You can help grant holiday wishes

Adopt a family through the Holiday Food and Gift Basket program

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By Joanna Skubish

Volunteer Blogger

Park District of Oak Park employees are going to be treated to a hometown version of "The Milliion Dollar Quartet".  "Gary B. (Executive Director Gary Balling) and the Superintendents" (Park District Superintendents Matt Ellmann, Mike Grandy and Karin Schindel) will deliver a rockin' performance at the staff Thanksgiving potluck luncheon. At last year's Thanksgiving lunch, Balling and the Superintendents promised to perform if the staff provided all of the items on the wish lists of the five families sponsored by the Park District through the Holiday Food and Gift Basket program.  Park District staff generously rose to the challenge, buying toys, clothes, books, slippers and other gifts for five families! And so, "Gary B. and The Superintendents" take the stage this Thanksgiving for what promises to be a one of a kind performance!!

The Holiday Food and Gift Basket program needs you to join the Park District and many other organizations and individuals in sponsoring needy families. At last count, nearly 200 families were waiting to be "sponsored" through this year's Holiday Food and Gift Basket program. This is an excellent group volunteer opportunity - get your workplace, community group, church or temple, service club or school involved.  You can also sponsor as an individual. Your help is so important to people in need in our community, and members of your organization will have a great time buying, wrapping and putting together the gifts for their adopted famiy's wish list.   I work part-time at the Park District, and our Social Committee does a wonderful job coordinating this program for the entire organization.  The Holiday food and Gift Basket,a program of the Oak Park River Forest Community of Congregations, has been serving our community for more than 30 years. 

 To be a part of this annual program, email holidaybasket@hotmail.com or call 708-771-6159, ext.244. Provide your name, address, telephone number and email address. Specify your preference to sponsor one or more families, senior citizens or single individuals.  financial contributions are also needed to help defray the cost of the food gift certificates which are provided to all referrals in mid-November.

This has become an annual event for the Park District of Oak Park.  Contact the Holiday Basket program - maybe this will become an annual holiday program for your group or organization as well!

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