Hello and Happy New Year!
Each year, we are privileged to bring this wonderful community together where you generously share your gifts, time, and talents with low-income families and seniors. Hundreds of thoughtfully chosen gifts purchased by Secret Santas were delivered to our 156 recipient families and seniors on Saturday, December 17th along with all the food, toiletries, fresh fruit, and extra toys we add to each Christmas Basket.
While every year has a similar rhythm, there are always some special notes that highlight how special you make families feel.
My children and I would like to thank you all for the wonderful gifts and food you have provided us with. I just started a new job 3 weeks ago and fell behind on bills. But with your help I am able to see a smile on my babies faces come Christmas morning. We are truly thankful and blessed to have people you care and show it. Once again, thank you for your generosity and warm love.”
Whether it’s a senior who says they felt like a child on Christmas, a family that says they would not have had any presents under the tree, or a Ukrainian family who wrote a note we still need to translate 😊, recipient families are grateful and extremely thankful. We ask the families to write a thank you to their secret Santa and we will forward you a copy if we receive one from yours. Some families are uncomfortable writing and may choose not to send one. Please know, and the social workers confirm, that they are extremely grateful even if you don't see it in writing.
A HUGE heartfelt thank you!
Our Christmas Baskets program is a large endeavor and in turn, we have many people to thank!
Everyone who adopted families or seniors. There are not enough words of thanks to express how much we appreciate the countless hours you spent planning, shopping, wrapping, and organizing to ensure your adopted family has a very Merry Christmas.
Super Thursday volunteers. Our Christmas Baskets program is only successful because of the help of the countless volunteers that wrap toys, organize food and toiletries, run back and forth throughout the gym all day long in preparation of Delivery Day
Parkview Community Church for hosting us year after year. Their space is absolutely perfect for the whirlwind project that starts as an empty gym at 7 am Thursday, feels like Santa’s workshop all day, and ends up full of gifts, food and other essentials to share.
The Glen Ellyn chapters of Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club, the Central DuPage Kiwanis Club and the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry for making it possible to offer food and grocery cards to the families. Offering food assistance is an important part of our program.
The Glen Ellyn Fire Department who delivers to many families every year. We truly couldn’t get everything out on Saturday without their amazing team.
The Glen Ellyn schools and businesses that host our annual toy drive and to all the community members that donate toys to our drive, including:
* Abraham Lincoln Elementary
* Spring Avenue and Main Street Rec Centers/GE Park District
* Parkview Elementary
* Churchill Elementary
* Arbor View Elementary
* Westfield Elementary
* Two Hound Red Brewing Co. (86 Pennsylvania Ave, Glen Ellyn)
* Barberia, Inc. (805 N Main St, Glen Ellyn)
* Glen Ellyn Newcomers
* Various church and other groups who held private toy drives
Glen Ellyn Newcomers for organizing a group of volunteers to help wrap toys
Suzanne Carty and the Glen Ellyn Woman's Club for supporting our project and volunteering to wrap gifts
Amanda Wagner with her 3rd grade girl scout troop from Forest Glen
Christina Lund with her 3rd grade girl troop from Ben Franklin
The social workers, student services staff and family liaisons who identify recipient families and help communicate with them
Glenbard West’s Student Council for hosting the toiletries drive for the families
A local businessperson who donates cases of toilet paper
The Glenbard South Key Club for helping load cars on delivery day
And the women of the Glen Ellyn Junior Woman’s Club for their tireless work on this project. We are a small but mighty group that makes big things happen for our community!
The pleasure of serving this amazing community is all ours
We are extremely fortunate to be able to coordinate this project with the participation of such a generous and supportive community. Your involvement in our program brings something essential during the holiday season: HOPE!
By donating, volunteering, or adopting, you bring hope and encouragement to those who are struggling, and you contribute to an overall sense of community. The families you help are grateful not just for the material gifts they receive but also for the loving kindness you demonstrate. We sincerely hope you enjoyed your experience and will consider joining us again next year.
We wish you a healthy and happy new year filled with the blessings of family and friends.
Lynn Lullo and Dawn Cassata on behalf of
Glen Ellyn Junior Woman’s Club