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Holiday Food and Gift Basket Needs Sponsors

Want to bring a bit of cheer to families in distress? Here's how.

Want to help bring a bit of joy to folks during the holiday season?

Consider sponsoring a family with the Holiday Food & Gift Basket program.

The longtime community giving effort is looking for individuals, organizations or businesses that can provide gifts for needy people in Oak Park and River Forest this December.

The goal is to support all 2,200 individuals referred to them by social service agencies and churches in the area, said Patty Henek, the program coordinator.

Here's how it works:

Sponsors are matched with a family who already has made out a holiday wish list. The wish list has each family member, whether it's a male or a female and their ages. The sponsors will get tags containing an alphanumeric code and the first name of the family member.

Then sponsors shop and wrap. Items are put into bags, the tags are attached and brought to United Lutheran Church, 409 Greenfield, in Oak Park at the following times:

  • 9 to noon, Saturday, Dec. 1
  • 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3
  • 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4
  • 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5
  • 8 a.m. to noon and 4 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 6.

Deliveries will be made on Saturday, Dec. 8.

The HFGB since the 1970s has supplied food gift cards in November and holiday gifts in December to low income families, seniors, and adult singles living in Oak Park and River Forest.

Last year, the program aided 950 households referred by schools, churches, social service organizations and both townships. These households represent more than 2,200 individuals.

Does this sound like a great idea? Let program organizers know. Call 708-771-6159, ext. 224 or email contact information to holidaybasket@hotmail.com. Supply your name, street address, phone number and email and how many total number of people you can sponsor. The organizers will supply the details.

The effort is sponsored by the Community of Congregations.

Want to help in another way? Consider signing up to deliver the holiday gifts for the delivery bonanza on Dec. 8. Just call or e-mail the contact info above to make arrangements.

Financial contributions are welcome to help defray the costs of the food certificate program, during which families receive grocery certificates to buy goods for Thanksgiving. Checks can be made out to the Holiday Food and Gift Basket and mailed to HFGB, P.O. Box 3365, Oak Park, IL 60303.

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