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Local Business is Partnering to Bring Help and Hope to Chicagoans in Need

May 11, 2020 ● By Peggy Malecki

Photo courtesy of Mark Drugs

The Chicago Help Initiative is putting a stop to hunger by providing meals and access to social service to homeless, underprivileged and unemployed Chicagoans. The group also does job mentoring and placement, counseling and a mini health clinic.

Deerfield’s Mark Drugs is partnering in this initiative, which is dedicated to connecting the initiative's guests to the resources and social services they need in order to thrive under difficult circumstances. Craig Batogowski, Pharm.D., is an active participant in the program.

Batagowski says, “Each week Chicago Help Initiative volunteers, generous benefactors and sponsors give their time in an effort to help those who are less fortunate. Poverty is a major problem in Chicago. Please join our efforts by volunteering to be part of the solution and helping today to make a better tomorrow for Chicagoans in need.”

Every Wednesday, Batogowski picks up the food donation for that day and brings it to Chicago Help Initiative in a mess hall setting at Catholic Charities and often helps serve food. Once a year, Mark Drugs sponsors the food donation. It starts with coffee and water. Before a meal, a nun prays and guests form a line for food. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way things are done, Batogowski says. Serving now happens via an assembly line, putting food together in containers, then bagging into meals and handing off to each person outside.  On April 8 alone, they served 200 meals to those waiting outside.

The initiative also provides a temporary clinic that offers consults; mostly blood pressure and glucose meter checks, and talk about symptoms people may be having or how they are feeling. They cannot hand out prescriptions, but can give over-the-counter items like Neosporin, Tylenol, Band-Aids etc., and show care and compassion. The Chicago Help Initiative also offers social workers, computers classes for job-seekers, sewing, singing and prayers.

Batogowski says, “I’m sure they all miss the socialization and care they were given before the pandemic. We at Mark Drugs are working to put together small bottles of hand sanitizer to hand off to these people in need. Also, in the near future we will be doing this in our local community to help those in need in the northwest suburbs.”

Since 1990, Mark Drugs has been providing compounded tailored prescriptions, for both people and animals, along with medical equipment, nutritional services and comprehensive, holistic healthcare planning to patients wishing to take control of their own health.

Mark Drugs Location: 1020 N. Milwaukee, Ste. 140, Deerfield. For more information, call 847-419-9898 or visit 

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Mark Drugs Pharmacy - Deerfield IL

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