How to help downtown Aurora and other downtowns after rioting

We have the best community.

I hope that everyone feels that way no matter where they live, however there is something undeniable about Aurora’s spirit of community. We saw it big on June 1, the day after about two dozen businesses were damaged after a peaceful protest turned violent.

Hundreds came out to assist in cleanup efforts. In a matter of a few hours, graffiti was washed off, broken windows were boarded up, litter was picked up, and a downtown that was crying the night before was re-energized by its community.

Evening came, and an early curfew made for a quiet downtown once again. We were spared any further damage, but our heart goes out to our neighbors to our East in Naperville, as we know their pain, and the work ahead of them.

Many people continue to reach out to see how they can assist in the repair efforts at businesses in downtown Aurora.

How can you help today?

  1. Draw on downtown sidewalks with chalk. We’re celebrating pride month, but we’re also ready for all positive messages. Let’s fill our sidewalks with messages of love, justice, pride, and respect. Aurora Public Art is calling for volunteers to paint boarded windows.
  2. Support downtown businesses. There are many that are open today. Ones that are closed continue to offer online sales and curbside pickup. Please see our guides here.
  3. Eat lunch and/or dinner downtown. Enjoy outdoor dining, or pickup curbside and find a social distanced spot to sit. Populate downtown!
  4. Start or continue conversations with your friends and neighbors about achieving social justice, and listen to those outside of your circle on current issues.
  5. Rethink your shopping habits. Many of the businesses that were hit with damage were already suffering not only to COVID-19, but as a small business. See if any of your needs can be met first by a downtown business before looking to a big box store or global, online retailer.

If you’d like to make a donation to support efforts to repair damaged businesses in downtown Aurora, please stay tuned as Aurora Downtown is setting up a Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley fund, and 100% of donations will go directly to business repair efforts.

Thank you for being part of our amazing and supportive community!

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