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Help Ukrainian refugees in Chicago

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


Millions have fled Ukraine, and some refugees have started to arrive in Chicago — including at least 16 students at St. Nicholas Cathedral School.

Students at the Ukrainian Village school held a vigil Monday to welcome their new classmates. Peers from St. Pius V in Pilsen and St. Mary Star of the Sea and St. Nicholas of Tolentine in West Lawn also joined, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Ranging in age from 4–15, some students are arriving without enough clothes, essential items, and even parents, said Lisa Swytnyk, assistant principal at St. Nicholas. 

One good thing? Big Shoulders Fund is helping cover tuition for refugee students at the school. The non-profit is accepting ongoing donations.

Want to help Ukrainian refugees?

1. Host refugees through the Ukraine Take Shelter website

2. Donate to local refugee resettlement groups like Catholic Charities and RefugeeOne

3. Go to a rally downtown Sunday with the local chapter of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.

👉 Get more ideas for how you can help locally and internationally from the Chicago Tribune and WTTW.

A child peeks below a sign at a rally in support of Ukraine.
A child peeks below a sign at a rally in support of Ukraine Feb. 27. (Jacoby Cochran/City Cast)


Illinois could be home to 55,000 older adults without citizenship by 2030, according to a Rush University survey

Despite living in the country for decades and paying taxes, many older undocumented people lack access to federal social safety nets, public housing, and secure employment. 

🎧 Chicago Tribune’s Laura Rodríguez Presa and Injustice Watch’s Carlos Ballesteros help us understand the uphill battle thousands of these vulnerable older adults — many of whom are Mexican immigrants — are living through. 

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▪️ McCormick Place is out of the running for the city’s first casino. The three finalists will host community meetings in the coming weeks. See which bids are still being considered.

▪️ You’ll no longer need to show proof of vaccine or negative COVID-19 tests at the United Center. [WGN]

▪️ Dua Lipa, J. Cole, and Metallica are headlining Lolla! Get tickets now.

▪️ Community members are hoping Dat Donut can reopen. Fixes have been made after city inspectors found several violations at the Chatham doughnut shop last week, owner Darryl Townson said. [Block Club Chicago]

▪️ A new memoir gives readers a look into the life of an emergency room doctor at the University of Chicago Medical Center. [New York Times]

▪️ The Asian Pop-Up Cinema is back with a hybrid film fest featuring AAPI dramas, documentaries, and more through April 10. Listen to our convo with founder Sophia Wong Boccio about last year’s fest.


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Two years after COVID-19 shutdowns, we’ve been asking readers and listeners to share the last normal thing they did. 

🚆 AJ Jimenez, Rogers Park: “The last normal thing I did was ride the Metra home from work. I haven’t taken public transit since.”

🎂 Fernando Gutierrez, South Loop: “We had a Latin Lounge–themed [birthday] party about two weeks before the shutdown happened. … We are not comfortable doing that anymore, not this year and maybe not for a while.” 

🦷 Sharon Rosenblum, Wrigleyville: “Went to the dentist.”

What was your “last normal thing” in March 2020? Email, or text/call (773) 780-0246.

A graph's title reads, "What should the new Cook County flag be?" A horizontal bar graph shows the Freedom flag got 4.4% of the vote, the Harmony flag got 13.3% of the vote, the I Will Banner flag got 28.9% of the vote, the Our Star flag got 48.9% of the vote, and the Strides for Cook County and New Century flags both got 2.2% of the vote.
Results of City Cast poll.

City Cast readers have spoken. About half of you said in our poll this week that the Our Star design should be Cook County’s new flag — and I get why. 

Sofia Hogue and Ryan Bradley, the high schooler designers from Evanston Township and Disney II Magnet, design choices are top-notch: 

A dark blue flag has a light blue stripe in the center. A thin yellow stripe is on the thicker light blue stripe. A white six-pointed star sits on top of all the stripes and is located on the left side of the flag.
Our Star flag. (Cook County)

▪️ Yellow stripe = prairie land
▪️ Light blue = county rivers
▪️ Dark blue = Lake Michigan 
▪️ Five stripes = county regions 
▪️ Star = Chicago

Of course it’s not up to us. Stay tuned to see which design the but the county Board of Commissioners picks!