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Over 40 Chicago Students Celebrate National Volunteer Week On The South Side

4/17/2019, noon | Updated on 4/17/2019, noon
Students from Perspectives Charter School’s Rodney D. Joslin Campus in South Loop recently traveled to the South Side of the ...
In celebration of National Volunteer Week, over 40 young Chicagoans gathered in Englewood to assemble care packages for iGrow Chicago to distribute to community members in need. Photo Credit: WE Volunteer Now

Over 40 Chicago Students Celebrate National Volunteer Week On The South Side

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

Students from Perspectives Charter School’s Rodney D. Joslin Campus in South Loop recently traveled to the South Side of the city to participate in a day of volunteering in honor of National Volunteer Week. The students visited iGrow Chicago’s Peace House in Englewood and created care packages for members of their community.

This volunteer initiative was part of the national WE Volunteer Now campaign which empowers young people to get active in their communities and lead volunteer projects that will create positive change. The WE Volunteer Now campaign was made possible by The Allstate Foundation and WE which is a family of organizations that support people doing good in their communities.

The mission of iGrow Chicago is to take Englewood from a community that’s not just surviving, but to a community that is thriving. The organization does this through mentorship and skill building, restorative justice and community building, yoga and mindfulness, creative expression, and urban farming, according to information from iGrow Chicago.

In the spring of 2014, iGrow Chicago opened their Peace House which was previously an abandoned home in West Englewood which they were able to transform into a community gathering space.

“We have a peace team at our school called the Peace Ambassadors and twice a month we do a peace initiative where we take the kids out of the building, or sometimes do something in the building, to teach them how to resolve conflict peacefully, the importance of giving in order to get, and that we learn by teaching others,” said Rhonda Woods, educator at Perspectives Rodney D. Joslin Campus.

The students who participated in the volunteer day at iGrow ranged from 11 years old to 18 years old and were tasked with assembling care packages for iGrow who will then distribute them to community members that are in need.

“We put in toiletries, socks, soap, some toiletries for girls, and stuff for the babies like pampers. It’s all stuff that some people just can’t afford or that they’re not really able to get at the time. We are giving back to them and actually you see some kids putting a lot in the bag and they have smiles on their faces,” said Naomi, a student from Perspectives Charter School’s Rodney D. Joslin Campus.

All of this was made possible by the Allstate Foundation and a local Allstate Agency Owner, Barbara Brown, was on site during the volunteering event to show her support for the students.

“This is important for our youth because they are our future. The youths are the future of this country and the future of companies such as Allstate. We want to be able to support that group and support those individuals as much as we can to let them know that we believe in them and we have confidence in their abilities to change the world,” said Brown.

Visit AllstateFoundation.org to learn more about the WE Volunteer Now campaign.