DeKalb to begin charity work for City of Service

By Lark Lewis

As a City of Service, DeKalb will be able to receive more help for community service projects old and new.

Mayor John Rey signed a proclamation on April 14 making DeKalb one of the newest Cities of Service under the Serve Illinois Commission. Serve Illinois is a program to improve the state’s communities by increasing volunteer efforts and community service. One of its focuses is Cities of Service, which takes Serve Illinois’ initiatives and localizes them to cities.

“It opens us up to an opportunity to network with other communities in the area of service,” Rey said. “It helps our community with new service initiatives and strengthening existing projects.”

Illinois leads the nation with the most number of Cities of Service with 43 cities aside from DeKalb. Rey said he hopes DeKalb will be able to benefit from Cities of Service by receiving grants.

“Joining the network of Cities of Service will help us in addressing local needs,” Rey said. “My goal is that it will help us in becoming more affective in addressing service opportunities in our community.”

Since the proclamation was recently approved, there are no plans set in motion yet for DeKalb in compliance with Cities of Service, Rey said.

“We’ll have to wait and see what the rules and parameters would be for specific projects,” said sixth ward Alderman Dave Baker.

Some aldermen already have ideas of what they would like to see improved with the help of Cities of Service.

“I’m trying to see how we can widen the streets,” said seventh ward Alderman Monica O’Leary. “That would be a service to the students who have to park on one side of the street because the buses can’t go down the streets.”