Finding time to volunteer isn’t always easy, nor is it easy to find a volunteer experience that truly leaves one feeling helpful and fulfilled.
But the longtime UCAN supporters at Winston & Strawn found a perfect remedy.
Winston & Strawn, along with Hilco, partnered with UCAN and Back2School Illinois, the largest school supplies distribution program in the state, to offer their employees a “Day of Service” at UCAN’s Nichols Center in North Lawndale by building back to school kits for UCAN youth.
Though many children look forward to back to school shopping, for UCAN youth and families, acquiring school supplies each year can be stressful. For those with financial strains, purchasing all the items on an ever-growing school supply list is expensive and time consuming. And for those who have suffered the trauma of a violent summer in Chicago, preparation for school takes on a whole new meaning.
On August 18, eight Winston & Strawn employees devoted their day to building Back2School kits, knowing their time and effort would directly help prepare youth for a new school year. They built 333 kits, each consisting of 30 back to school items like as scissors, glue and notebooks.
“It really was an eye-opening experience,” Katie Mascis, a Performance Management & Compensation Specialist at Winston & Strawn, reflected on the day. “We met some of the youth living on campus and they were respectful and genuinely appreciative of the time we spent with them. It is obvious that UCAN truly values diversity and strengthening the North Lawndale neighborhood. The work [UCAN] is doing in the community is amazing.”
Katie added, “I just wish I had more time so that I could volunteer on a more consistent basis.” Companies such as Winston & Strawn have found it rewarding and empowering for their employees to participate in a Day of Service, which also presents an alternative way to create time to volunteer.
UCAN is always looking for new ways to support our youth and volunteers. If you or your company is interested in participating in a Day of Service, contact Jannella Curtis at Janella.Curtis@UCANchicago.org.