Everyone understands how difficult parking a car is in Oak Park. It's particularly problematic for apartment dwellers that get caught in the predicament of owning a vehicle and having no place to put it. One solution has been car sharing, and the practice of it is green and growing in Oak Park.
In their 23 years of marriage, Oak Parkers Betty and Tom Henderson danced through life. Then about two years ago, everything "flipped overnight." "The man I live with now is not the man I married," said Betty at Accolade Adult Day Services, a program run by Catholic Charities.
At Christmastime three years ago, Rose Krogh read a newspaper report about how the food shortage at the Forest Park Food Pantry had hit the opposite of critical mass. The demand for emergency food boxes to feed local individuals, families and seniors, meanwhile, was growing. Help was needed now.
On a recent Wednesday evening, Adele Cannell, was speaking English to six adults who don't speak it very well. To encourage them to reply in kind, the veteran facilitator with Literacy Volunteers of West Cook County's Conversation Café uses a white dry-erase board as she tosses out verbal prompts.
Tikisha Ellis is a 26-year-old single, working mom from Oak Park who, thanks to Lutheran Child and Family Services' Ways to Work program, is repairing her credit rating by qualifying for, and paying off, a low-interest car loan.
Four like-minded Oak Park moms, Carrie Summy, Nikki Richardson, Shobha Mahadev, and Maureen Heffern Ponicki, believe giving kids regular helpings of service opportunity will instill in them the qualities of compassion and gratitude early on, and help them "be the change" as they get older.
Every day but Sunday, people with diagnosed mental illnesses gather at 816 W. Harrison in Oak Park to find a few friendly faces. There at the NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) Metro Suburban Drop-In Center, you may find adults with bi-polar disorder or those who daily struggle with the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia.