Chicago White Sox Charities has long been a supporter of City Year Chicago, and are the sponsors of the team serving at Tilden Community Academy High School. On top of their day-to-day support of our AmeriCorps members, we were proud to partner with Chicago White Sox Charities – and their amazing Volunteer Corps – on Saturday May 7 for the 8th Annual Chicago White Sox Day of Service!
Members of the Volunteer Corps and the Gage Park community stand and prepare to do some PT before service!
This year’s Day of Service brought us to Sidney Sawyer Elementary School, in the Gage Park community. Nearly 300 volunteers from the Chicago White Sox Volunteer Corps, staff, and students from Sawyer gathered and deployed to 14 projects. Projects, led by AmeriCorps member Service Reserves (corps members who take the extra opportunity to prepare project sites and lead volunteers in service throughout the year), began after our opening ceremony, where we heard from Sawyer Assistant Principal Clarisa Bravo-Ruiz.
She shared her excitement for hosting all of the volunteers, but also shared how important a message the volunteers’ presence and impact would have on her students – showing them that fellow Chicagoans care about them, and want to give back and help boost their pride in their school, and in their education.
Projects included: organizing books to be used in the library, painting banners with motivational quotes and educational pictures, constructing benches, tables, and garden boxes to be used in the school garden, and painting the walls of the cafeteria, stairwells/landings, and walkway in-between the 2 school buildings.
Right before breaking for lunch, volunteers were surprised by a visit from current and former Chicago White Sox players and Southpaw, the White Sox mascot! Harold Baines and Rick Renteria joined Carlos Sanchez (Second Basemen) and Dioner Navarro (Catcher) as they worked alongside volunteers on a few projects before that evening’s game (a 7-2 win over the Twins).
Rick Renteria spoke to volunteers during lunch on the importance that the White Sox organization places on giving back to the community, and before leaving to prepare for the game, players took pictures and signed autographs with volunteers.
We’d like to thank everyone from the Chicago White Sox organization and the Volunteer Corps for their continued support to making better happen across Chicago! For more pictures of the White Sox Day of Service, browse our Flickr album!