YLS Volunteers at Kelly Hall Produce Days

YLS members at a Produce Day last November

Post submitted on behalf of Young Leaders Society Volunteer Committee member, Chey Hsiao. Kelly Hall YMCA opened in January 2009 as a safe haven that provides key services to the severely underserved community of West Humboldt Park. In conjunction with the Greater Chicago Food Depository, it hosts ‘Produce Days’ the first Saturday of every month during which volunteers sort food from the GCFD truck, distribute to community members and breakdown boxes/plastics for recycling and garbage. Although Chicagoans have been enjoying a relatively mild winter, the forecast for March 3 offered no such reprieve from the historically cold and windy Chicago winter season. With temperatures in the low to mid-30’s and driving snow ensuring that the produce remained as fresh as possible, an overwhelming number of volunteers cheerily braved the cold to spend the morning outdoors in the YMCA parking lot to portion out the produce, help community members load and transport the canned goods, fresh vegetables, and bread to their car or nearby home, and sort and break down recyclables. As volunteers were paired with community members, people were introduced by name and were able to spend individual time with one another. It was incredible to see the outpouring of support for the community despite the weather, and the gratitude from the community members for the efforts. Kelly Hall YMCA showed their thanks as well with hot chocolate and coffee. Often it takes the worst of times to show where people’s hearts lie, and Chicagoans on that day definitely showed that they take care of their own. The United Way Young Leaders Society (YLS) is proud to be a part of such community spirit. Upcoming volunteer opportunities with YLS: March 14:  Upward Bound networking March 19:  Teamwork Englewood homework help April 21: Comcast Cares Day – Save the Date!

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