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CHICAGO — A trio of Chevrolet dealerships already have participated in a philanthropic program the brand is spearheading in Illinois.

The program is aimed at connecting Chevrolet vehicles and volunteer manpower with charitable organizations through what's being called 2010 Illinois Chevy: Your Mission. Our Drive.

The automaker explained that it's asking state residents to submit community service missions for charities or organizations that build and strengthen relationships in select cities and towns. Chosen projects will be loaned vehicles and offered the volunteers they need to make efforts successful.

Chevrolet officials noted the program will be involved with 25 projects throughout Illinois.

"Chevrolet is America's brand and we are doing America's work," explained Maurice Williams, regional sales and marketing manager for Chevrolet. "Chevrolet believes in the power of giving back to the community, and we want people to get behind the wheel of our vehicles to experience them on their own terms and in their own neighborhoods."

"We look forward to connecting with Illinoisans throughout the state as part of the Your Mission. Our Drive," he added.

Chevrolet highlighted that this program kicked off with a day of service in Riverdale, Ill. Brand personnel as well as staff members from three dealerships volunteered for the Habitat for Humanity Chicago South Suburbs Chapter. They rehabilitated a home using Chevrolet vehicles to make the mission a success and drive the organization's goal of providing safe, decent homes for families in need.

Volunteers who participated in the Habitat for Humanity service day in Riverdale included owners and employees from Chevrolet of Homewood, Apple Chevrolet in Tinley Park and Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn.

"Chevrolet of Homewood has always given back to the community, which is why we wanted to participate in the Chevrolet mission with Habitat for Humanity," noted Steve Phillipos, owner of Chevrolet of Homewood.

"We are more than just a great location to test drive or buy a car; we are part of the community, and being involved means helping out where and whenever we can," Phillipos added.

David Tracy, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Chicago South Suburbs, highlighted how valuable the contributions by the dealerships were.

"We appreciate the support Chevrolet provided to the Habitat for Humanity Chicago South Suburbs Chapter as part of Illinois Chevy: Your Mission. Our Drive, and I encourage other organizations throughout the state to apply," Tracy emphasized

"The support of Chevrolet trucks to haul and remove building materials and the sweat equity from Team Chevy volunteers helped accelerate getting a family into a home we are rehabilitating," Tracy went on to say.

More projects can be nominated through Chevrolet's page on Facebook. Dealers also can follow the activity at twitter.com/chevymissions.