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Published on May 28, 2012
The weather on Saturday, May 12th was anything but exciting, motivating or inspirational. Fortunately, the 60 students and adult volunteers that participated in the STRIVE workday embodied those characteristics as they set out to serve the community. The excitement was palpable as groups of eager students poured out into the community with the desire to give back. In the end, 32 senior citizens were served with a few groups assisting the letter carrier's with their food drive pick-up.
One senior, Florence, lived in a home that was in desperate need of landscaping. With her husband passing away, no family nearby, and herself in poor health, her yard had become overgrown with wild bushes and weeds. The project was so large that five teams ended up going to the house for the entire afternoon. By the end, Florence was overwhelmed with gratitude, "I can't even begin to express how thankful I am for your service. I don't know what I could have done without all of you." Throughout the rest of the community, gaps between generations were bridged as senior citizens shared donuts, coffee and old stories with the teenagers. Two students, one from DGN and the other from DGS, connected with one of the seniors so well that they planned a night out the following week.
Leading up to the workday, students invited community members, friends, and family to sponsor them so that they could raise the needed funds to keep the Campus Life Warehouse open for the following year. Campus Life serves as safe place for teenagers to be themselves, hang out with friends, and discuss relevant issues with caring adults in the community. The students were successful in their fundraising efforts and ended up bringing in over $25,000! In doing so, the students have left their legacy in keeping a bright spot in the community open for years to come.
The STRIVE workday also could not have happened without the many community sponsors who generously donated bags, STRIVE prizes and especially food for our big STRIVE after-party! A big thanks goes out to the following businesses for partnering with STRIVE:
Downers Grove Park District ---- WannaMakers Ace Hardware ---- El Burrito Loco Panera Bread ---- Home Run Inn Pizza L&F Pizza ---- Skuttlebutts Pizza Cozzi Corner Hot Dog ---- Dairy Queen Every Day is a Sundae ---- Moondance Diner Emmy's Family Restaurant ---- Barone's Pizza Another Round Bar & Grill ---- Classic Cinemas
STRIVE: Students Turning Responsibility Into Valuable Experience