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 veteran Chicago Cares volunteers Tracey and Greg Neumarke. The Neumarkes have served at all 20 Serve-a-thons and are gearing up to do so again on June 7!
1) What was the first Serve-a-thon like?
The first Serve-a-thon was especially exciting, because it was a new thing. The idea of corporate sponsors hadn’t started yet, so we were small groups of friends, individuals, and family all coming together to do something good. While the amount of volunteers was small back at the first Serve-a-thon, the dedication and desire to help others was as strong as what we have seen every year since.
2) Is it true that the couple that volunteers together stays together?
Yes, we think so. We both have a heart for volunteering and helping others. It is something we can do in our time together that strengthens our bond and makes a difference. When people volunteer, they step outside themselves and do something for others. Marriage is also about doing things for someone else. It is about working together for a common goal, which is what volunteering is too.
3) What does Chicago look like to you? Feel free to share thoughts on Chicago’s personality, opportunities and/or challenges.
We live in a very diverse area of Chicago with many different ethnic groups all around us. Everyone has so much to give, and we all can learn from each other. A cool thing about the Serve-a-thon is that we get to go to project sites in other areas of Chicago that we may not normally go to.