I got five on it

As of this writing, Section 8 Chicago is almost  30% of the way to its fundraising goal for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. This fundraising campaign was started during the 2018 season by Marty Tomszak and has been one of the many efforts that are setting a new standard for supporter-led giving throughout MLS.  

Section 8 Chicago is pleased to partner with the Greater Chicago Food Depository again in 2019. They provide a valuable service throughout Cook County by distributing the equivalent of 159,000 meals on a daily basis to those in need. Section 8 Chicago takes food security very seriously and believes #No1ShouldGoHungry. Like many throughout Cook County, many members of this community know first-hand the challenges that come with a lack of access to healthy food and are doing their part to help their neighbors.  


@JoelBiden, a Chicago Fire fan since ‘98 and former board chair, has stepped up and, in keeping with the DIY spirit of Section 8 Chicago, has put his own unique spin on supporting this fundraising effort. Rather than give a large gift near the end of the season or a small chunk from each paycheck, he’s got 5 on it. We’ll let him explain:

Section 8 Chicago’s support for the Greater Chicago Food Depository began in 2010 with our first Annual Holiday Food Drive and several in-store food collections at grocery stores around town manned by enthusiastic Fire fans. The Food Depository does great work and the Section 8 Chicago food drives have always been something that I’ve been very happy to contribute to and participate in.

I was delighted that Marty took the initiative to start the season-long #FireForFood virtual food drive last year. In an effort to support this #FireForFood campaign and keep the issue of food insecurity visible over the course of the season,  I wanted to find a way to make giving a fun and repeatable activity and a novel way to encourage Fire fans to participate in a positive fan-driven initiative. Issuing an online challenge tied to every game seemed an obvious choice.

The I Got 5 On It Challenge is an easy way to donate to the #FireForFood virtual food drive and stay engaged with the performance of the Chicago Fire and celebrate goals. The challenge is simple, for each Fire goal scored, donate $5 to #FireForFood.

In the 2018 MLS Season, the Chicago Fire scored 48 goals. That resulted in a $240 donation. By breaking the donation into small frequent giving I am certain that I gave more than I would have given in one donation, since it was so budget friendly and easy to manage. The numbers tell the story, for each person who participated in the I Got 5 On It Challenge 1200 meals were provided by the good folks at  the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

By making this pledge in 2018 I found that in addition to the satisfaction knowing that my small and frequent donations were helping out folks experiencing food insecurity, I was tracking every goal, focusing on who scored it and how. I found myself more engaged with what the Chicago Fire were doing on the field, excited to see how many goals I would be celebrating with a donation. I came to relish a post game ritual that I came to know as Click.Give.& Chill. I’d hit play on the Luniz hip hop classic I Got 5 On It, make my donation and draft up a fun announcement to share the news on twitter.

Catchy tune, good cause and Fire goals. That’s good stuff, right? So I’m glad to do it again this year and will be sending out reminders and the #FireForFood virtual food drive link for every game. I hope Fire fans, staff, and even players can join in this Challenge, have some fun celebrating our Club’s achievements and helping our neighbors in need.

Click here to make a contribution to the Fire for Food 2019 campaign today!