Hopefully, you’re all registered and ready to join us this Saturday at Celebration of Service! This is going to be an inspiring day as we take time to reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and then go out into the city to help keep his dream alive through our service.

Below is a quick checklist to help you get your day of service off to a great start:

  1. Dress well. This doesn’t mean wear your finest, it means dress well for the work you’ll be doing! There’s a very good chance that you’ll end your day with some paint, glitter, glue or scrambled eggs on your shirt; so dress comfortably in clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
  2. Plan your route. Self-pay parking near Union Station is available in numerous public parking lots. However, we recommend taking public transportation to Union Station. Call 836.7000 from all area codes for CTA, Pace and Metra routes/schedules or visit www.transitchicago.com.
  3. Get some sleep. It’s going to be an exciting and full day, so make sure you hit the hay a little early on Friday night so that you have plenty of energy to enjoy all of the experiences the Celebration of Service has to offer.
  4. Eat breakfast. We do not serve breakfast at the Celebration of Service Opening Ceremony. There will be coffee (thanks to our wonderful friends at Metropolis Coffee) but you’ll need more than caffeine to keep you going until lunch, so eat up!
  5. Pack your lunch. If you pre-ordered your box lunch from Subway, you will be able to pick that up after you check-in. If not, please remember to pack a lunch and bring it with you to your site. No lunches will be delivered to project sites, so don’t forget that little brown bag.
  6. Be Kind. Almost everyone serving you on Saturday is a volunteer, just like you. Our Production Assistants are volunteers who get up extra early to make sure that you can check-in, pick up your goodie bag, have your questions answered and find your bus. Our Volunteer Leaders have donated many hours to learn the specific needs of your site and get specialized training to lead you well. So please be patient when the inevitable bump-in-the-road has you stalled for a moment. We know they’ll do their best to help you have a great day of service.
  7. Know the hashtag. We’ll be live blogging throughout the entire day and we want to know what you’re up to! Use #chicares for your tweet to show up in our live blog feed, or you can mention us @chicagocares. Give details of your project, share an inspiring quote from the ceremony or take a picture with some new friends; your participation will help make our blog extra great! To follow the blog or read through it when you get home, visit www.chicagocares.org beginning Saturday morning.
  8. Have an open mind. Whether you’re serving a new population of clients, getting to know volunteers who seem different from you or finding someone to sit next to on the bus; you may find yourself in a situation that makes you a bit uncomfortable. Remember, you have well-trained leaders ready to help you at your project site and you’re surrounded by fellow volunteers who, just like you, want to make a difference in Chicago.
  9. Tell us what you think. At the end of the day you’ll be given a short survey, please take the time to fill this out and return it to your Bus Ambassador. We at Chicago Cares look through each and every one of these surveys, taking all of your feedback under careful consideration. We want to provide you with the most meaningful volunteer experience possible, so need to hear from YOU!
  10. Plan your next project. We hope that participating in the Celebration of Service is just the beginning of a year filled with community service. You can find more than 215 volunteer opportunities each month on our opportunity calendar.

We can’t wait to see you on Saturday. If you have any other questions, feel free to check out our Celebration of Service FAQs.