The Origins of Sweetest Day Remind Us to Support Youth in Foster Care

In the Great Lakes Region of the United States, greeting card aisles are lined every October with colorful messages about Sweetest Day – a holiday to show special attention to loved ones, especially your sweetheart. However, did you know that the origins of Sweetest Day tell a different story; a story focused on children facing adversity? Join our Sweetest Day Call to Action by learning about the history of the holiday and dedicating yourself to supporting children in foster care.

A Holiday Founded to Support Children in Need

In 1922, Herbert Birch Kingston, a philanthropist and candy company employee from Ohio, wanted to create a special day where children in adverse situations received special care and acknowledgement. He recognized that children in group homes and those homebound by illness did not always receive the attention and treatment given to other youth. With the help of like-minded friends, Kingston began to distribute candy and small gifts on the third Saturday of October. The dedicated philanthropist garnered support from local and national celebrities and successfully managed to provide more than 10,000 treats and toys to children in need. While Sweetest Day is now celebrated primarily by partners and significant others in the Midwest, we ask you to remember the origins of the holiday this year and consider paying special tribute to the memory of Herbert Birch Kingston by getting involved with SOS Children’s Villages Illinois.

How to Get Involved This Sweetest Day

Learn about Becoming a Professional Foster Parent

SOS Illinois trains and employs full-time Foster Parents that care for up to six siblings in a single-family home in one of our three Village communities. Like Herbert Birch Kingston, our Foster Parents believe that children in adverse situations deserve love and support. Put your passion for children and your heart for mission to good use this Sweetest Day by sharing this unique parenting opportunity with someone you love. If you or someone you know would like to become a Foster Parent and are interested in seeing if you’d be a good fit in the SOS Children’s Villages Illinois family, let us know by filling out this form or contacting our Director of Recruitment at 312-372-8200.

Give the Treat of Monthly Giving

Whether you are learning about SOS Children’s Villages Illinois for the first time or are a decade-long donor, consider joining our monthly giving program, Dream Makers, in honor of Sweetest Day. Dream Makers’ automatic monthly gifts provide the sustained resources needed to help the siblings in our care grow in three key areas:

  1. Educational Development
  2. Health and Wellness
  3. Cultural Enrichment

As a Dream Maker, your monthly contribution is the easiest and most efficient way to support SOS Illinois. “Treats” of all sizes make a profound difference in the opportunities we are able to provide to the children and families in our community. You can easily start now as part of our Sweetest Day Call to Action or!

Share the Story of Sweetest Day and SOS Illinois

Subscribing to our e-newsletter and sharing our posts on social media are two of the easiest, most effective, and cost-free ways to spread the word about SOS Children’s Villages Illinois! By creating a diverse, active social media presence, SOS Illinois is able to reach outside of our networks and into the hearts of those around the world. In honor of our Sweetest Day Call to Action, we invite you to engage with us on our various social media platforms and invite your loved ones to do the same!

Sharing small gifts and tokens of kindness on Sweetest Day remind our loved ones that they hold a unique place in the world. This Sweetest Day, honor the origins of the holiday by offering the same affirmation to children in foster care. Your love creates a lasting impression that extends far beyond a single day a year.