This year's Holiday Gift Basket program includes 950 households. As of Nov. 17, 19 households still need to be sponsored.

Last Friday evening I had dinner with my friend, Leslie Cox, and what I love about Leslie is her fertile mind! Our discussions are stimulating, touching on diverse subjects, and interspersed with her humor and wit. She’s always up to something and invariably, I’m inspired to think in a new way or galvanized to take some new action.

Friday evening’s kick-off conversation was The Holiday Food and Gift Basket (HFGB) program. 

Leslie and her husband, Jeff, are sponsoring a family of five through HFGB this holiday season (a sponsor purchases holiday gifts for low income families, adult singles, and seniors referred to the HFGB). As I listened to her excitement about the program, chiming in that I, too, had sponsored a family years ago, I couldn’t help but be swept away by her enthusiasm. Leslie then went on to tell me that she even encouraged some close friends to sponsor a family. . . of nine!  

We spent some time reflecting on our own experiences of giving, agreeing that the real reward was the deep joy that comes from doing something special for someone, being caring and loving toward others who are in need. 

Inspired by Leslie, I decided I needed some of that deep joy this holiday season. I woke up the next day and emailed HFGB to sponsor a family. And I’m glad I did.

This year the HFGB will serve 950 households, representing more than 2,200 individuals. Due to some businesses and school groups that are unable to participate this year, and additional 190 households are in need of sponsors, which represents over 350 individuals (130 of these individuals are singles and seniors).   

Please consider sponsoring a family or one or two adult singles or seniors. Gifts need to be purchased, wrapped and dropped off by Dec. 3 – 8, so HGFB needs you to act now! 


1.     CALL the Holiday Food and Gift Basket office at 771-6159 x 244 or email and give us: 

  • Your first and last name
  • Your address
  • Your home phone number (and work phone number if applicable)
  • Your email address
  • Sponsor preference – number of people you can help 

2. SHOP and wrap the gifts in holiday paper!

  (HFGB will send you “wish lists” plus all the necessary information.)

3. DROP off your gifts between Dec. 3 and Dec. 8.

  (HFGB will tell you where and when!)

The Holiday Food and Gift Basket (HFGB) program is funded in part by grants from Youth Services of Oak Park and River Forest Townships. Monetary donations are also welcomed to defray the cost of food gift cards given at Thanksgiving. Checks made payable to Holiday Food and Gift Basket can be sent to PO Box 3365, Oak Park, IL 60303


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Melissa Ford

As a coach and blogger, it's my intention to support people to step into a bigger, more powerful version of themselves whether it's in their personal or professional life. LIfe is about living,...

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