UPDATE 2-12-18 Shout out to all the volunteers and neighbors who came out last weekend. We did some real good shoveling for seniors. Check out the highlights and hoodie up at formyblock.org/inventory

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Ay Reddit, what’s good? This is Jahmal Cole, founder of My Block, My Hood, My City. Today I was shocked to find we made it to the front page of Reddit for trying to shovel snow for seniors in Chicago. Thanks for the support.

IamA volunteer, I started an organization that takes teenagers from under-resourced community areas on educational field trips. A lot of Chicago teens have never been downtown nor seen the Lake. This reality is tragic.”My Social Impact Org

Today 65 people from 40 different communities shoveled for seniors on Chicago’s south side. Thank you all for showing up for a more interconnected Chicago. Want to support our mission but can’t make it out? Go to My Block My Hoo d My City at formyblock.org/inventory

I’m here to talk about anything from shovels to scholarships, so AMA!

EDIT 12:19am: trying to keep up with the good questions as best I can. Thanks to all.

EDIT 10:00am The snow is still coming down and we're determined to help as many seniors as possible. Meet me at 10:30am at the 79th St Red Line to lend a hand or get out on your own block and shovel for a neighbor. Join the movement by using #formyblock. Hoodie Up at formyblock.org/inventory

EDIT 1:00pm 2/11 My colleague Brittany is texting me the top questions and posting my replies while we out shoveling, so I can keep up!

We got 3 volunteers today all from Reddit posts as far away as Indiana #formyblock Thanks Reddit

Comments: 1242 • Responses: 24  • Date: 

Archer24084490 karma

Props to you for being your neighborhood's hero in their time of need, but who's your favorite superhero?

formyblock5744 karma

Gambit from X-Man

Cuntosaurusrexx70 karma

Keep up the amazing work you do for your community. You are a role model to a lot of people even if you dont know it. Stay strong and never give up on your passions and dreams. You deserve the respect of everyone and so much more.

formyblock48 karma

Thank you!

SnikkiDoodle_313337 karma

How did the seniors in need know to email you?

formyblock3423 karma

Local News.

continuouslyconfused2746 karma

What’s your favorite type of shovel?

formyblock3800 karma

I like the metal shovels. Most durable.

JLev_2469 karma

How's your back?

formyblock5493 karma

Doing better than some. Worse than others. I’m good, man. Thanks for asking. 😎

DmacNYC2155 karma

How do I get some of your gear, sweatshirt? To help support you and your mission?

formyblock2579 karma

Thanks for asking. Merch

Thatonedude251841 karma

What inspired you to start your organization and help others? I really admire what you’ve done

formyblock3288 karma

Volunteering at Cook County Jail. None of the students had ever traveled outside of their neighborhood. To me, that was tragic. I knew immediately that I had to do something about it.

GISP1112 karma

Why aint the city shoveling snow?
(Im from Denmark - The state does that for the elderly and disabled - and on public roads ofcouse).... I thought it was the same in the States? No?

formyblock2229 karma

Yeah the City shovels, but can become overwhelmed by Mother Nature when storms hit fast. I just wanted to help the seniors out because often time they are the last to get the support they need.

formyblock883 karma

Cody Chesnutt

Skadoosh_it840 karma

Who's your favorite musician?

formyblock1048 karma

Cody Chesnutt


What’s your favourite colour?

formyblock1067 karma

Chicago Blue

kujhoosier36476 karma

As someone who just moved to Chicago last year, what really blew me away is how segregated the city is. What do you think I can do to help people in lower-income communities? I live on the north-side and feel like I'm surrounded by people just like me.

formyblock67 karma

Join our movement and volunteer - all communities are unique with their own challenges and need to be explored Formyblock.org

mmmroses455 karma

What’s been the biggest barrier to helping your community and how did you tackle it?

formyblock591 karma

All the negativity. When I run along 80th Street from State Street to Cottage Grove, there are eight or nine block clubs along with old block club signs that say "no littering, no loud music, no ball playing in the street, no car repairs." They're all warnings, but no block club sign ever stopped people from doing those things. I thought, why can't these signs say yes? "Yes, we welcome you. Yes, we want you to be here. Yes, we reach out to new people. We value safety, we value respect."

qwerty_38206 karma

How many people came to help after you posted about this on Twitter?

P.S:Keep up the good work,sir.The world needs more people like you

formyblock309 karma

About 100

nikkudhamesh186 karma

What advice would you have for someone trying to positively engage their community like you’ve done?

formyblock137 karma

Ask yourself what’s something simple you can do that’ll have a positive impact on your block or your neighborhood. RFK spoke about creating ripples of hope. And those ripples coming together to create a wave of change. You don’t need a masters degree to shovel your neighbors yard.

__ChickenNipples__58 karma

With all the violence in Chicago, what programs reach out to young men in your area to help them see a brighter path?

formyblock249 karma

Through conversation with the young men in detention, it became clear that most had never traveled beyond their own block or neighborhood. Consequently, their worldviews- what was possible for them and their peers- were geographically bound and constricted by their neighborhoods. For youth who did not travel beyond their neighborhood boundaries, their wellbeing, sense of self and efficacy, and educational and economic outcomes depended almost entirely on the neighborhood’s infrastructure, socioeconomic, and resource characteristics. This reality poses significant limitations for some teenagers that live on Chicagos west and south side and conversely opportunities for others. If our youth are to have a fair chance at having fulfilling and independent lives, that inequality must be corrected. Chicago is not a level playing field.

pauljs7529 karma

Should get your crew in on learning small engine repair and a little bit of light metal fabrication, then you guys could salvage a couple second-hand snow-blowers and even get more done. (A lot of people throw out ones that are reasonably repairable.) And when it gets heavy enough where people need shoveling done, a snow blower can be well worth it.

Also how do you keep it up? My back patio, drive, sidewalk, and perhaps the sidewalk of one or two neighbors (don't say too much, but still watch out for each other), and I'm pretty much done for the day. Back can't take much more than that.

formyblock21 karma

These are all great ideas!

BaseballMcBaseFace24 karma

Cubs or Sox?

formyblock129 karma

Cubs Fan. Didn’t need to have cable tv to watch the Cubs.

ArielofIsha16 karma

Just donated! I'm so glad you did this AMA! "...We are the change we seek..." How long did it take to go from "I want to shovel snow for my neighbors" to what your organization provides for your community now? If I missed the AMA, that's ok, I just wanted to contribute! Cheers!

formyblock13 karma

Thank you! I just take it day by day

mcanthony212 karma

How do I start something like this in my community?

formyblock50 karma


sandamals9 karma

Maybe you already answered this but how many people ended up coming out to help you?

formyblock22 karma

65 yesterday!

formyblock12 karma

We got three volunteers from Reddit today! Thanks Reddit!