As he greeted more than 600 children who received holiday gifts at Moraine Township’s Annual Phyllis Santullano Holiday Gift Drive, Santa Claus observed that “their smiles could light up our city.” Santa’s elves were ably assisted by generous sponsors from the Highland Park/Highwood community who were anonymously matched with the children.
“We are reminded daily of how fortunate we are to live in a community with a spirit of generosity and compassion that is second to none,” noted event co-chair Sue Kach.
Moraine Township, which partners with the community and schools on this effort, increased the number of children sponsored by more than 200 this year. School social workers and counselors nominate families who are struggling financially, and every child in that family is sponsored.
“The age, gender, size, and a wish list from the anonymous child were provided to sponsors who committed to spending $40 to $50 on new toys and clothing for each child,“ explained Township Clerk Gail Feiger Brown, who co-chairs the effort. “When gifts are distributed to the children, the family also receives grocery gift cards to shop for the foods that make their family’s holiday celebration special.”
The Annual Holiday Gift Drive is named after Phyllis Santullano, a Highland Park City Council member during the 1970s and ‘80s who founded The North Suburban Self-Help Center to help struggling families in our community. Moraine Township’s Annual Holiday Gift Drive helps to keep Phyllis’ spirit of compassion and generosity alive.