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My Block, My Hood, My City Giving Out Micro-Grants To Encourage Community, Prevent Violence

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A brand new initiative is in place to curb the violence heading into the holiday weekend.

CBS 2's Tara Molina on Thursday talked to the leaders of the organization My Block, My Hood, My City about those plans and the $80,000 in grant money they are giving out right now to make a difference.

The micro-grants from the organization are meant to help prevent more violence after a deadly weekend in Chicago. Jahmal Cole of My Block, My Hood, My City said those "Hit the Hood" grants will be put to use across the area this weekend.

Last weekend, 63 people were shot in Chicago. Sixteen of those people were killed, including at least two small children.

"We want independence from this reckless violence that's plaguing Chicago communities," said Jahmal Cole of My Block, My Hood My City.

Cole said they're doing whatever it takes to make sure history doesn't repeat itself this weekend.

"We're about to be proactive instead of reactive about it," Cole said.

That $80,000 in donated "Hit the Hood" grant money is part of that proactive plan. My Block, My Hood, My City is giving out micro-grants up to $2,500 to community leaders who will create what Cole calls tiny ripples of hope in Chicago's neighborhoods this weekend.

"If you create a ripple of hope and I create a ripple of hope, then together in Chicago, we can create a wave of change; of positivity," Cole said.

Cole had specific examples for four different neighborhoods.

"There's someone that's hosting a rally right here in South Shore. In Englewood, they're doing pop up movie screens and getting kids together for barbecues. In Roseland, they're getting drive-through floats. In Chatham, they're re doing fish-fries," Cole said. "There's all kinds of stuff going on."

A new fundraiser for the organization is launching too, in a move that makes grants like this weekend's possible. The fundraiser is called My Community Table.

It's a partnership with restaurants across the city, with money from featured takeout and delivery meals going to Hit the Hood.

The "Hit the Hood" fundraiser officially launches on Friday. For more information, click here.

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