150 students volunteer to serve, unite Chicago

By Allison Krecek

Students are gearing up to promote unity, peace and love this Friday in Chicago.

Students were invited to volunteer for Save Chicago Day, which was created by Randiss Hopkins, senior music education and jazz performance major. Hopkins got the idea when he attended an NIU Cares Day event.

“Save Chicago Day is simply a day of service where we take NIU students to different sites and different parts of Chicago,” Hopkins said. “It is almost like NIU Cares Day but in Chicago.”

Hopkins said about 160 people have signed up to volunteer for the event. Some community service students will be doing is working with youth, painting, feeding the homeless, repairing facilities and landscaping.

In order to get Save Chicago Day started, Hopkins contacted students like Kandace Miggins, senior music education major and member of the Save Chicago Day executive board, to help out.

“Hopkins contacted me last spring and he was just telling me about his idea, and then at the end of the summer it came into fruition and we all just started meeting and putting ideas together and start[ed] implementing plans,” Miggins said.

Hopkins contacted Miki Grace, sophomore political science major, and Nathan Lupstein, sophomore political science major, who are now members on the executive board for Save Chicago Day.

Hopkins said the students and staff involved will hopefully make an impact on the city.

“I really hope first off that we inspire a city,” Hopkins said. “I hope that we can really inspire Chicago and give them hope that we can make change. The condition of the city now does not have to be the condition of the city later.”

Similarly, Grace hopes all college students can take a chance to help with community service or by educating elementary and high school students in Chicago.

“I just really want the city of Chicago to see that we care and , you know, Northern students are there to help,” Grace said. “We just want to let everyone know that we are there to help and we hope to do this for as long as we can.”

Lupstein said doing volunteer work in Chicago can help NIU students come together.

“I just hope that people can recognize our cause and see how noble it is and hopefully unify our campus through that,” Lupstein said.

Miggins said Save Chicago Day can have a positive impact on Chicago and the university.

“I hope that it kind of magnifies the bigger picture, that we are not just in college for ourselves, we are here getting education to take it outside of our campus and spread it to people who don’t have what we have,” Miggins said.