Inspiring Forward: Giving Back on the Streets of Chicago

When we think about giving back, most seek to give back to organizations or groups close to home. However, for Milley, giving back meant helping her community in some way or another. Thus, she went on a journey to help those who are less fortunate on these cold winter nights.

We met with Milley Carmona (MC), one of our ambassadors, to go over her Day of Giving experience giving back to the homeless of the Chicago streets.

AC: For your Day of Giving, what did you do?

MC: I decided to make homemade lunches for the homeless in my city. To do so, I drove around the Southside of Chicago.

AC: Awesome! So, what motivated you to do this act of kindness?

MC: I’ve always wanted to help my community out in some way, so I decided to pack a lunch for each individual I ran into that didn’t have any resources for food.

AC: How was your experience while doing this? Can you walk us through the whole process?

MC: It was an experience to remember. My fiancé was able to help me as well which was awesome. It was our first time giving back to our community together. We made ham and turkey sandwiches with 2 snacks and a water bottle for each lunch. We then drove to the Southside of Chicago, IL and started distributing our packed lunches near a shelter. Each person we handed a lunch to was very grateful and happy. It felt amazing to be able to make another person smile.

AC: From the people that you met; can you tell us what were their reasons for being homeless? Was it due to Covid-19?

MC: I didn’t want to ask, but for those who shared their stories with me; they told me they were homeless before the pandemic. However, Covid-19 has made it more difficult for an individual to obtain a spot within the shelters.

AC: Which, in turn, leaves more out on the streets without a roof or a meal. From the folks you met, were there more women or men amongst them? Can you tell us the average age range?

MC: Exactly. Which sucks. We should have enough available resources for each individual facing a crisis. I definitely saw a lot more older folks, more men than women.

AC: Agreed, and it is truly amazing what you decided to do. What would you say to encourage others to give back to their communities?

MC: “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

AC: Lastly, is there anything you’d like to tell our readers before we go?  

MC: “Go out into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” – Minor Myers