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Serve-a-Thon 2017: Inspiring Vibrancy with Chicago Cares

On a recent sunny Saturday afternoon, SPINS rallied together a team of 30 volunteers to help restore and inspire our community. At this year’s Chicago Cares Serve-a-Thon, we joined 5,000 others to build, create, organize, engage, and more at 28 locations across Chicago. Our SPINS’ team spent the day at Perkins Bass Elementary, a Chicago Public School (CPS) serving pre-kindergarten through eighth grade in the Englewood neighborhood.

SPINS’ team members and other Chicago Cares participants helped revitalize the school by painting several interior walls; creating murals, mosaics, and a “Welcome to Bass” sign for outside; and painting a U.S. and a world map on the outdoor blacktop.

The team leaders discuss the plans for the day in the auditorium. Our own Susan Battaglia is speaking here; Susan championed initial efforts, has worked with Chicago Cares for 18 years, and received Chicago Cares’ prestigious Leader Star Award for 2016!

SPINS’ other volunteer group leaders included Mary Banach, Danielle Bixler, Laiza Tomasello, and Joanna Mikosz.

SPINS’ volunteers and others cut out bases for the Martin Luther King Jr. domino Mosaic.

This Martin Luther King Jr. mosaic is made completely of glued domino pieces!

From art in classrooms to whole hallways, our crew tackled a ton of painting projects!




Talented volunteers painted this mural in the cafeteria using a stencil projected onto the wall.

Studies have shown that students and teachers perform better in an environment that is both stimulating and beautiful. Together, we worked to send a positive message to students to support their success. The collective 5,000 Chicago Cares volunteers also helped save CPS $3 million in facility improvements.

This is the third year that SPINS has volunteered as a group for Chicago Cares, and this year we were proud to complete all of our projects in record time. Couldn’t make it to volunteer with us this year? Plan to join us next year, and find plenty of volunteer opportunities year-round at http://www.chicagocares.org.