Since moving to Chicago three years ago from Haughton, Louisiana, Gayle Grindley has discovered a wealth of interesting activities to keep her busy. When she’s not exploring the city, testing out a new recipe in her kitchen, or dining out at her favorite restaurant, Bonsoirée; Gayle makes it a priority to volunteer her time for several local nonprofit organizations. Like many of our volunteers, Gayle discovered Chicago Cares while looking for opportunities to meet new people and make a positive impact on her community.

Gayle first volunteered with Chicago Cares in 2008 at KIPP Ascend Charter School with a program designed to help 7th and 8th grade students experience different foods and cultures from around the world. Gayle enjoyed her experience at KIPP, but due to travel commitments associated with her job, she was unable to commit to volunteering at KIPP on a regular basis. That’s when Gayle discovered Serve-a-thon, and soon after she signed up to be a Project Site Manager, or PSM.

Even after a day of hard work painting hallways, creating murals, and building benches at Avalon Park Elementary School, Gayle says she was energized by the feeling of accomplishment associated with a job well done. Gayle also enjoys Serve-a-thon because it allows her to work closely with other volunteers toward a common goal.

In particular, Gayle has been inspired by her Primary PSMs, whose energy and dedication have motivated her to become a Primary PSM as well. Not only have these leaders inspired her, but Gayle has been genuinely touched by the graciousness of the site representatives with which she’s worked. The appreciation and excitement Gayle has seen from the school community has kept her motivated and inspired to lead quality projects that make a profound impact during both Serve-a-thon and Celebration of Service.

This year, Gayle is especially excited to partner with Newton Bateman Elementary School. Gayle lives just a few blocks from Batemen, and according to her, the opportunity to make a direct impact in her own community is truly inspiring.

Join Gayle and become a leader at Serve-a-thon.