This year our Christmas Sharing and Store projects looked a little different to residents in need.
                                                                            
                                                                                                                           
The Village of Carol Stream Social Services division of the Police Department has organized a community wide food distribution for the holidays for more than 40 years.  In the past, Rotary has helped pack the food for several hundred families.  This year, 2020, the pandemic had changed the whole indoor operation.  With a great committee and lots of brain power and volunteers to restructure the event, the holiday event was extremely successful outside the Carol Stream Park District Fountainview fitness center.  Food was provided off of a loaded semitruck from Northern Illinois Food Bank by the Rotary Club of Carol Stream.  Toys were provided to families that were collected from corporations, businesses, 3 local school districts, local churches, VFW and Toys for tots. Volunteers were from the Rotary Club of Carol Stream members and friends, Young Men's Youth Service League, Park District Staff, Police and CERT volunteers and the Mayor of Carol Stream, Frank Savarino.  The 3.5 hour event started in late afternoon and culminated after dark as recipients drove through the parking lots, chatted with Santa, received their food and gifts into their cars, and drove home. All in, we served 165 families and helped them to have a merrier Christmas.  Our happy group of volunteers were able to start off the holiday season by doing this great project for those in need this year.
  
                           Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, tree and outdoor                  Image may contain: one or more people, tree and outdoor   
                                                                                                                                   Then on Saturday, December 12, Volunteers helped the reorganized Christmas Store 
event at the Carol Stream Outreach Community center.  Mindy Inman has been organizing the event for many years. Corporations and local businesses donate clothing and toys to the center for pre-registered families to shop.  Due to the pandemic, these families were scheduled at a specific time during the 7 hours to allow for social distancing and a decrease in volunteers this year.   Mindy notes the following:          177 families were served                       470 children were served 
                           Over 1330 gifts were donated                 82 volunteers served over 750 hours (some helped in Spanish)
Again, the outpouring of the giving spirit was heartwarming.  You could see thankfulness in the eyes of the shoppers.  Peace to all people on Earth at this season!