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Review for Jewish Child & Family Services, Chicago, IL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I am the lucky one when it comes to the Holiday Gift Program sponsored by JCFS. And NOT because I am a recipient. This program has given more to my family than we could ever have given to it. For over at least the last 12 years we as a family have had the opportunity to make Hannukah wishes come true for children who may not otherwise have gifts to open. While that seems generous--it pales in comparison to what we have gained. JCFS has organized the most extensive, inclusive and completely private gift-giving progam. Each year I request 4 children in need of achieving a happy Hannukah. Why 4? Becasue I have four of my own children. When we started this program I wanted them to learn about giving to others. They each "shopped" for their child--yep, we read our child what was on the wish list and we all walked the aisles of the toy store looking for just the right item. I was even able to request recipients around the same ages as my own children so they could get the full experience, appreciation and understanding of giving.The similar aged child made it SOOO very relateable to them. To this day--even though my kids range in age from 16-23 and I do most of the shopping, we still have one night of Hannukah when we don't exchange any gifts and call it our donation night. This program is the gift that keeps on giving--TO MY FAMILY. We are reminded how lucky we are and how it's our responsibility to help others. And, those "others" could be us one day or could be our neighbors today. This year, unbeknownst to myself, I would have my world opened by one of the JCFS children. A 17 year old boy (yes, he is still a child deserving of gifts) requested some books. While buying one of them I learned from the store owner how great it was. So, I sent my husband to the library to get it and he read and loved it and now the book is in my hands and I can't put it down. Who knew that an anonymous 17 year old young man would enrich my life? THANK YOU JCFS for allowing the parents of these children to give them gifts from their heart. THANK YOU JCFS for allowing all aged children to celebrate the holiday. THANK YOU JCFS for allowing me to be a better person and for giving me and my family things I never ever expected to receive through giving.

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Role:  Volunteer