Portage Park woman provides essentials to neighbors with her Treasure Box Program

Portage Park resident, Jaclyn Crawford, is offering her neighbors free essentials as well as dental and feminine hygiene products with her Treasure Box program.

Video Transcript

JACLYN CRAWFORD: I'm just happy to know that I'm able to help my neighbors whoever they are.

YUKARE NAKAYAMA: Every day, Jacqueline Crawford dedicates a couple of hours packing boxes with essentials for her Portage Park neighbors in need. This ritual taking place in her front yard since the pandemic began.

JACLYN CRAWFORD: I just felt the big need to do something where everyone saw people taking toilet paper off the shelves. I remember my big aha moment was walking in and seeing all the paper products gone.

YUKARE NAKAYAMA: From toilet paper and towels to hand sanitizers, Crawford says seeing her empty bins at the end of each day illustrates the scope of the need.

JACLYN CRAWFORD: At that point, I realized that this with me was bigger than just the pandemic. It was a need that wasn't being fulfilled in my neighborhood.

YUKARE NAKAYAMA: A year later, she says the Portage Park Treasure Box has only grown with the help of a grant from My Block, My Hood, My City and donations from her neighbors. The Portage Park Treasure Box is now offering delivery services. Neighbors in need can sign up easily online.

Crawford says they now offer shampoo, as well as dental and feminine hygiene products.

JACLYN CRAWFORD: Kind of seen this community empowerment come up. That's been really encouraging.

YUKARE NAKAYAMA: Neighbor and volunteer Brian Budd says the Treasure Box has not only helped those in need, but it's also helped his community come together during an uncertain time.

BRIAN BUDD: I think a lot of people have been looking for some sort of sense of purpose or something to unite them. And I think this is the perfect thing.

JACLYN CRAWFORD: To know that people are there, and I'm able just to have one part of their day made easier by a box full of health supplies and hygiene goods, like that brings me a lot of joy.

YUKARE NAKAYAMA: In Portage Park, Yukare Nakayama, ABC 7 Eyewitness News.