Big Event 2013!

Welcome to The BIG Event 2013! Join IIT students, university employees, and alumni to give back to Chicago at the 5th annual BIG EVENT on Saturday April 20, 2013! It's the biggest single service event at IIT, and this year, we even have Friday night (April 19) and Saturday night options for you as well. See below for more details! All volunteers will be leaving in groups to their sites and they will be contacted prior to the event by their Site Captains with details. Please forward any questions to Service Learning at
* Required

Volunteer Info

A little bit about you.

Site Descriptions

To help you choose a site that best suits your interests and needs, here's a brief summary of the types of tasks that each site will ask of volunteers. You will also find the number of volunteers that each site can accommodate. NOTE: We will provide transportation for sites not within walking distance of the IIT campus. BENTON HOUSE -- 3052 S. Gratten Ave. (20+ volunteers) A variety of tasks await volunteers who serve at Benton House, which has provided social services for the Bridgeport community in the city of Chicago for over 100 years. Volunteers are needed to help with renovating historical space at Benton House (cleaning out and reconstructing wood shop area; hanging up dry wall); creating garden beds (re-purposing wooden pallets to make vertical garden beds); promoting and collecting funds for Benton House Youth Program (going out to pre-determined stations in the neighborhood to collect money with collection boxes) CHICAGO HOPES -- Madonna House homeless shelter, 1114 W. Grace, Chicago (25 volunteers) Help this volunteer-based, help program for students living in Chicago homeless shelters with their Spring gardening event! Volunteers tasks include planting of flowers and a vegetable garden, and more. EDEN PLACE NATURE CENTER -- 4417 S. Stewart, Chicago (10 volunteers) Eden Place is an urban oasis and a nature preserve that seeks to introduce the Chicago community to food production and environmental education. Help this great organization prepare for their Earth Day celebration. GIRL SCOUTS -- Camp Palos, 11736 Will Cook Rd, Palos Park, IL (15 volunteers) The premier leadership organization for girls, The Girls Scouts is the largest girl-serving organization in the United States. Help Girl Scout staff facilitate activities at their Earth Day Extravaganza event! NEW LIFE BRIDGEPORT -- 3039 S. Normal, Chicago (10 volunteers) New Life has been active in the Bridgeport community for generations. Help this evangelical Christian church by revamping their garden beds, cleaning, touch up painting, and more! PILGRIM BAPTIST CHURCH -- 3300 S. Indiana, Chicago (40 volunteers) Pilgrim Baptist Church, originally the Kehilath Anshe Ma’ariv Synagogue, was designed by Adler and Sullivan; drawings were prepared by Frank Lloyd Wright. Constructed in 1890, the building was a perfect melding of Sullivan’s design and Adler’s acoustics, and was admired for its unique form and style. In 1921, the recently founded Pilgrim Baptist Church purchased the former synagogue. Pilgrim Baptist quickly became one of the largest and most influential African-American congregations in the country. On January 6, 2006, fire ravaged Pilgrim Baptist Church, destroying all but the exterior walls. The congregation immediately resolved to rebuild their historic church, one of the most significant religious structures in the country. Help historic Pilgrim Baptist with a variety of "Clean and Green" tasks, including the grounds of the old church and the interior of their new location across the street. ST. JAMES FOOD PANTRY -- 2907 S. Wabash, Chicago (12 volunteers) The largest food pantry in the 60616 zip code, every month St. James provides for over 1500 families in need. Volunteers are needed to help with many tasks, including stocking shelves with food deliveries and donations; packing grocery bags with food; inventory and preparation for Jazzin' to Feed fundraiser; making bagged lunches and toiletry kits WABASH YMCA -- 3763 S. Wabash, Chicago (20 volunteers) The Y is the nation's leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Help the Wabash Y do outreach to the community by distributing promotional flyers in the service area. ***NEW SITES JUST ADDED!*** CHICAGO YOUTH CENTERS at ABC POLK BROS. -- 3415 W. 13th Place, Chicago (10 volunteers) Chicago Youth Centers (CYC) invests in low-income at-risk youth to help them build the academic, social, and emotional well-being competencies and achievements needed to be successful – from early childhood education to and through college. CYC is Chicago’s largest multi-site, independent, locally-based youth development organization. Volunteers will be preparing the garden and the playground for Spring! OLIVET BAPTIST CHURCH -- 3101 S. King Drive, Chicago (20 volunteers) At 162 years old, historic Olivet Baptist Church is the oldest African American Baptist Church in Chicago. The church is a beautiful historic building with unique architectural details. Olivet has begun restoring the building. Volunteers are needed to help the restoration process by performing a variety of tasks, including: Painting, cleaning, cleanup, removal of old furniture, wood, boxes and other materials, as well as a small amount of gardening and scraping of walls. **ADDITIONAL OPTIONS** RTW Dinner in the Commons (unlimited) Located in the Washington Park neighborhood at 5536 S. King Drive in Chicago, the RTW Vet Center provides shelter, clothing and free hot meals 7 days a week, 3 times a day food for homeless veterans and anyone in need. In 2011 the Center provided over 15,000 meals to those in need. As a community center, they provide jobs and jobs training for unemployed and underemployed individuals, and their computer lab provides internet and computer technology access to the community. RTW also maintains two sustainable community gardens. RTW is entirely funded through dedicated veterans who are committed to the mission of remaking the world and from other non veteran contributors who support their mission. Join us as we welcome approximately 300 guests of the RTW Vet Center for Dinner in the Commons. Big Event volunteers will act as servers, greeters, keep RTW kids entertained with crafts, and help with cleanup. RELAY FOR LIFE, main campus (unlimited) The signature fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. Participation in this event requires membership in a registered team. If interested in joining a team, or for more information, please contact Elyse Siwinski at OR Lynne Meyer at

At which site would you like to volunteer?

Sign-ups are first come first serve. When the maximum number of volunteers needed for a site is reached, that site will be removed from the list of options below.

Additional Options

If you would like more ways to give back to the community, or if Saturday morning/afternoon doesn't work for your schedule, we have two additional opportunities for you! You can select either, or both, of these in addition to -- or instead of!-- any site selection above.

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