The Giving Project teaches kids community service

A newly-formed parent group wants to get kids more involved in community service.


Drop box locations

841 N. Taylor
946 N. Kenilworth
924 S. Kenilworth
339 N. Ridgeland
1163 S. Highland
1204 Columbia
547 Forest
629 Clarence

To learn more

Carrie Summy, vice president of the Giving Project

Michele Strimaitis, president of the Giving Project

The Giving Project began this month, formed by a group of Oak Park moms active in their kids’ schools.

The moms were involved in service projects that have since disbanded, and they wanted to continue working with kids.

Carrie Summy, the group’s vice president and one of the founders, said the moms plan to do 11 community service projects during the year. They’re targeting kids from kindergarten through eighth grade. Their first project kicks off around Thanksgiving. Students are being asked to write a letter to individuals working in the service sector, such as teachers, firefighters or store clerks.

Parents can drop their kid’s letter off at drop boxes set up near the elementary and middle schools. They’re hoping to have all the letters collected by Nov. 20, then deliver them to the individuals. As an add-on, kids plan to deliver donuts to those who have to work on Thanksgiving Day.

For future projects, kids will be encouraged to come up with their own ideas, Summy said.

“This just seems like a way for kids to have ownership of this and I think that’s more fun for them,” she said.

Summy said her group is in the process of applying for nonprofit status. She describes the Giving Project as a “drop-in” organization for parents – the idea is to give parents an easy way to get involved

“Everything is simple enough for them. There’s no membership; there’s no money to give. It’s non-partisan. It’s really all-inclusive.”

This article originally appeared in the Oak Park Wednesday Journal.

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