At Kendall, we have a responsibly to not only prepare students for successful careers in culinary arts, business, hospitality management, or education, but also on how to be global citizens who actively contribute to their communities.
We always make a point to start small. For example, Kendall Cares participated in a spring cleaning event in May on Goose Island and the Halsted River Triangle, which coincided with the Friends of the River Clean-Up Day. Sponsored by Waste Management, Inc. and Whole Foods in Lincoln Park, the event drew more than 85 volunteers—including Kendall students, faculty, alumni, community members, and their families. Our goal was to clean the areas by the river’s edge, including streets, bridges and parkways.
The effect of these acts of volunteerism are tangible—they directly impact the community around us in a positive way. If we make a difference locally in one day, what else can we do? Starting small does not prevent us from dreaming big. I want everyone at Kendall to have a positive impact, not only through education, but also by supporting our community.
It’s so important to share this value with our students. Not only is giving back to our community the right thing to do, it helps us mold future leaders—our graduates—who will continue to build on these values through their professions and personal lives, spreading their enthusiasm to friends and colleagues. Volunteering is infectious and it’s personal. I’m a chef, so food and hunger are my passions. Other people may be interested in raising money for research or tutoring local students.
The first, most important, step may simply be talking about volunteering. What do you do? Why do you do it? We’re all responsible for contributing in some way, no matter how small. Please share how and why you volunteer in the comments!