500 homes, 1,000 volunteers: Chicago community group decorates 8 miles of MLK Drive with holiday lights

Chicago community group My Block, My Hood, My City hosted the Be A Part Of The Light initiative for a sixth year on Saturday.

The program was launched to inspire hope and lift spirits during the holidays.

"Every home can be beautiful, especially in those communities where they forget about them," said Lena Bivins, program manager for My Block, My Hood, My City.

Along Martin Luther King Drive, from 35th to 115th streets, 500 houses are draped with colorful Christmas lights.

"It makes people in the community feel good. We make them feel like they’re cared about. Somebody is thinking about them. When you feel that way, they will do extra things to make sure the community is taken care of and will participate," said Bivins.

It took 1,000 volunteers to decorate the eight miles of MLK Drive plus some other South Side stretches.

My Block, My Hood, My City ensured the Be a Part of the Light celebration was an experience open to the whole community.

Jordan Jenkins left her first event feeling fulfilled.

"You know, giving back to the community and stuff and hanging out, it does mean a lot to me," Jenkins said.

My Block, My Hood, My City says that from young to old, they want to make everyone feel special.

"When people get Christmas decorations in the 6th ward, it’s just a magical feeling. It’s a feeling of hope, it’s a feeling of joy, and with all that’s going on in Chicago and the rest of the world, that’s all we need," said Chicago's 6th Ward alderman William Hall.

My Block, My Hood, My City says it’s always welcoming volunteers. Next year, they want to grow the number of houses even more.