More than 50 volunteers from CSX, City Year and the community joined together on a beautiful weekend morning in September to revitalize the Family Future Center and Veterans Memorial Park in South Holland, Illnois, in the greater Chicago area.

First, the group added color and vibrancy to the gym and recreation rooms at the community center with new a new coat of bright paint and a couple of murals for the children to enjoy.  

The volunteers also converted an open field into a garden, with raised planter boxes, pathways and benches. This new green space will be cultivated and maintained by South Holland youth, who will plant, care and harvest the garden in preparation for their very first farmer’s market. Proceeds of the market will be reinvested into the youth program.

In Veterans Memorial Park, the volunteers planted trees and will build a gazebo with lights and benches to further beautify the area and provide years of enjoyment for the residents.

“It’s rare in a single morning’s time where you can band together with your colleagues and other people from the community and see a measurable benefit come to life,” says Tom Livingston of CSX.

But that’s exactly what happened in South Holland – and in places across the country where CSX has a presence. CSX’s Beyond Our Rails program helps improve quality of life for people in communities where the company operates and their employees live. CSX actively engages employees and nonprofits in projects to make the world a better place.

“It sends a message to your employees that you care as a company,” says Windy City Live host Val Warner, who turned out for the project. “And who doesn’t want to work for a boss or a company that knows that they care about the communities that they live in and they work in and they support?”

South Holland Public Media Coordinator Troy O’Quin adds, “It’s really cool when a company like CSX can come out of their walls – and out of their trains – to get into the community and show us who they are.”

He continues, “Now, when I sit at the railroad tracks waiting for the trains to go by, I give a thumbs up when I see a CSX train go by because I know who the people are who are operating those trains.”

Learn more about how CSX is committed to actively engaging in programs and initiatives designed to make the world a better place at