Members of the Chicago Bears' 2015 rookie class transformed two outdoor spaces in Lake County into play zones for children and adults who have suffered sexual abuse.
The United Way of Lake County joined with the Bears for Hometown Huddle, an NFL-wide day of community service, to create play areas with new playgrounds and landscaping to provide a nurturing environment and support for victims.
The projects focused on the Lake County Children's Advocacy Center and the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center, both in Gurnee.
"There are two project sites for today's Hometown Huddle," said Carolina Herrera of the United Way of Lake County, "One space will be transformed into a healing garden, a safe space for the clients that come here (the Lake County Children's Advocacy Center). At the Zacharias Center, they will be placing the finishing touches to the playground. It is an older playground that has been replaced."
Five rookies spent the afternoon planting a tree and shrubs, spreading mulch, and attaching swings to an outdoor playground in the "Chicago Bears Play Zones."
"It felt good to give back to the community. I wish when I was younger I had a group of guys to come out and just show your face and help around," Chicago Bears rookie Kevin White said as he planted a tree. "Digging holes and building playgrounds and giving back to the kids so they can have a better environment."
United Way of Lake County prepares children to succeed in a changing world by focusing on education and building safe and stable families.