Ok, Serve-a-thon participants – the big event is only TWO days away! Here are some tips to make the most of it:

  • As Serve-a-thon registration closed June 10, Chicago Cares is unable to take any new registrants or accept walk-ons. We do encourage substitutions though! A substitute will simply check-in under the name of the person for whom they’re substituting and tell the check-in assistant that they’re a substitute
  • On Saturday, check-in at 8 a.m. at Serve-a-thon Plaza, located at Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington Street, between Dearborn and Clark streets) to receive your project assignment. Breakfast snacks and coffee will be available as all volunteers join together for an Opening Ceremony featuring Chelsea Clinton before boarding buses at 9 a.m. Also, you can pick up a complimentary tote bag and Gatorade water bottle at the Lunch tent!
  • There’s still time to fundraise. Serve-a-thon is a significant source of funding for Chicago Cares, allowing us to serve tens of thousands of Chicago residents all year long. Please encourage your friends and family to donate here and/or bring donations to the Info Tent on the day of the event. Also, we are having a Super Fundraising Day TODAY! The person who raises the most between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. will receive Cubs tickets. Check out fundraising tips here.
  • If you know anyone who wants to serve at Serve-a-thon, but they didn’t register or aren’t available for the entire day, there are still “Roadie” shifts from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Roadies help make Serve-a-thon possible, assisting the Chicago Cares team with check-in and logistics. Those interested can sign up here. The day of the event, Roadies will check-in at a specially designated tent. If you have offered to be a Bus Ambassador, a guide on the trip from Daley Plaza to the project site, please go through general check-in. (Bus Ambassador information packets will be on your bus.)
  • Whatever the weather, we will serve together! All projects have rain contingency plans, so come out rain or shine. Apply sunscreen, consider a hat and sunglasses, and dress comfortably in clothes you won’t mind getting dirty. You may be painting, building, planting, or cleaning. Also, only bring what you can wear or carry (storage will not be available).
  • Plan for your lunch! If you would like to order lunch through Potbelly, today  at 12 p.m. is the deadline. Order through this site or contact our Potbelly sales manager directly: Dino Northway, 312.730.0400, dino.northway@potbelly.com. Potbelly lunches will be available for pickup at Daley Plaza. If you do not pre-order lunch, please bring your lunch to enjoy at your project.
  • Bring a photo ID, particularly if you wish to enjoy the beer garden (21+) at the post-event party. Valid photo IDs are required to obtain a wristband for two free beers.
  • We strongly recommend using public transportation to reach Serve-a-thon Plaza, which is easily accessible via CTA trains and buses, as well as Metra. If this is not convenient, the Chicago Cares preferred parking partner for Serve-a-thon is InterPark. Serve-a-thon volunteers may buy discounted parking passes for $14 for up to 16 hours on June 15, 2013, for three separate garages:

Theatre District Self-Park Garage • 181 N. Dearborn St.
Government Center Self-Park Garage • 181 N. Clark St.
203 N. LaSalle Self-Park Garage • 203 N. LaSalle St.

  • Share your experience live! Tag your photos and use Chicago Cares hashtag (#chicares) or mention us (@chicagocares) to instantly spread the word about the difference you’re making. Chicago Cares will also be live blogging from Daley Plaza on Saturday!

For more information, please read the Serve-a-thon FAQs.

See you on Saturday!

Tameka Harris is the Volunteer Recruitment & Fundraising Specialist for Chicago Cares.