It is that time of year again and at Franciscan Health Fitness Centers’ the spirit of the season is in full bloom. The first Christmas trees assembled in the Clubs are always for our annual Adopt-a-Family and Christmas Mission Initiatives.
“Personally, I look forward to this event every year. It is truly an amazing sight to see. The countless donations we have received over the years for the Giving Tree are unbelievable. We are blessed to have members like ours who want to give to others in need. The world outside can be a dark place and those who have little or nothing depend on the generosity, love and kindness of people like you, with your giving spirit,” says Chicago Heights Program Leader, Jenna Amazzalorso. “When you give to the less fortunate, you add to their lives and, by adding to theirs, you add to your own, too.”
In Chicago Heights, The Giving Tree has paper ornaments with different gift card options for the children printed on each. Members can choose an ornament or two, fulfill the wish and return the gift card(s) to the front desk. All the gift cards will be picked by a Jones Memorial Community Center employee. Collecting these gifts is a simple, creative and tangible way to help families in need in your local community.
The Chesterton Club’s Angel Tree is benefiting Chesterton High School Students for a second year by providing socks, gloves, hats, scarves, shampoo, body soaps, hair care items, Chapstick, deodorant and basic hygiene items. “We are so blessed that our members care so highly for our community children," says Barbie Pilla, Chesterton Programs Supervisor. ‘Even though basic body care items aren’t the most fun to shop for, our members have taken every tag within a matter of hours of the display being put up. Each year they exceed in the number of items needed.”
In Schererville, the Angel Tree is decorated with Christmas requests from families who have been chosen to receive some extra Christmas cheer. Given the COVID-19 situation, this year we will be collecting gift cards in lieu of wrapped presents (i.e. gift cards from Walmart, Stracks, Meijer’s, ALDI, for the sole purpose of purchasing clothes, toys, gas for car, food; gift cards cannot be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco, or firearms). Our plan is to distribute the gift cards in conjunction with the hospitals, as a drive-through-pick-up versus in-person deliveries for safety’s sake. “The Angel Tree is a long-honored tradition here in Schererville and is a feel-good opportunity for both our members and staff,” explains Betty Durochik, Programs Specialist in Schererville.
No matter how much or how little you can give, you have the power to touch the life of another person and affect them in ways in which you may never completely be aware. Whether it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling or a sense of pride, use that to spur you on to further acts of kindness and generosity in the future. As always, we thank you in advance for your gifts during this “Giving Season!”
If you have any further questions, you can reach out to:
In Chicago Heights, Jenna Amazzalorso, Program Leader at 708.733.7580
In Chesterton, Barbie Pilla, Programs Supervisor at 219-983-9832
In Schererville, Betty Durochik, Program Specialist at 219-865-6969 ext 3020