After two full days of being locked up in their homes, Chicagoans are slowly making their way out into the frigid air today. Though the city has the appearance of being back to normal, over 60 percent of Chicago is still buried under snow.  How can you help get the city and your neighbors up and running?

1) Cook dinner for an elderly neighbor. Its a great way to check in on a senior without seeming abrasive. Plus, your neighbor will enjoy a yummy warm meal without having to worry about getting out of the house to do grocery shopping.

2) Shovel snow

a. Help dig out a random car on your street. You will make the owner of that car a very happy person.

b. Clear your entire block’s sidewalks of snow.

c. Ask a neighbor if you could shovel their walkways free of charge

3) Help someone get their vehicle unstuck. You don’t have to walk far to find someone revving their car’s engine but not moving anywhere. Tips: 1) Make sure you remain in the driver’s vision at all times. 2) Place a piece of cardboard under the spinning tire to give the car enough traction to get unstuck.

4) Donate your old winter clothes. With windchill temperatures under 20 degrees, many are in need of warm clothes. Drop off your donation of  winter clothes at these non-profit organizations, most of whom are also Chicago Cares community partners:

a. Bottomless Closet– Accepts Business Casual clothing

b. Deborah’s Place– Accepts any type of clothing

c. LaSalle Street Church– Accepts any type of clothing

d. Cornerstone Community Outreach– Accepts any type of clothing

5) Volunteer at Chicago Cares. The following projects are still searching for volunteers :

a. Bethel Sports League– Saturday, February 5, 2011

b. Senior Breakfast Club– Saturday, February 5, 2011

c. Bingo Fun with Seniors– Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What other service ideas do you have as we all recover from the Blizzard of 2011? Let us know by leaving a comment.