This past Saturday, the Family First Center partnered with multiple community organizations to conduct the yearly Comcast Cares Day. Over 7000 volunteers across the state of Illinois in 17 communities decided to take part in this day of community service. In Waukegan, the FFC was packed with over 150 local volunteers eager to put their back into it, continuing the legacy of the 5000+ volunteers that have participated in the Waukegan Comcast Cares day since it began in 2001.
But before breaking a sweat, the volunteers congregated on the third floor of the Center to hear commencement speeches from community leaders.
Keynote speakers included:
- Evelyn Chenier, Ph.D., Executive Director at the Family First Support Center
- Robert G. Sabonjian, Mayor of Waukegan
- John I. Caples Jr., Pastor of Jesus Name Apostolic Church
- Sam Cunningham, First Ward Alderman of Waukegan
- Jennifer Witherspoon, Chief of the Lake County Jail
- Anita Hanna, Vice President of the Waukegan school board
- Nada Finn, member of Green Town Waukegan/Supervisor of Madeleine Fuqua Waukegan Community Garden
Looking around the room, Pastor John I. Caples Jr. proudly proclaimed that the crowd before him did not represent Waukegan as a community divided by race, ethnicity, or culture. He asked the audience to celebrate this day of togetherness as they worked hand in hand with one another to better the community. "Waukegan is on the rise, and it's on the rise because of people like you" First Ward Alderman Sam Cunningham commended the volunteers. Chief Witherspoon emphasized that she was grateful for the service work not only as the chief, but as a mother as well. She stated firmly that we must "make youth understand that this is their house... because Waukegan is a wonderful place to live."
The heads of each volunteer site also expressed their thanks for the service provided. Beyond her gratitude, school board VP Anita Hanna, reminded volunteers that this work was ultimately an investment in the Washington Campus of Waukegan High School. Nada Finn, Green Town member and community garden supervisor, also thanked the volunteers, concluding "it's a blessing to have us all here".
Afterwards, all 150+ volunteers posed out to the front of the FFC building to take the famous group photo before trekking over to one of the two volunteer sites. Volunteers at both the garden and high school painted, mulched, and planted their hearts out; even the kids joined in! Pictures of their service is posted on our "Photos" page listed in the right-hand column under "Home".
Everyone put in a hard day's work with a smile on their face, and we can't begin to thank you all enough!!! We are very proud to be a part of this caring community!!!