The Holiday Helper program annually provides gifts for hundreds of children in the local community. Thanks to the generosity of Illinois State students, faculty, and staff, 359 children were sponsored in 2022!
For the Holiday Helper program, we work directly with several community organizations to get the names, ages, wants, and needs of local children who attend their programming. The children are sponsored by Illinois State University students, faculty, and staff, who purchase holiday gifts specifically for each child. We host wrapping events to organize and wrap the gifts. Then the gifts are delivered to the community organizations where we also host holiday parties.
Ways to Get Involved
1. Sponsor a Child
Exciting news! Sponsoring familes is now an option! Take a look at the sponsorship website to learn more.
The sponsorship threshold has been increased to a range of $60-75 per child.
All gifts can be returned to our office (300 W. North St., across from the CVS in Uptown Normal) anytime November 1-22, 2023 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Wrap and Pack Events
Help us wrap all of our gifts! We typically host wrap and pack events at the Center for Civic Engagement the week we return from fall break. These events are arranged as 2-hour shifts and registration is limited to 10 volunteers per shift.
Our registration for 2023 Wrap and Pack is not open yet, but you can still help! We are always in need of wrapping materials. Aside from wrapping paper, we need to replenish our supply of boxes, bags, ribbons, and tissue paper. Donations can be brought to the Center for Civic Engagement during our regular business hours, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Help to put on a party for area youth and their families. Volunteers are needed to run games, crafts, and other activities for the kids.
3. Donate socks
The item most often listed on a child's needs list is new socks. To continue addressing this need, we will continue to collect socks for SOCKtober. Throughout October, we will be collecting new, in-package socks to give to each child in the program. When we collect enough socks for all of the children, our Holiday Helper sponsors are able to spend their money on other items. All child sizes, women's, and men's sock are needed.