Living in a city like Chicago means that you never have to look very hard to find something to do. Whether it’s a concert series, food festival or neighborhood fair; Chicago has got it going on.

So why, when there are so many options, should you donate an entire day to an event like Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon? Here are our top 5 reasons for you to sign up.

5. Because You’re New to the City. It can take a while to find your niche in a place like Chicago, but Serve-a-thon is a wonderful way to meet new people who share your passion for service, as well as a chance to see thriving neighborhoods that you didn’t even know existed! The majority of our volunteers are young professionals, so events like Serve-a-thon are also fantastic networking opportunities.

4. Because You Love to Work With Your Hands. Painting, building, landscaping; these aren’t the sort of projects that most apartment-dwellers get to tackle very often. At Serve-a-thon you give your two hands to paint a hallway, but when we combine it with the work of thousands of other volunteers, it means improved learning environments for over 30,000 Chicago Public School students.

3. Because You’re Competitive. Sometimes the greatest motivator is the chance to win! Serve-a-thon isn’t just about improving schools, it’s also the largest fundraiser for Chicago Cares. Get your friends together to form a team and then challenge another group to see who can earn the most pledges. Your alumni club can challenge your arch rivals, your company’s business department can take on your marketing department; or maybe it’s finally payback time for that softball team that beat you in intramurals last season. There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, especially when it’s the Chicago community that ultimately wins!

2. Because You’re Artistic. From mosaics to murals, Serve-a-thon has a project for the artist in you. Many of our site principals have talked about the positive impact that inspirational art has in the day-to-day lives of their students. You can be part of making these beautiful works of art come to life, or put your talents on display and apply to design a mural!

1. Because It’s Not About You! The number one reason to join us for Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon is to support the needs and affirm the value of tens of thousands of young students in our city. The funds raised will also sustain more than 200 monthly projects around Chicago. Everyday we have to deal with the needs of our own jobs, our own health and our own families. Serve-a-thon is a chance, for one day, to focus on the needs of others in our community; and that is a pretty good reason to get involved.

Serve-a-thon will be held on June 11, 2011; registration is now open