Community residents who distribute the H-F Chronicle are about to deliver their 25,000th paper with the May edition.
With more than 5,000 copies printed monthly, a team of 15 volunteers will distribute the paper to over 50 locations in Homewood and Flossmoor, a list that continues to grow as they find more businesses willing to offer the Chronicle.
The hyperlocal paper, launched online in 2014 and in print last December, is largely a volunteer organization. Produced by professional journalists Eric Crump, Marilyn Thomas and Tom Houlihan, who volunteer their skills in reporting, editing, website management and design, the Chronicle hired its first — and only — staff member in March to help with advertising and bookkeeping.
But the Chronicle “Deliverators” are key to getting the paper to readers, Crump said.
“From the responses I’ve seen from readers and businesspeople, our community really looks forward to getting the Chronicle, and it doesn’t get to our readers by magic,” he said. “We rely on these terrific volunteers.”
Once a month, each volunteer picks up hundreds of copies and heads to dozens of locations, from local businesses to libraries and park district facilities. Some return multiple times through the next week to replenish the papers.
Among them are Kim O’Lone and Jim Joyce of Homewood, who deliver to Grape and Grain and Flossmoor Community Church.
“We support the Chronicle because we need good local news coverage and it has just dwindled over the years,” O’Lone said. “Delivering is no problem, since we are members of Flossmoor Community Church, and as for Grape and Grain, Jim is willing to make the sacrifice to deliver their monthly. He has to stop in for a beer; otherwise it would not be polite,” she laughs. “His sacrifices for the community are endless.”
Kate Duff of Homewood joked, “I do it for the sneak preview.”
Homewood resident Lily Slaney Weberg said, “I love the H-F community, so getting the local news out makes me feel like I’m even more a part of it!”
Flossmoor resident Jennifer Molski said, “I am filled with admiration for the founders of the Chronicle for their vision and foresight in making this newspaper a reality. The valuable information provided strengthens our HF community while promoting a sense of unity and belonging.”
Other “Deliverators” are Sarah Austin, Steve Buchtel, Quincy Crump, Annie Lawrence, Jodi Libretti, Don Thomas and Jim Wright of Homewood; Jadey Ryndak and Toni Manos of Flossmoor; and Marybeth Briske of Chicago Heights.
More volunteers are welcome. Anyone interested in helping deliver the Chronicle can contact Eric Crump at [email protected] or 630.728.2661.