Chicago Cares Serv-a-thon brings Chicagoans together for the city's largest day of volunteering

All of us have the power to help others when we give of our heart, our minds and our time. Yes, taking a few hours out of our normal daily routines and giving of that time to organizations in need, can have a ripple effect that’s felt by an increasing amount of people. All it takes is making time to give time. But, as we run from appointment to appointment, activity to activity and errand to errand, it’s hard to jump out of the daily routine and rigor and give back to others. That’s what makes the Chicago Cares Serv-a-thon so great. By participating in the annual event, you can carve out one day from your busy schedule to lend your time to others - along with thousands of other people.

So, are you ready to block your calendar and prepare to join thousands of other Chicagoans in giving back? If the answer is an emphatic “yes,” then pull up your calendars and put a hold on Saturday, June 24 – which just so happens to be Chicago’s largest day of volunteering.

Now in its 24th year, the Chicago Cares Serv-a-thon aims to recruit more than 5,000 volunteers to get out and do good across their hometown. Together, volunteers will lend a hand at a variety of projects across Chicago. This year, there’s a need for volunteers to do everything from renovating schools to working in community gardens.

As a volunteer, you can expect to roll up your sleeves and get dirty – all for the benefit of the people impacted by the project you support. But, at the end of the day, the dirt and the sweat merely a sign of the pride and joy realized by making a real difference for our fellow Chicagoans.

The day of volunteering starts with a pseudo pep rally - bright and early - at Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington St. Chicago). From there, volunteers travel on buses to the places where each project will take place – schools, community gardens, senior centers and more.

At the end of your Saturday, you can feel fulfilled in spending a day giving back – and the knowledge that the impact of your time will be felt by so many people for so long. Plus, you can celebrate your feats of service with your fellow volunteers at a block party back at Daley Plaza.

Anyone who lives in Chicago knows we’re made of tough stuff. We struggle through the bone-chilling winters to enjoy the hot summer festivals. We route for sports teams that aren't always the champions. And, we always come together when it’s time to make a difference in our hometown.

You can find out more about how to sign up for Chicago’s biggest day of volunteering on the Chicago Cares Serv-a-thon website. Just be sure to sign up before the deadline to volunteer – Friday, June 16.

Are you interested in learning about other ways to volunteer throughouth the year – no matter if you live in Chicago or not? Then check out my recent post on resources to use to start volunteering with your family.

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Have you participated in the Chicago Cares Serv-a-Thon before? If so, what made you want to get involved? Do you plan to volunteer again this year? Please share your stories and experiences in the comments below.

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