October 22, 2011

One Good Deed Chicago Announces "Good Grows: A Day of Service" at Douglas Park

Chicago joins cities across the country for national “Make a Difference Day”

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

One Good Deed Chicago presented Good Grows: A Day of Service at Douglas Park today, Saturday, October 22 from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon. More than 200 Chicago residents signed up to volunteer at the park to mulch trees, clean up trash, pull weeds and participate in other service activities in order to improve the historic recreation area.

Hosted in partnership with Friends of the Parks, Good Grows joins Chicago with cities across the nation in hosting events for Make a Difference Day, the nation’s largest day of volunteering. Make a Difference Day was created in 1992 and is sponsored by the magazine USA Weekend; millions of Americans participate in concurrent service projects, which can be founds online at daytabank.handsonnetwork.org.

City of Chicago Chief Service Officer Jenné Myers said the event offers a way for people across the city to connect with one another and give back. “The Emanuel Administration is committed to the city’s communities, and this is just one unique way that residents can get directly involved, by joining non-profit partners and people from other neighborhoods to take action and serve others,” Myers said.

Volunteers from One Good Deed Chicago’s 52 selected nonprofit partners will take part in the event. 

One Good Deed Chicago is a City-sponsored campaign promoting volunteerism and furthering civic engagement by residents. It includes the volunteer-matching site OneGoodDeedChicago.org, where hundreds of nonprofits post skills-based, one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities.  Cities of Service awarded Chicago and nine other cities Leadership Grants in January 2010. Chicago’s plan focuses on making volunteerism more accessible and impactful by better aligning residents with existing nonprofits, building non-profit capacity to more effectively use volunteers and nurturing the culture of service and philanthropy in the City of Chicago, and One Good Deed Chicago launched its two new priority initiatives last month:

  • VolunTEAM places retired and semi-retired professionals as consultants in 20 smaller nonprofit organizations, helping them build capacity and implement volunteer-management best practices. The volunteer consultants are trained by Executive Service Corps. Partner nonprofits include the Chicago Urban League, Howard Brown and the YWCA.
  • Success Coaches wraps a public awareness campaign around 32 selected education-focused nonprofits, driving volunteers to participate in one-on-one programs with youth to improve literacy, high-school readiness and college readiness. Print ads around the city will drive traffic to OneGoodDeedChicago.org, where potential volunteers can find opportunities with organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Christopher House and Mercy Home.

“We want Chicagoans to volunteer where we need them the most.  Volunteers help build non-profit organizational capacity and are critical to providing services to our residents,” Myers said.