Today was the 21st Annual Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon! The day Chicago gives back to the lesser privileged sections of the society. 5000+ volunteers, corporate members plus organizers. I was fortunate to be a part of it through a friend of mine interning at one of the corporate partners… Yes, families and friends were welcome.
So our group was assigned to go to a Public School in south Chicago and we volunteered to paint the corridors on the first floor (which, in British and Indian terms, is actually the ground floor). Oh, did I mention that they transported us between the school and Daley Plaza in those standard American school buses?? Damn, was that exciting!! 😀
Anyway… It took 4 hours of labor with lunch in the middle ending with our hands, clothes, hair and shoes (still) covered in paint, but, we finally managed to turn our assigned corridor from lime green to a light bluish-green. The other groups completed their projects well on time, too. From painting the other corridors in different colors to creating mosaics and drawing hopscotch squares in the playground, all was done well. The 900-odd students of Hedges Elementary are in for a real treat when school starts after the Summer. Meanwhile, we headed back to Daley Plaza for food and drinks.
In a very touching gesture by the kids themselves, all the walls were lined with charts with art work and ‘Thank you‘ messages for the Chicago Cares volunteers. There were probably about 250 of us at our school, and all it took was one Saturday afternoon to make a difference to a public school, its students, parents and everyone related. It’s a wonder what impact 5000 like-minded Chicagoans could make in one day. Thanks, Chicago Care, for making me feel so proud of being a part of a beautiful society and a City that gives back to those who need it. See you next time! 🙂
Here are some pics. I don’t have pics of all the corridors or the mosaics, etc., but I’ll try to upload link them here when Chicago Cares releases them.
For those who haven’t done any volunteering/social work yet: Please do so. The feeling of Euphoria and Pride at the end makes every iota of exhaustive labor completely worthwhile. Go ahead… Play a small hand in making a big difference. Cheers.