5,000 volunteers help with 20th Chicago Cares Serve-A-Thon

June 13, 2013 4:45:16 PM PDT
On Saturday, 5,000 volunteers will fan out across the city for organized acts of service during Chicago Cares' 20th Annual Serve-A-Thon.

The DePriest Elementary School in the Austin neighborhood could use some sprucing up. The library books need to be re-shelved. New landscaping will make the school more inviting. And the hopscotch game could use a facelift before recess.

"To come out and fix up some of the schools for some of the disadvantaged children, it's a great thing," volunteer Frank Ciancio said.

These volunteers from Redbox -- the video rental company -- are donating their time and manpower to show students they care.

"Just to hear the kids that were coming in and out of the school today were just so excited about what we were doing like, 'look at the plants. Oh, mommy, they're doing this!' So it just brought a good sense of joy to all of us because we love it," Irene Loyd, volunteer, said.

Activities like these organized through the non-profit Chicago Cares will take place in various neighborhoods this Saturday in what's considered the largest single day of community service in Chicago.

"We're going to bring 5,000 people together to serve, bring them down to Daley Plaza, put them on buses, get them out to 31 different projects, schools, parks, community centers where they are going to give a day of service," Bridget Altenburg, executive director of Chicago Cares, said. "Our job is to mobilize and inspire volunteers to make Chicago stronger."

Chicago Cares' Serve-A-Thon is not the only time you can give back through the organization. If you or a group of friends or co-workers would like to volunteer any time during the year, you can connect with a project that needs you at chicagocares.org.

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