MVCC Service Learning Event: Sertoma Centre


The Sertoma Centre – Housewares Show

As you know, this semester our research and writing will be focused on service, civic engagement, and community action. During the first half of our semester, or so, I am working to arrange a number of service experiences for you to participate in. I will ask that everybody participate in at least one of these service opportunities during the first half of the semester. I understand that everyone is very busy, has other commitments, and will find it challenging to schedule this kind of work into their lives; however, I also know that this work is essential. So, I ask that you be as flexible as you can. Of course even with flexibility on your part, I understand that the particular opportunities I’ve arranged just might not work for you. If that is the case, it is up to you to arrange another service experience on your own that can fit your schedule. (I’ll will try to work with you to offer ideas where I can, but ultimately it would be your responsibility to find such an opportunity. They’re not hard to find. Just be sure to approve it with me first.) Fair enough? I think so.

I’ve already shared information with you about several service opportunities, and many of you signed-up to attend those. The next service opportunity I have arranged is through The Sertoma Centre–a local non-profit dedicated to enriching the lives of people living with disabilities.

The mission at Sertoma Centre is “to provide opportunities that empower individuals with disabilities to achieve personal success.” Every day at Sertoma this mission is accomplished by those with developmental, physical, emotional disabilities and /or mental illness. Some of this success is major—like starting a job in the community or moving into their own apartment. Other successes may seem minor to others, but to an individual with disabilities, getting dressed by oneself, learning how to make change at a vending machine, or mastering a new task in the workshop is a meaningful personal success! For an individual with disabilities, each one of these victories represents another step in his/her own personal path toward greater independence and participation in their community. Sertoma Centre, Inc. has built its reputation on the many personal victories of the people it serves. A non-profit agency, Sertoma Centre, Inc. is headquartered in Alsip, a south suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Based upon its reputation and achievements, individuals residing in parts of Chicago and its south and southwest suburban region receive the services provided by the Centre.

I coordinated a great opportunity for you to help Sertoma Centre with one of its large volunteer events. Volunteers will be packing up kitchen items from the Housewares Show at McCormick Place. These donations are used at agency Residential homes for people with disabilities and for the Sertoma Centre Super Sale which supplements their non-for-profit budget to provide services to community. You can meet directly at McCormick Place or ride the “Rock and Roll Tour Bus” from Alsip, IL. Boxed Dinner, snacks and small “thank you gift” will be provided. This one day of volunteering impacts more than 700 lives of people with disabilities living and working in the community!

Contact Laura Gardner, Volunteer Services Manager at or call 708-730-6211 for more information. Also, you can download the following: Event Flyer and Registration Form.

The Event Details

Date: Tuesday, March 5
Time: 3:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Location: McCormick Place, Chicago (Buses leave from 4100 West 127th Street in Alsip at 3:00 PM.)
Phone: (708) 730-6211

Directions from Moraine to McCormick Place

View Larger Map

Want to do it? Here’s how.

If you’d like to participate in this event, contact Laura Gardner as described above, at or at 708-730-6211. If you are going to join this event, please also let me know that you will be attending.

Can’t make this event?

Like I said, if you can’t make this event, I understand. I have or will arrange other service outings that might suit you better. More details will follow soon. If the above opportunity works for your schedule, though, please sign-up for it rather than put this off. Keep in mind, you will need to complete one service learning experience before the end of week 8 even if it’s one that you find or design and implement on your own. It feels good to be of service, and it will provide us opportunity to learn and write about important issues.

A Connected Writing Assignment

Whether you choose this service opportunity, another one that I have arranged, or one of your own finding or design, I will ask that you complete a connected writing assignment–a reflection of service, which is due week 9. The details of this assignment will be available soon if they are not already.