More than 1,000 Walter Payton College Preparatory High School students participated in “Sweetness Day,” the school’s ninth annual day of service event March 2.

Divided into groups, students traveled across the city to nearly 50 volunteer sites. One group spent their time at 2 Li’l Fishes, a nonprofit that provides meals to those less fortunate in the heart of Uptown. There, students prepared meals, played games and engaged with individuals of all ages.

The event is held in honor of the school’s namesake, Chicago Bears’ legend Walter Payton, who was nicknamed “Sweetness” and who supported philanthropic programs until his death in 2009. Each year, the NFL honors a player’s outstanding achievements in volunteer and community work with the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Check out what the volunteers had to say about the event and how one teacher hopes the annual day of service affects students.