Being in the true spirit of Christmas not only involves seeing your loved ones, decorating your home, and eating tasty treats and turkey dinners, but also giving back to your community. Our NationServe of Peoria location did just that and, by doing so, brightened 10 young children’s Christmases.

The holidays can be a challenging time for some families due to financial constraints. Many children don’t get to celebrate the holidays or partake in the festivities simply because their families cannot afford it. The Children’s Home Association of Illinois aims to “give children a childhood and a future” by seeking out resources and supplies from the strong community that has continued to support them over the past 150 years. With a team of over 400 professionals running the community-based programs, nearly 1,700 children and 900 families are provided with counseling, support, and education every day. The Children’s Home Association of Illinois remains dedicated to improving children’s welfare by providing services like foster care and adoption, group homes, crisis intervention, homeless services, mental health assessments, and special needs services.

During the holidays, the Children’s Home Association runs a charity drive called the Holiday Wishes Come True initiative, where members of the community can fulfill a child’s Christmas wish list. Ten children with ages ranging from nine months to 17-years-old were assigned to our Peoria team, who jumped at the opportunity and took it upon themselves to cross off every item on each wish list, in turn bringing joy and fulfillment to 10 families. News of the initiative spread throughout the company, and team members from our Quad Cities location also pitched in, totaling to a team of 20 contributors. From baby food, arts and crafts supplies, toiletries, school supplies, and, of course, toys, our team members played Santa for the 10 deserving children.

The Holiday Wishes Come True initiative was a huge success and not only made the holidays brighter for 10 families but also united our teams in camaraderie and spirit. In fact, due to the overwhelming community response, Children’s Home Association was able to successfully fulfill all the Wish Lists.

Did you know that the Children’s Home Association receives countless contributions during the Christmas season but less so during the remainder of the year, mainly due to lack of awareness? Unfortunately, the number of families in need is increasing at an alarming rate—over 200 families over the past two years—and the organization relies heavily on community support to provide for these children. Certain members of our Peoria location were moved and inspired by the initiative and will continue to contribute year-round by donating books, clothing, and toiletries to these deserving children and families.

Visit the Children’s Home Association of Illinois website and find out how you can make a difference in a child’s life today.