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Make a child’s wish come true with Holiday Helper at ISU

Illinois State University students create gifts with their Holiday Helper children.

Illinois State University students create gifts with their Holiday Helper children.

It seems a little early to be thinking about holidays, but sponsorship for Holiday Helper starts early.

Holiday Helper is a more than 20-year-old tradition at Illinois State University where students, faculty, and staff come together to provide gifts for children in Bloomington-Normal whose families may struggle during holiday times. Organized by the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, Holiday Helper partners with Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal, Unity Community Center, Western Avenue Community Center, and the Center for Youth and Family Solutions who help identify children in need of holiday gifts.

This year child sponsorship began October 16, and closes November 17 (or when all children are sponsored). Sponsors are able to choose children from a list of approximately 300 children, and purchase gifts from that child’s needs and wants list. Individuals can sponsor a child alone, or members of a registered student organization or a department may participate together. The gifts are expected to total approximately $50 and are due back to the center by November 27 where they will be wrapped. The program finishes when the gifts are distributed in early December at parties for the kids, planned and run by student volunteers.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child there are hundreds left! Help make wishes come true this holiday season. Stop by the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning between 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday and one of our staff can help.

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