How would you like to make a child’s holiday a little brighter? I want to bring your attention to a wonderful program organized by some local activists and organizations that will bring a little joy to foster children across Illinois.
The Northern Stars Holiday Giving Program allows you to give a personal gift this holiday season to a child in the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) system. DCFS children often have survived physical, mental, sexual and emotional abuse. Many have learned, in the harshest ways imaginable, that what they say, feel, or ask for does not matter. Often they have been abandoned physically and/or emotionally and believe there is no hope or goodness in the world.
A few weeks ago, DCFS caseworkers handed out Northern Stars wish cards to their clients, asking simply: “Let’s write down what you want for the holidays because I know someone who really wants to get it for you.”
Giving is incredibly simple–visit www.northernstars.org and select a child, buy his or her chosen gift, write a supportive note and bring it to the Rogers Park Community Council, 1530 W. Morse (or simply buy it online and have it shipped directly to the Community Council). If you prefer, Northern Stars will accept monetary donations and use the funds to make sure kids receive the gifts they asked for.
The Northern Stars Holiday Giving Program is led by community activist, Jim Ginderske, with help from Liz Vitell of the Rogers Park Community Council, Cheri Demoss of Empowering Options, and Kilton Hopkins of The App House.
The Rogers Park Community Council has agreed to serve as the program’s fiscal agent, thus assuring your gifts are tax deductible.
Already, Northern Stars is supplanting “Secret Santa” holiday events at area businesses. As Jim Ginderske says, “Buying a gift for a foster child feels a whole lot better than trying to guess what to buy a co-worker for an office party.”
Northern Stars is also making a special effort to include with the gifts a written message that affirms the recipients as individuals. “We really want the children to know they matter,” says Jim. “An inspiring personal note can help a child get through the hard times he or she is facing.”
Please visit www.northernstars.org and give generously.