Staying involved in the Bloomington/Normal area, and beyond. 
Where do you fit... Beyond the Bricks?
Welcome... to the latest issue of
Beyond the Bricks!
Watch for a greeting from Rev. Jim Warren in June's issue of Beyond the Bricks. Today, enjoy reading below about the many opportunities to be involved in the community, and choose one or two, or more, as a way to reach out to others.
Participate in the Black Lives Matter in Bloomington Book Club
Thursday, May 13
7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Join our intersectional book club to discuss the 2020 Netflix production of August Wilson's 1982 play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, one of the ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle that chronicles the 20th-century African-American experience.

Discover more about this book club and event at the BLM in Bloomington Book Club Facebook page. This is the link to the Facebook event: Event

Register for the Young Wonders Summer Camp, and Tell Friends
Thursday, May 13
7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Register early to guarantee your child’s place at summer camp. All registration fees are nonrefundable. See website or call for weekly tuition.
Registration fees: April $50 | May $60 | June $70

See flyer (button below) for more information. Register online at
Support Back 2 School Alliance

Back 2 School Alliance (BTSA) is a group of volunteers and community partners dedicated to supporting students in need. Since 1999, we have been working hand in hand with Bloomington District 87, Normal Unit 5, and Illinois Prairie Community Foundation to bring kids and community together by putting backpacks and school supplies into the hands of the children who need them most.

BTSA's Goals (It’s about the kids):
  • Helping them get off to a good start when school begins
  • Putting the most basic tools in their hands to help them achieve success in their education
  • Creating a positive experience as they start the school year

You can help by hosting a drive or donating. See the website ( for more information.
Tell Friends about Local Full-Service Affordable Medical Care
Third Monday Each Month
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Woodhill Towers

The Mobile Health Clinic will be available 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. the third Monday of each month at Woodhill Towers, on the corner of Wood and Main Streets in Bloomington. The clinic provides:

  • Chronic condition management and education
  • Treatment of acute illness
  • Physicals, wellness care, and assessments
  • School and sports physicals and immunizations
  • Lab testing
  • Referrals and applications for social services
United Way, OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, McLean County Health Department, and Chestnut Health Systems will also be available to provide nutrition and health information, diabetes prevention, FQHC information, and assistance signing up for Medicaid. Visit for more information.
Please share this information with others who need affordable medical care.
Learn About Endangered Species at Miller Park Zoo
Saturday, May 22
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with Two Large Events
Miller Park Zoo
1020 South Morris Ave. Bloomington
The first event will be held Saturday, May 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., as the Zoo will host an Endangered Species Coalition Chalk art contest. Participants need to register by emailing by May 15. Chalk will be provided. All participants will receive a free return ticket and a free ice cream or snow cone. To enter the contest, photos of the completed designs can be uploaded upon completion.
Also on Saturday, May 22, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Zoo will host an Endangered Species at Miller Park Zoo Scavenger Hunt. The scavenger hunt game will help educate participants about the animals that live at Miller Park Zoo that are considered endangered or vulnerable. There will be a small prize after the completion of the game.
“Endangered Species Day gives us the opportunity to increase our knowledge about wildlife and endangered species and take steps to save them,” said Silvia Schuh, Miller Park Zoo Events Coordinator, adding, “One way to help is to educate oneself and learn about the perils these animals face every day.”
All activities are free with Zoo admission.
Miller Park Zoo is located at 1020 S. Morris Avenue, Bloomington and is open each day from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
For more information about the zoo, contact the Miller Park Zoo at (309) 434-2250, or visit
Support Faith in Action by Eating at Rob Dob's
Thursday, June 10
11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
801 North Hershey Rd., Bloomington

Faith in Action receives 10% of the proceeds from your delicious meal!
Reduce Your Waste with Sugar Grove Nature Center
First Tuesday and First Saturday through December
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Various Locations

We are excited to announce our recycling initiative! There are so many ways that you can decrease the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. If your community offers recycling, we sure hope that you take advantage of curbside pickup or drop-off bin locations. Here are some great ways to recycle even more!

Start saving items detailed on the Facebook page.
2021 collection drives will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the 1st Tuesday and 1st Saturday of every month through December 2021. We will also have collection drives during each of our special events throughout the year.

Items can ONLY be accepted during our scheduled collection dates and times and should be pre-sorted for a smooth experience. For a full packet of information regarding which recyclables we will accept, please email
Find Comfort, or Help Someone to Find Comfort, at a Carle Grief Support Group
Second and Fourth Mondays of Each Month at 5:00 p.m. via Zoom

Do you know someone who is struggling with grief or loss? The chaplains of Carle BroMenn, Carle Eureka, and Carle Cancer Institute are offering a grief support group at 5:00 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays of each month via Zoom.
For a Zoom Link or more information, call 312-626-6799.
Learn More about Being an Anti-Racist
Subscribe to a daily blog that gives guidance on how to be an anti-racist:
Support the Sunnyside Community Garden and Food Forest
A Message from the Sunnyside Community Garden:

We are trying to expand economic opportunities to youth in our neighborhood. And, we have had a great start to our season, meaning we will have more produce than we can give away right now. So, we are teaming up with a youth in our neighborhood to offer you fresh produce and them an economic opportunity.

Every week this young person and our farm manager will choose some items that are fresh from the garden and create a weekly “produce bundle.” The youth will put their share of the money in a new savings account and the garden will use its share for a new infrastructure project.

This week we have five bags available. The suggested donation is $10. The garden gets the first $5 and anything over that goes to our local youth. If you want a bundle just leave us a private message (click here).

Pick up is Saturday from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. at The Hub at 502 S. Morris Avenue in Bloomington. We do not anticipate this opportunity being available all season. So grab a bag while you can. This week's bundle items: asparagus, kale, collards, head lettuce, and green garlic.
Support the PATH Crisis Center
We are requesting assistance for sheltering and caring for our homeless community.
Salvation Army’s Homeless Shelter is currently closed to new intakes due to a COVID-19 outbreak, and PATH’s Homeless Services Department has sheltered more people in motels than ever before.
Any assistance you could offer would be greatly appreciated and possibly save lives. Please consider donating through PayPal on our website: Or donate sleeping bags and blankets to our business office at: 201 E. Grove Street Suite 200, Bloomington. 
Support INtegRIty Counseling by Volunteering at the Front Desk
Looking to become a volunteer? INtegRIty Counseling is in need of Front Desk Volunteers, including Spanish speaking volunteers, to answer phones and help coordinate scheduling.

If you are interested or would like more information, please email
Volunteer at or Donate to the WBRP 
(West Bloomington Revitalization Project)
724 W. Washington Street
Bloomington, IL 61701
Focus on the Tool Library:  The Tool Library is open for walk-in customers! Tool Library hours are Tuesday & Thursday 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and Wednesday & Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon.
Because the library is a small space, and to protect our customers and volunteers, we can only allow one person to browse at a time. Make an appointment with the button below or by calling the WBRP at 309-829-1200. You can also just stop by the building during our open hours. You can check the inventory in advance at
The WBRP has many goals:
Driven by the voice of residents, the WBRP leads impactful, collaborative efforts of neighbors and local stakeholders, honoring historical and cultural roots, building on pride and strengths of neighborhoods, and empowering residents to be leaders and achieve a vision for a better community.
Maybe you can help! Find out more by clicking the button below. And the WBRP is hiring, so check out their website for details. 

First Christian Church || 309 829-9327 |
401 West Jefferson St. Bloomington, IL 61701
Bloomington's Oldest Continuing Congregation