Group to collect gifts for Wauconda-area families
An annual charitable gift-giving program benefiting needy Wauconda-area families will launch Sunday.
The 11th annual Christmas in Wauconda effort is run by a small group of women calling themselves the Wishes Committee. They'll purchase Christmas presents for Wauconda Unit School District 118 families whose names have been provided by school principals and guidance counselors, volunteer Lyn LaCrosse said.
Last year, the group bought more than 900 gifts for 34 families. This year, they expect to buy at least that many presents for between 35 and 40 families.
"I have participated in many volunteer organizations over the years, and I can truly say that this is the most rewarding group that I am involved with," LaCrosse said.
The event kicks off Sunday with an invitation-only gathering at one of the Wish Committee member's homes. At that event, members will pick wish lists compiled by the families selected for the program.
Then it's time to shop.
Cleaning supplies and cold-weather gear such as gloves, scarves and boots are commonly requested items.
The group gets gift cards for families who don't make specific wish lists. The committee also will donate gift cards for food and gasoline to whichever school has the most families needing help.
District 118 Superintendent Daniel Coles praised the committee for helping to make the holidays "a little brighter for those in need."
"Folks here in District 118 have such giving hearts," Coles said.
Although Sunday's gathering is private, the public can participate in the program. To learn how, email volunteer Carey McHugh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cash donations for the Wishes Committee will be accepted by a Wauconda nonprofit group called STAR Charities online at procomps.com/star/donate. Donors should add the special instruction "Christmas in Wauconda" when prompted.
The money will be used to buy gift cards, LaCrosse said.
The Wishes Committee will take gifts and cash donations through Dec. 15.