Leading up to Serve-a-thon, Chicago Cares will publish a blog series called “Three Questions With ….” As part of this series, we will celebrate the diverse and dynamic voices of those who are making a difference inside and outside of our city. Throughout the series, we hope that you will chime in with your thoughts as well by answering a simple question: What does Chicago mean to you? Tell us with the hasthtag #MyChi through words, photos, and videos on social media!

Today, we are excited to feature reflections from Jackie Roberson. On June 7, Jackie will serve as a Primary Leader for Serve-a-thon, directing 100 volunteers to make a difference at one of our project sites.


1) What are you most excited for this year at Serve-a-thon?Jackie Roberson

I am very excited about being a first-time Primary Leader for Serve-a-thon 2014. [I’m also excited] to have a team that consists of volunteers who have worked with me as part of my ongoing “Art Around the World” project and friends who have taken the challenge to share their talent and time to give back to the community.

2) What inspires you most when you volunteer?

The smiles of the youth that I serve … meeting new people and having new experiences … along with the opportunity to try and make a difference in someone’s life. All of these things make volunteering so enjoyable to me. We all have so much to give and often times we don’t think we can make a difference, but we can. Even the smallest amount of time given speaks volumes to someone who normally wouldn’t get that attention.

3) What does Chicago look like to you? Feel free to share thoughts on Chicago’s personality, opportunities and/or challenges.

To me Chicago looks like an oil painting filled with stories of life. The colors are vibrant, because the people of Chicago are so full of life, character, perseverance, determination, and hope. Though the backgrounds of each person can be vastly different, the common thread of the love for Chicago always shines through. The painting is filled with images of the plight within each community to show that, though to the outside world things may look hopeless, the opportunity of success always exists. The painting is living and ever changing, because the people of Chicago are always changing, making strides for a better tomorrow. That is what Chicago looks like to me.