Making a Difference in a Chicago Neighborhood

William & Mary students volunteer more than 245,000 hours each year. This commitment to service is part of what makes William & Mary so special. So when William & Mary Weekend came to Chicago this June, the Chicago Alumni Chapter knew they wanted to host a service event for visiting alumni to make a difference in the local community.

"It feels good to give back to the community, in the same way we give back to our school," said Chris Miller ’08, president of the Chicago Alumni Chapter. He and his wife Karen Lynn Miller ’08, M.Acc. ’09 served on the William & Mary Weekend in Chicago leadership committee.

With the help of Jonathan Lever '91, P '21, executive vice president, chief membership and programs officer of YMCA of the USA, the Chicago Alumni Chapter partnered with the Kelly Hall YMCA and the Greater Chicago Food Depository for a Saturday morning of service in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. Fifteen alumni and family members of all ages gathered at the YMCA to sort, bag and distribute food items to hundreds of food-insecure seniors and families.

The William & Mary volunteers quickly got to work with dozens of other volunteers bundling onions, nectarines, cherry tomatoes and other produce into bags. Then, they walked through tables of produce, bread, cans and frozen items with people from the neighborhood, helping them make selections, providing preparation ideas and getting to know each person.

"I loved meeting and helping the neighbors, as well as spending time with W&M alumni I didn't know before," said Stephanie Chu J.D. ’92.

As Chicago resident Juliana Glassco ’08 said, "It's really in the spirit of William & Mary service to do this today."

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