Empowering Chicago, One Block at a Time
One of the fastest-growing social impact organizations in Chicago started in 2014 as the vision of one man who started out by creating field trips for youth in disenfranchised neighborhoods. Jahmal Cole, the founder and CEO of My Block, My Hood, My City (“M3”), grew up in a Chicago suburb with a personal mission of leveraging the power of service and education to build a more interconnected Chicago. Self-Help was pleased to provide a Paycheck Protection Program loan to M3, helping them to keep their staff employed and to provide services to the community.
We had the opportunity recently to catch up with Jahmal, and learn a lot more about My Block, My Hood, My City. With a staff of 17, along with hundreds of volunteers, nonprofits and local businesses, M3 works every day to tap into the enormous potential that already exists on Chicago’s South Side — “one block at a time.” The organization provides youth on the South Side with a greater awareness of opportunities throughout the city. They lead students on explorations focused on topics such as STEM, arts and culture, citizenry and volunteerism, health, community development, culinary arts, entrepreneurism and much more.
M3 operates on the mantra that the city of Chicago reflects who we are, and we all have a responsibility to what the city is and can become. Through M3’s community development initiatives, they host multiple volunteer events every month. Residents and volunteers in the community have come to look forward to these events, which include tasks like cleaning alleys, mowing lawns, shoveling snow for seniors, decorating 500+ homes over the Christmas holidays and more.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, M3 was front and center, organizing help to 12,000 seniors in eight states, with access to much-needed resources such as Personal Protective Equipment and hand sanitizer; connections with local organizations; transportation; setting up vaccine appointments; delivering food, health supplements and toiletries. In the past 18 months, M3 has served approximately 20,000 people, and counting.
We are honored to have Jahmal and M3 as members of Seaway, a Division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union. Thank you, M3, for all the wonderful work you continue to do in Greater Chicago!
To learn more about My Block, My Hood, My City, click here to see a wonderful short video of the team and the work they do.