Fundraising Campaigns

Many of the Evanston businesses most adversely affected by the pandemic have set up Go Fund Me campaigns. These funds are used to pay staff and keep restaurants and businesses open during the phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to visiting stores and restaurants safely when we can, we can also offer support in many ways such as curbside pick-up or carryout, online ordering, and supporting these Go Fund Me fundraisers and campaigns.

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See the list below of some of the community leaders needing our help. Some campaigns may also have offers such as discounts on future visits, donations to not-for-profits, and other specialty items. Only donate if you have the means.

Backlot Coffee’s Virtual Tip Jar
The world seems like it has changed overnight. They continue to fight to keep their three cafes open for business. But as sales continue to decline and anxieties rise, they have to ask, how will they be able to take care of their staff if they are forced to close their doors?

Bat 17 Employee Emergency Relief Donation
Sylvia Ximenez is organizing this fundraiser They have been looking for a way to help their employees during this crisis, not only is it affecting our nation and the world on the matter of health but also financially, especially to those in the industry.

Blind Faith Cafe: Keeping the Faith Relief Fund
David Lipschutz is organizing this fundraiser. Dear friends, like so many other restaurants Blind Faith has been required to suspend table service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been serving Evanston without interruption for over 40-years, and while there is no doubt this is the right course of action to protect public health, the effects of this closure will be financially devastating for the majority of their staff.

Help Support Bluestone!
Erica DiBella and Amanda Ruiz are organizing this fundraiser. John started Bluestone nearly 20 years ago. As we are closed, many of our staff rely on tips to pay their rent and feed their households.

Booked: A Campaign to Sustain our Bookstore
Chelsea and Rachel are organizing this fundraiser. They are a young bookstore, but they love their community fiercely and it is their intention to stay in business forever. Being temporarily closed is hard but, the best support comes from sales, they’re open for online sales and they are always available to help you find the perfect book from a safe distance (just email us at info AT

Bookends & Beginnings COVID-19 Relief Fund
Nina Barrett is organizing this fundraiser for this literary gem that’s only been around six years.

Cultivate: People & Plants Need Your Help
Louise Rosenberg is organizing this fundraiser. They have made the decision to close her shop until it is safe for her to reopen to the public. As a small business it will be nearly impossible for them to meet their expenses and support the staff while making sure the plants stay healthy for when they re-open their doors.

C&W Market & Ice Cream Parlor COVID-19 Fund
C&W Market has become the corner store and ice cream parlor where students, family and friends can come for grocery and essential items, snacks and homemade ice cream. Unfortunately, they lost more than 85% of their customer base due to the stay-at-home ordinance and school closings. While partnering with organizations in the community to provide free food and grocery giveaways to neighborhood families and seniors, those efforts did not support the business and staff. While weathering this time as a community, consider supporting them to help cover operational cost and the return of staff.

Help Our Knot Staff
Patrick and Liz Breslin are organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Elizabeth Bartlow Breslin of The Celtic Know. Everyday gets a little bit tougher with more and more news of the COVID-19 virus spreading. In the wake of the government-mandated shutdowns, small businesses will suffer and, with them, their workers

Cross Rhodes Staff Relief
Maria Russell, owner of Cross Rhodes, is organizing this fundraiser. If Cross Rhodes has ever brought you a little piece of joy in the 35 years of operation, please consider donating and sharing.

Evanston Pub Workers Relief
Cassy Byrne is organizing this fundraiser. Evanston Pub is closed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving a staff of 15 talented hospitality workers temporarily out of jobs. The bar will unfortunately not be able to remain open for carry-out or delivery during this shutdown, so if you would like to support the hardworking staff of Evanston Pub, please consider making a donation.

Feast & Imbibe
Heather and D’Andre started this fundraiser. Purchase meals for those who have been impacted by COVID-19 in Evanston and the surrounding communities. Their amazing team of 9 at their sister company Soul & Smoke have fed more than 5,000 meals to the community since March 16th.

Help Support Firehouse Grill’s Staff
Pat Fowler is organizing this fundraiser for Firehouse Grill. The restaurant is a neighborhood gathering place and the appreciation for their community and customers runs deep.

Good to Go Jamaica Cuisine Employee Assistance Fund
Lenice D. Levy and Shyvonne Leslie are organizing this fundraiser. They starting from humble beginnings almost 18 years ago, Good To Go has weathered many storms. Several of their existing staff have been with them from the very beginning and are still committed to sticking it out. They still offer delivery, pick up, catering and curbside services. But this alone is not enough for their hourly employees/waiters/servers who once relied on and gratuities to feed their families and maintain their basic life necessities.

Guitar Works LTD COVID-19 Employee Relief Fund
Lawrence Brown is organizing this fundraiser. Friends and fans of Guitar Works, LTD, they have been serving the Evanston community for over 40 years, and their livelihood is being threatened by the COVID-19 virus. It is with great humility that they ask or help to pay staff, pay bills, and reopen their doors once things return to normal.

Stepping Out on Faith Consignment Shop Needs a Little Faith
Evanston Chamber Member, Vivian Killebrew of Stepping Out on Faith Consignment Shop has been thriving for 11 years. She opened her doors on October 14, 2009. Now COVID hit, downtown Evanston shut down, and everybody moved from their offices to working from home remotely. The hustle and bustle is gone. The lunch time crowd is gone. The shoppers are gone. Since then Vivian has refreshed her shop, updated her merchandise, and strengthen her brand with a lifestyle photoshoot and new logo. Vivian’s next focus is to work on her online presence and try to survive until the retail shelter in place is lifted and the vaccine builds confidence for people to return back to the new normal.

Support Jennifer’s Edibles COVID-19 Relief
COVID-19 Small Business Relief is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Jennifer’s Edibles, they specialize in American and Caribbean soul food. Jennifer is a long time Evanston resident who took her mother’s kitchen secrets, training from the culinary arts program at Kendall College and her father’s entrepreneurial spirit to create a home town gem.

Koi Evanston Staff Relief Fund
Sandy Chen, owner of Koi Fine Asian Cuisine and Lounge for over 16 years, is organizing this fundraiser. With the forced closure of the dine-in service, some of the greatest and hardworking people that make up the Koi staff have no income. The proceeds that are donated through here will benefit directly to those incredible, hardworking staff members.

Look Ahead for Looking Glass
Kayla Strauss is organizing this fundraiser. Help them stay open during shelter-in-place. This 49-year-old pet shop wants to stick around for many more years!

niceLena & Friends COVID-19 Support
Lena Kim, has only been open for one year and a half, but she has started something pretty cool with her hand-made jewelry and her desire to support local artists and makers. COVID-19 completely stopped her momentum and put her in time out. She sees this playing out for the next few months and she cannot keep the ‘doors’ open without walk in sales. She needs your help in contribution of any amount or just sharing the campaign. You can also purchase Gift Certificates or shop online at // (they will update often).

Panino’s Pizzeria-Corona Virus Relief Fund
Lenny Rago is organizing this fundraiser. With the closing of the dining area and while they are still able to do take out, delivery and curbside service for now, their business is suffering because the public is still refraining due to Coronavirus concerns. Servers have been laid off, managers, kitchen staff, and counter help are hanging in there as we all wait to see this virus play out. Since servers depend on tips and our kitchen staff depends on their biweekly paychecks, they will be enduring a real hardship if sales continue to decline.

Peckish Virtual Tip Jar (Employee Relief)
India Mussell-McKay is organizing this fundraiser for Peckish Pig staff. ALL proceeds of this fundraiser will go DIRECTLY to HOURLY. With each donation, they are also giving away some really great incentives, too!

Coralie Employee Relief Fund
Pascal Berthoumieux is organizing this fundraiser. All three of their locations have been closed since March 16th. During this difficult time, I am realizing many of his staff do not have a safety net, some have been juggling school and work, some have been trying to make it in the theatre world and well, no one is prepared for this situation.

SPACE Employee Fundraising Match & Merch Campaign
As you know by now, SPACE and all other venues in town are closed for the foreseeable future while we all hunker down. This music venue has been around for last 12 years and has become quite leader in bringing music to E-town. Let’s think of better days ahead and raise a few bucks for their beloved hourly staff who are out of work during this hiatus.

Surgical Mask Kits Evanston Stitchworks
Amalia Malos, owner of Stitchworks, a small locally-owned business in Evanston, IL. They are making enough kits to offer for free for anyone who wants or needs one. This is an ongoing fund.

Temperance Beer Co. Employee Aid Fund
Josh Gilbert, owner of Temperance, is organizing this fund, this too shall pass but in the mean time the furloughed staff needs our generosity.

Ten Thousand Villages–Evanston
They are faced with unprecedented challenges that threaten their ability to continue their mission. The grinding halt of the economy and the temporary closure of their store means they also lost their main mechanism to carry out their mission and support artisans.

Union and Union Squared Employee Relief Fund
Al Dell Otto is organizing this fundraiser. The Union and Union Squared team is reaching out to our strong, resilient community to help their staff of over 40 people (back of house and front of house) find a way to make ends meet during this challenging time of uncertainty.

Viet Nom Nom Employee Fund
The immediate revenues that Alan and his team have lost and will continue to lose + the uncertainty of this ongoing outbreak puts the livelihoods of their amazing staffers at risk. They are humbly looking to their friends, family, community, and partners to help them support their staff during this difficult time.

Support Vinic Wine Company COVID-19 Relief
COVID-19 Small Business Relief is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Vinic Wine Company. Advanced Sommelier, Sandeep is as passionate of Vinic Wine, help them weather the storm.

Ward Eight Staff Fund
Anne Carlson is organizing this fundraiser for Ward Eight. They are hoping to be able to support their staff throughout this mandatory closure period. All donations will be distributed quickly and equitably between their hourly staff.

YoFresh Cafe Evanston
Larry Murphy is organizing this fundraiser. Since they opened in 2014 they have committed themselves to being a family space of health-oriented meals and refreshments, while regularly donating financially and through the free use of their cafe to the broad range of social causes and community efforts for social betterment.

Are you a local business in need?

Do you need to start a fundraising campaign?

Check out the Go Fund Me site.

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