Chicago knows how to show up! This Earth Day, hundreds of volunteers joined the Obama Foundation for a day of giving back to the community.
“In true Chicago fashion, we experienced all four seasons on Earth Day,” Kim Patterson, Senior Events Associate for the Foundation said with a smile. “But that did not stop our neighbors from across the city from coming here to the South Side.”
In partnership with Emerald South Economic Development Opens in a new tab , volunteers were spread across three South Side locations including Washington Park, Rainbow Beach, and Jackson Park-–the home of the future Obama Presidential Center.
Valerie Jarrett, Obama Foundation CEO, welcomed the Earth Day volunteers who met initially at the Washington Park Refectory.
“Washington Park holds many dear memories for me,” Jarrett shared. “And of course you know how dear it is to the Obamas. The Obama Presidential Center will be a stone’s throw away from here.”
“As you know the Obama Presidential Center is under construction, so I hope you drive by, ride your bikes by, walk by, and take pride in the fact that it is going to be an economic engine for the South Side of Chicago,” Jarrett added. “It’s also going to be a beacon of hope for the world…we can’t wait to showcase this amazing community.”
The Earth Day clean up also drew several youth-centric groups from across the city, including Girls Inc. of Chicago Opens in a new tab , M.E.A.N. Girls Empowerment Opens in a new tab , Girls on the Run Chicago Opens in a new tab , SHE Chicago Opens in a new tab , Working on Womanhood Opens in a new tab , Urban Alliance Opens in a new tab , Chicago Southside Wolfpack Opens in a new tab , Lost Boyz Opens in a new tab , and Pilsen Neighbors Community Council Opens in a new tab .
“The young people conveyed a great deal of leadership and passion by beautifying the parks on the South Side,” Chris Crater, Senior Associate for My Brother’s Keeper Alliance said. “No rain, sleet, or snow could stand in the way of these young people protecting the environment. This is Chicago.”
The Foundation wrapped up Earth Day with a community celebration with food and music. To learn more about future Obama Foundation volunteer events, sign up for our newsletter!