Operation Chi-Town Salute

Chicago platoon community

About Operation Chi-Town Salute

Operation Chi-Town Salute will mobilize veterans and community volunteers in Chicago over four high-impact days of service with five partner organizations. By joining forces, volunteers will serve in both Englewood and Little Village communities with projects to benefit Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy, Englewood Veterans Garden, Hermitage Street Community Garden, Hope Manor II, and Kennedy-King College.

Chi-Town Salute Impact Goals: 

  • Engage 100+ veterans from across the United States
  • Engage 100+ local Chicago-area veterans
  • Complete 60+ projects in support of the Chicago community, partnering with local organizations providing direct services and support to the communities of Englewood and Little Village
  • Engage 200+ community members in service alongside our veterans
  • Contribute approximately $200,000 worth of community service to Chicago over the course of 4 days

You don’t want to miss the action. Use the project detail tabs below to register and join us!

Maria Saucedo Academy | August 12, 2022 08:00 AM-04:00 PM  

Day 1 and 2, (Friday, August 12, and Saturday, August 13), we will be serving at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy. Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy is a city-wide magnet school for Math, Science, and Technology serving a 96% Latino population and doubles as a community space opening their doors nights, weekends, and summers to provide access to multiple indoor activities. 

Together with our partners, we will spend the day serving to: 

  • Transform several under-utilized rooms into versatile, welcoming community spaces that could be used for a wide variety of purposes 
  • Update and improve the break room spaces for the school’s essential workers, the building engineers and chefs, and recognize those employees as the unsung heroes of the school 
  • Addition of murals and student artwork to the walls, stairwells, and community spaces 
  • Creation of shared outdoor recreation and learning space for the students to utilize 

Register Here

Maria Saucedo Academy | August 13, 2022  08:00 AM-04:00 PM 

Day 1 and 2, (Friday, August 12, and Saturday, August 13), we will be serving at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy. Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy is a city-wide magnet school for Math, Science, and Technology serving a 96% Latino population and doubles as a community space opening their doors nights, weekends, and summers to provide access to multiple indoor activities. 

Together with our partners, we will spend the day serving to: 

  • Transform several under-utilized rooms into versatile, welcoming community spaces that could be used for a wide variety of purposes 
  • Update and improve the break room spaces for the school’s essential workers, the building engineers and chefs, and recognize those employees as the unsung heroes of the school 
  • Addition of murals and student artwork to the walls, stairwells, and community spaces 
  • Creation of shared outdoor recreation and learning space for the students to utilize 

Register Here

Englewood Veterans Garden & Hermitage Community Garden

August 14, 2022  08:00 AM-04:00 PM CST 

Day 3 will be spent serving two partners in the heart of Englewood: Hermitage Street Community Garden and the Englewood Veterans Garden.  

The Hermitage Street Community Garden provides opportunities for residents to learn about gardening and harvest fresh food, where all excess produce is donated to area senior centers in an amount of up 10,000 pounds.  

Across the street, the Englewood Veterans Garden serves as a space in Chicago specifically created and designed for veterans and their families; 100% of the clients it serves are veterans, family members or caregivers.

Together with our partners, we will spend the day serving to: 

  • Install roofing on the existing pergolas 
  • Build new garden beds 
  • Build a tool shed 
  • Construct a greenhouse to help extend the growing season 
  • Level and lay pavers under the main pergola 
  • Upgrade the kids’ play area to give them a designed place to play 

Register Here 

Hope Manor II & Kennedy-King College | August 15, 2022  08:00 AM-04:00 PM  

Day 4 will be spent serving two partners in the heart of Englewood: Hope Manor II and Kennedy-King College.  

Hope Manor II is one of the first large-scale, supportive housing developments in the country specifically designed for the head of household Veterans and their families, and with the impending closure of Whole Foods, the garden at Hope Manor II will be providing the primary access to fresh foods, education, and a calming space where people can improve their mental health. 

Kennedy-King College, who serves the largest predominantly Black student body of any college on the list, was ranked eighth in the country by Academic Influence on their list of 50 best community colleges of 2022 and was named the top community college in Illinois by Forbes in 2021.

Together with our partners, we will spend the day serving to: 

  • Transform the youth center space into a welcoming environment with seating, bright colors, and storage space 
  • Add shade structures to the outdoor playground area and community garden 
  • Build an outdoor stage at the community garden 
  • Complete outdoor landscaping including laying mulch and native annual plants 

Register Here

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Be a part of #CHITOWNSALUTE

Our Mass Deployment program is a team-based event that mobilizes veterans alongside local partners and volunteers in a single city for a week of community impact. For the 2022 Mass Deployment, we have selected Chicago as the host, appropriately named Operation Chi-Town Salute. 

As the nation’s third-largest city, Greater Chicago boasts more than 2.7 million residents in its 100 neighborhoods. There is an incredibly robust art, theater, and production community including professional dance companies, music and film festivals, theaters, and jobs for industry workers. Despite being a large, populous city, it is also known for beautiful gardens, parks, outdoor spaces, sanctuaries, and beaches.  

Since 2014, our two Chicago Platoons have completed 249 service or support projects concentrating their efforts in the south and southwest sides of Chicago. Their initiatives have engaged 3,442 veterans, volunteers, and community members while serving 15,698 hours in local communities. One focus of these projects includes establishing and helping our partners to maintain numerous community gardens which provide residents with access and resources to grow fresh nutritious food. Our platoons also concentrate efforts on improving community parks and green spaces to ensure they are inviting and accessible for everyone in the community. 

Join us for Operation Chi-Town Salute in Chicago this August!

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