5,000 volunteers participate in Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon

CHICAGO (WLS) -- About 5,000 volunteers fixed up 28 schools, senior homes and nonprofit facilities on Saturday as part of the Chicago Cares' Serve-a-thon.

Volunteers logged a collective 20,000 hours of work to help improve Chicago neighborhoods.

In Englewood, volunteers built benches for Chicago's neediest.

"It's an opportunity for us to go out into these communities and you know take our time and effort to help them in various ways we are able to help them," said volunteer Ainsworth Thompson.

The Primo Center for Women & Children also benefited from volunteers.

"This is a residential facility. It's an interim housing site for homeless families," said Shelley Cooper, chief community relations officer for Primo. "Our whole purpose is to empower families and to make them feel confident."

In addition to building benches, walls were painted and shelving was installed, all with hopes to make the facility feel more like home for many families in need.

"Just getting the opportunity to celebrate service - and instilling that in our youth - makes Chicago a better city," said Tia Battle, Chicago Cares outreach chair.

Chicago Cares estimates that Saturday's service work provided more than $3 million in value to the buildings by volunteers.

After a day of work, the thousands of volunteers returned to where they started their day -- at Daley Plaza -- for a party.
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