital shelves stocked during this uncertain time. Learn more.

Coping with Covid.

We also wanted to share some ways our team is coping with social distancing and passing the time at home.

I’ve been making an artisan bread from Ken Forkish’s James Beard Award Winning Book “Flour Water Salt Yeast.” The dough can be cut in half so that one can make an artisan loaf of bread in a dutch oven and the other half can be used as pizza dough. For whatever reason, it’s a process I find incredibly relaxing and my kids go crazy for the pizza and the bread.

I’ve been working on a quilt that is entirely hand sewn, very tedious and time consuming, and perfect for working on while watching Netflix.

I’ve spent a lot of time cooking and trying out new recipes. I’ve even started my own ‘fermentation station’ (a la Brad Leone from Bon Appétit) with kombucha and a couple bread starters. When I’m not cooking I spend my time learning new opera arias and practicing my craft. Oh, and I’m also super obsessed with Animal Crossing.

My favorite shelter-in-place experience has been to engage in a family bookclub. Currently, we are reading a mystery titled The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. The book choice was made by the kids for entire family participation. Our common goal of reading and discussing the book has forced us to pick up the book instead of the remote (or our devices for anything other than reading), and find various creative and inviting spots to read either together or on our own. Pictured here is our outside oasis, one of our favorite spots to read.

We’ve been making smoothies every night, using whatever ingredients we have on hand. The winner so far: almond milk, OJ, bananas, raspberries, blueberries, greek coconut yogurt, granola, and ice.

Really just trying to keep my mind busy and engaged as much as I can. Aside from projects around the house and yard, I’ve been writing letters to friends, working through some long shelved creative ideas, and drawing for my own pleasure.

Our neighborhood is low enough density that we’re able to take walks without violating social distancing. We’ve started ‘scavenger hunts’ where we look for a variety of different things we can spy around the neighborhood.

During the quarantine we are trying to recreate our usual day-to-day activities. We can play soccer in our backyard just like we usually do out on the soccer field, and board games can still take place during the evenings. I really think mental health is very important during these times.

Shelter in place orders don’t really change much on the rural Michigan homestead I share with my husband Andy. However without the tri-weekly 4-hour round trip commute to Chicago, I’ve found more time to focus on healthy living, staying active, and checking in with friends and family across the country. Whether that’s trying out new plant-based dinner recipes with Andy’s homegrown veggies, finally hitting fitness goals, or FaceTiming with my two-year-old niece Lila in NY; I’m thankful for the positive aspects of slowing down. Now that the weather is finally nice, one of mine and Andy’s favorite outdoor social distancing activities is paddleboarding. You can catch us on Paradise Lake any sunny day.

I have been making short recordings of songs that make me happy. I try to keep it simple as I can; whatever I can make in 15 minutes using my voice, hands, earbuds, and garage band on my iPhone. This is a picture of “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King.

I’ve been spending as much time as I can with my puppy! We love all the extra time!

I’ve been making veggie chicken nuggets (by Morning Star) and putting them in salads – it’s a really easy way to eat protein and veggies, and it uses ingredients that haven’t been sold out in grocery stores so far. I also invested in a hand crank washing machine as a way to avoid having to use the public machines in my building.

Just as I was prone to do in pre-Covid times, I’m doing way too many things while sheltering-in-place; cooking, baking, remodeling, socializing (from a distance). Over this past week, however, I decided to pump the brakes and enjoy a state-mandated excuse to slow down a bit. Jenny and I are taking walks with our dog Porter (while judging youths who aren’t 6 ft apart), doing puzzles, obsessing over Animal Crossing. It’s important in these uncertain, stressful times to remember to take a breath, relax for a minute, and eat a big ol’ slice of that sourdough boule.

Each day we have a 10 minute Lego challenge. One family member decides the topic for that day’s challenge, and then we all need to build something related to that topic in 10 minutes. The above topic was vacation.

We’re trying to keep up structure and routine to each day, starting by actually getting out of our pajamas. Cooking together has become a favorite activity, along with cultivating a vegetable garden in the backyard. A few months ago we adopted our puppy, Buddy, and training him has become quite the family project. I’m very grateful that our entire Cultivate team has been able to adapt to working from home and finding new and creative ways to meet the needs of our clients—as many of our clients have been significantly impacted by this pandemic, and some who are working right on the frontlines to serve and protect our communities.