This past Saturday, I joined over 1000 Chicago volunteers to participate in the 17th Annual Chicago Cares Serve-a-Thon. Year after year, this event gathers teams of do-gooders for a day of beautifying schools across the city. Chicago is one of the most poorly funded school districts in the US, so things like painting are often seen as extras that can’t be afforded.
I teamed up with my great friend, Brian, who put together “Team Sleet.” We spent our Saturday painting a classroom at Faraday Elementary on the city’s West Side. Our task: Replace the bright yellow walls with a cool blue. I may be a bit biased, but I thought our team was the best one (outside of the mural artists). Team Sleet shared the room with a group of three gals and we had a blast! You seriously would have thought that we were friends before the Serve-a-Thon.
I only snagged a couple of pics because I was too nervous about getting paint on my Blackberry. Losing a pair of old jeans and some gymshoes to the paint gods is one thing. Losing my phone would send me to therapy.
After completing our project, it was back to Soldier Field to enjoy a live band, some beers, and snacks. It was a great way for me to spend my Saturday, and the best way to kick off my summer of service!
I know that I’ve plugged Chicago Cares before on this site, but I have to do it again! If you’re in the city and looking for great volunteer opportunities, definitely check out their website. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find some great service opps around town!