Northwestern Lends Largest Team to Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon
Physicians, nurses and staff paint Chicago school classrooms, improve playgrounds and enhance libraries as part of annual event
More than 600 Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation employees donated their time on Saturday to enhance Chicago schools as part of the 18th Annual Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon. The Northwestern Medicine ™ team, comprised of physicians, researchers, nurses, staff and family members, worked together to paint classrooms, improve playgrounds and enhance libraries in order to provide a more enjoyable environment for students to learn. The Northwestern Medicine volunteers represented the largest team for the second consecutive year.
“It is an honor to participate in Chicago Cares and work alongside colleagues and volunteers from our community who are committed to making a difference for Chicago students,” said David Sack, director of philanthropy for the Northwestern Memorial Foundation.
Chicago Cares is an organization that matches volunteers with service project opportunities. Programs are designed to inspire people to donate time and energy while creating a sense of community and shared responsibility. The Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon is the city’s largest day of service and is designed to help volunteers create positive learning environments for students.
Sack, who has participated in the Serve-a-thon for five years, led the Northwestern Medicine team and says this year was among the most rewarding yet.
“It’s wonderful to see so many employees and their families take part in this event. With 624 volunteers, our team alone was able to complete work at three schools, making significant improvements that will help hundreds of kids” said Sack. “We are proud to give back to the community through this important city-wide effort.”
Sheila O’Sullivan, administrative assistant at the Feinberg School, participated in the Serve-A-thon for the first time this year.
“The tremendous sense of community and teamwork was inspiring. I felt privileged to take part,” said O’Sullivan. “I met colleagues, made new friends, and most importantly, made a difference in the community. I didn’t know painting could be so much fun!”
This is the fourth year that Team Northwestern Medicine has participated in the Serve-a-thon. To date, nearly 2,000 employees have participated and the number continues to grow each year.
“Our employees look forward to this event,” said Karen Mahnke, clinical nurse specialist at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital. “It is a rewarding experience and working alongside my coworkers makes me proud to be part of the Northwestern family.”
To learn more about Chicago Cares, visit www.chicagocares.org.