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Article updated: 12/13/2012 12:03 PM

Raising the Bar: First United Methodist Church of West Chicago Celebrates the Season of Giving in Meaningful Ways

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By Rosemary Mackey

West Chicago, Illinois: December 12, 2012 - All year long, the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago and the United Methodist Congregational Women (UMCW) raise funds to support local, national and world relief programs. The UMCW members also provide hands-on volunteer help to local organizations. At this time of year in particular, the group celebrates the season of giving in many meaningful ways.

According to congregation member Judith Horsely, "Christmas is both the reason and the season to help others. The UMCW adopts a family through the Winfield Township Holiday Assistance Program. This year we are supplying a gift card for the purchase of food for a Christmas meal, and provide gifts for a family of five. The family's 'wish list' is divided among the UMCW members, and the entire family will receive new clothing along with a toy for each child."

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The UMCW doesn't stop there. Membership has also adopted three residents of the DuPage County Convalescent Center. These residents will each receive their complete wish list wrapped and ready to open at Christmas.

At the group's final meeting of the year earlier this month, it voted to donate $750 to the Neighborhood Resource Center through the Social Services Unit of the West Chicago Police Department. This donation will be used to purchase gift cards and provide a Christmas gift to many children who would not have received any gifts otherwise.

Additionally, the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago voted to donate all of the designated Christmas Offering to help support the Battered Women's Fund of the Social Services United of the West Chicago Police Department; and the UMCW also sponsored a Hats, Mittens and Gloves Drive. Over 70 new items were collected and delivered to District 33. Teachers in the district will use these items to provide warm outerwear to children who either don't have any, or to children who have lost one or all of these items.

Last, but not least the UMCW, along with the First United Methodist and Congregational Men, host a Breakfast with Santa to benefit the West Chicago food pantry. All proceeds are donated to the Neighborhood Food Pantries, which in turn supplies West Chicago's local pantry and assists the growing number of people who are no longer assured of three meals a day.

The First United Methodist Church of West Chicago works hard each year to aid others in need and to bring joy to people who feel alone in the world. These acts of kindness become miracles in the lives of others. For more information, visit their website at www.firstumcucc.org.

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