Community Development / Education / Noted

Lightford Gives Hundreds Free School Supplies | Loyola Students Give Service

Loyola Service Day.jpg

Volunteers from Loyola University Chicago volunteering during Loyola’s annual Day of Service on July 31. | Courtesy Loyola Medical Center 

Loyola Service Day II.jpgWednesday, August 3, 2016 || By COMMUNITY EDITOR || @maywoodnews || @village_free  

Last weekend was one of giving in Maywood and surrounding suburbs.

On Saturday, more than 100 people from Loyola University Chicago (LUC) and Loyola University Health System (LUHS) volunteered their time and energy on projects that included painting, planting and cleaning numerous cites throughout Maywood.

The initiative was part of Loyola’s annual Day of Service, which commemorates the feast day of St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, or the Society of Jesus — a religious congregation within the Catholic Church.  Loyola University Chicago was founded by Jesuits in 1870.

“Ignatius taught us to use our values in service to humanity,” noted John Hardt, vice president, mission integration, in a statement put out by Loyola Medicine. “It is our honor and duty to give back to the community where we work, study and treat patients, body and soul.”

“To start the day, the participants gathered at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine, where they listened to reflections from Hardt, Marcius Scaggs, Neighbors of Maywood Community Organization, and Heidi Renteria, Maywood Fine Arts,” the statement notes.

Volunteers worked at sites all over the village and surrounding areas, including Maywood Fine Art, St. Eulalia Catholic Church/Quinn Community Center, Housing Forward, Mission of Our Lady of the Angels and Urban Garden Connection.

Sen. Lightford Throws Massive Back-to-School Party

Lightford back to school giveaway

More than 250 families listen to state Sen. Kimberly Lightford during her annual Uplift Our Future back-to-school bash at Brookfield Zoo. The attendees, who packed a conference room at the zoo during several different lunch sessions, were given free school supplies, among other uplifting treats. 

Kimberly Lightford photo_Black lawmakers storyOn Sunday, state Sen. Kimberly Lightford (4th) was in the giving and serving spirit as well. The Maywood elected official gave away free book bags, schools supplies, food and fun to hundreds of students.

Around 800 people attended Lightford’s 7th Annual Uplift Our Future back-to-school giveaway at Brookfield Zoo on July 31. In addition to getting school supplies, attendees were also treated to free parking and a zoo visit.

“When Sen. Lightford was a little girl, she wanted to have a big party,” said businessman Phillip Jackson and executive director of BlackStar Project, a youth education organization.

Jackson also collaborates with Lightford on the senator’s popular Saturday University, which offers free learning in reading, writing and math for area young people.

“As a 7-year-old, (Lightford) couldn’t throw a party, but as a senator of one of the best districts in the country, she can,” Jackson said.

“Education is something you must have and Sen. Lightford believes every child deserves a decent education,” said Wanda Sharp, a former Maywood trustee.

Lightford said the idea to host the annual giveaway came to her seven years ago, when she decided to brand something she had been doing for a long time.

“I was giving out (hundreds of) backpacks to (different people and to colleagues),” she said, before noting that, after giving them out, her giving would often go unmentioned.

The partnership with Brookfield Zoo, she said, is a way to put her unique stamp on her tendency to give — and to partner with numerous companies to help her do it.

This year, she said, sponsors included Brookfield Zoo, Nicor, People’s Gas, Meyers and the Illinois Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, among others.

“God wants me to make sure that every child (gets) a quality school, a good teacher and a good education,” she said, before noting that, in addition to raising the standard of education, she was also trying to pass legislation that would increase the minimum wage.

Maywood resident Rolando Villegas, who was at the event with his wife and two children, lauded the senator’s largess.

“I think she’s to be commended. This is a great way to bring the community together and it gives us the opportunity to have some fun,” Villegas said. VFP

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