On Saturday, May 8, local nonprofit Imagine Englewood if (IEi) will host the 8th-annual Greater Englewood Unity Day, dedicated to bringing together more than 200 volunteers from across the city to beautify the Englewood community. Organized by the Unity Day Planning Committee consisting of Aldermen, residents, community members and more, Greater Englewood Unity Day is the largest community cleanup on the South Side of Chicago and this year is committed to cleaning up 100 blocks and vacant lots across Englewood, beautify the Jean Carter-Hill Community Garden and provide Englewood youth with environmental education. The volunteer event is an outdoor activity and COVID-19 precautions will be strictly followed.
In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, IEi joined the support system of 45 families and engaged 75 youth in their four youth programs and out-of-school-time camps. Additionally, IEi continues to provide e-learning support during the school year and also launched the Englewood Strong program providing 85,000+ pounds of food and 50,000+ essential items to 833 Englewood residents and families in need. With food insecurity still a stiff reality, particularly during a pandemic, IEi is partnering with community gardens to help with the planting of vegetables for Englewood residents to later have available to them.
Imagine Englewood If is a grassroots organization that has been serving the Great Englewood community since 1997. Their mission is to strengthen and empower the Greater Englewood community through teaching local youth and their families healthy living, environmental awareness, and positive communication skills. Since 2013, Imagine Englewood If has organized Greater Englewood Unity Day for residents, community members, and stakeholders to clean up blocks and celebrate the power of collaboration. Over the years, this event has brought together over 1,000 volunteers representing over 150 organizations to show the strength, power, and love that exist in the Greater Englewood community.
This special event is also a time to honor and build on the legacy of the organization’s co-founder, Jean Carter-Hill, who devoted her life to empowering youth, environmental justice, and prosperity in the Greater Englewood community. Mrs. Hill believed in creating spaces where community members could connect, communicate and collaborate. Out of that belief, the idea to host an annual community clean-up was born. After overcoming a challenging 2020 year, Imagine Engelwood if will safely bring people back together for the 8th Annual Greater Englewood Unity Day!
A timeline for Saturday’s events and additional event information can be found at www.imagineenglewoodif.org/unityday.