Medline employees do work in Grayslake for 12 nonprofit organizations

  • Medline employees Isabel Lopez of Round Lake, left, and Eric Gerstein of Northbrook paint a sign to be installed at Glenwood Elementary School during a day of volunteer service the company conducted Saturday at the Lake County Fairgrounds.

      Medline employees Isabel Lopez of Round Lake, left, and Eric Gerstein of Northbrook paint a sign to be installed at Glenwood Elementary School during a day of volunteer service the company conducted Saturday at the Lake County Fairgrounds. Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer

  • Medline workers Pam Friedman of Wheeling, left, and Juanita Castro of Park City fill packages with macaroni, soy powder and a cheese packet during "Medline Makes a Difference Day" Saturday. Volunteers packed enough of the mixture to make 25,000 meals for the clients of the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

      Medline workers Pam Friedman of Wheeling, left, and Juanita Castro of Park City fill packages with macaroni, soy powder and a cheese packet during "Medline Makes a Difference Day" Saturday. Volunteers packed enough of the mixture to make 25,000 meals for the clients of the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Susan Sarkauskas | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 5/2/2015 5:48 PM

Erika Palmer looked around the Lake County Fairgrounds' main exhibition hall in Grayslake with a smile late Saturday morning.

"They've been like worker bees all morning," said Palmer, organizer of the ninth annual "Medline Makes a Difference Day," made up of her co-workers and their families.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"This is not fluff. We are here to work," she said of the men, women and children doing tasks that benefited 12 nonprofit organizations.

They packed 25,000 servings of soy-fortified macaroni-and-cheese dinners for the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

They also built bookcases and easels, and painted artistic signs, for Glenwood Elementary School. Other tasks included building garden boxes, making portable whiteboards for children, packing toiletry kits for the homeless, and making fleece blankets and pillows.

The volunteers came and went between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Medline Industries, which manufactures medical supplies and delivers health care services, is based in Mundelein.

The jobs were organized by Chicago Cares, a nonprofit service organization. It took care of logistics, finding what charities needed help and connecting them to volunteers.

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The agencies that were helped Saturday besides the school and the food bank included Public Action to Deliver Shelter, Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center, Casa Central, Breakthrough, YMCA Elmhurst, Indian Boundary YMCA, YMCA Harvey 3, Mercy Housing Wentworth Commons, and La Casa Norte.

"It feels really good to give back to our community," Palmer said.

Since 2006, thousands of Medline employees and family members have contributed more than 27,000 volunteer hours to local community projects in northern Illinois.

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