The Holiday Giving Program at SOS Children’s Village Illinois supports the children in our care by sharing gifts of joy and comfort during the holiday season. This year, our Holiday Giving Program looks a bit different in order to carefully navigate the safety measures required to protect our community during the current health crisis. Though your gifts will look a little different, the impact of them will be just as great!
The Holiday Giving Program at SOS Illinois
Throughout our history, the Holiday Giving Program at SOS Illinois has provided hope-filled support to the children in Illinois foster care and at-risk families we serve during the holiday season. Generous donors and corporate partners offer donations of holiday gifts to help make the time of the year joyful for all.
As part of the world’s largest non-denominational child welfare organization, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois supports the cultural and religious traditions of every child in our care. The Holiday Giving Program is not tied to any one tradition, but rather to the spirit of love and generosity that many experience during the holiday season. That way, every child in our care can celebrate alongside their siblings and families in the way that is most meaningful to them!
This year, in compliance with organizational safety measures surrounding COVID-19, the Holiday Giving Program will not be collecting shipped or drop-off items to our Villages and offices. Instead, we are collecting monetary donations that our Foster Parents and families can use to purchase special items and treats for the children in their care and the entire family.
Our goal of this year’s Holiday Giving Program is to ensure that our Foster Parents have the resources they need to purchase gifts in each of the following categories for the children in their care: educational enrichment (books, flash cards, etc.); winter warmth (coats, gloves, etc.); arts enrichment (painting kits, children’s instruments, etc.); outdoor recreation and wellness (sports equipment, yoga mat, etc.); and hobbies and fun (dolls, electronics, etc.). We are confident that your donations can help us reach this goal!
If you are an individual and simply wish to support us with an online gift, please click here. If you are part of a group or wish to start an online campaign to support our efforts, click here to get started or keep reading to learn more.
Six Easy Steps (for Groups and Go-Getters!) to Participate in the Holiday Giving Program
Looking to be involved in the Holiday Giving Program as a donor or through creating a fundraiser? The following six fun and easy steps can help ensure your involvement in the program is successful!
1. Determine Your “Why:
Deciding to contribute to the Holiday Giving program is a generous opportunity for an individual or group and being able to communicate why you’re participating in the program can help garner support from others, as well as help make your impact more meaningful for you! Spend some time thinking about why you’re participating in the program to share with other people!
2. Get a Group Together (Virtually)
Each year, group-focused fundraisers and drives provide major support to the Holiday Giving Program at SOS Illinois. This holiday season, you can host the same types of group fundraisers in a safe, virtual setting! We can provide you with the tools you need to host a fundraiser with Causevox and offer suggestions on how to make your virtual gathering a success!
3. Decide How You Would Like to Fundraise
You can collect Holiday Giving Program funds in multiple ways! Using Causevox, you can set up your own fundraising page to raise donations for fundraisers all online. Additionally, you can decide to pick a specific family gift card option and collect gift cards for that specific location from family and friends. For example, maybe you’d like the chance to give our Foster Parents a night off from cooking or some funds for a celebratory meal. Collecting gift cards to Girodano’s or Lou Malnati’s can provide a special treat that is always appreciated!
4. Set a Goal for Fundraising
Setting a fundraising goal helps you track progress, encourage others to give, and feel successful in your fundraising efforts. Setting a realistic but challenging goal can build excitement around your fundraiser, encouraging more people to give or to give in a larger amount. Make sure that your goal is fitting for the scale of your fundraiser. For example, raising $1,000 within a small family can be seen as very lofty, but might be too small for a fundraiser in a larger business setting.
5. Reach Out to Your Network and Start Fundraising
Tapping into your direct networks are one of the easiest ways to get your fundraising goals met. By sharing about your fundraiser with your family and friends via social media, email, and phone calls, you have the chance to explain the importance of your fundraiser for SOS Illinois. Using social media, you can also easily share the progress of your fundraiser, create public thank you posts, and share important facts and success stories about SOS Illinois!
6. Know that Your Gift is Bringing Joy to a Child in Need
Recognizing the impact of your fundraiser now can help you get the fuel you need to get your fundraiser started. Your gifts of whatever size help to create a joyful season for the children and families served at SOS Illinois. As the holidays are often a time of complicated emotions for children in foster care, knowing that others are providing loving support to them during this time is comforting and affirming. Our children often talk about their gratitude to our donors who participated during the Holiday Giving Program for years to come!
Guidelines to Help You Reach your Goal
We’re happy to provide you with these helpful guidelines to set you on the right path towards establishing and reaching your goal for Holiday Giving! Whether making a gift yourself, putting together a fundraiser with a few family members, or gathering a group of your colleagues, the following two options for fundraising can be included in your goal planning to show just how impactful your gift can be:
Sponsor a Child/Children
Though we cannot match you with a specific child in our care this year, “sponsoring a child” can help you directly measure the impact of your giving with the child or children who benefit from your gift. For example, your fundraising may set the goal of sponsoring two children, two families, or even ten children! Using the following amounts as a guideline, you can determine how many children you will support with your gift or fundraiser!
- 1 child – $35-50
- 2 children – $75-100
- 3 children – $125-150
- 4 children – $175-200
- Family – $250
As mentioned above, donating gift cards or hosting a gift card fundraiser can help provide family gifts that create special opportunities for ordered-in meals or quick pick-up options to enjoy. For our Foster Parents, this means a break from spending time in the kitchen and the chance to spend even more time bonding as a unique family.
Some of our favorite places for delivery or grab-and-go meals include:
- Uber Eats
- Grub Hub
- Lou Malnati’s
- Panera Bread
- Door Dash
Deadline for Gifts for 2020 Holiday Giving Program
We’re excited to welcome online monetary donations and gift cards throughout the year and provide special emphasis on these gifts during the holiday season. In order to ensure that your gift or fundraiser can count towards the Holiday Giving Program, make sure to have your monetary gift made online or your gift and/or gift cards dropped off to our Downtown Administrative office by November 15. This gives our Foster Parents ample time to shop online for the gifts for the children in their home, as well as for gifts to be delivered to our communities.
Gratitude for Making the Season Bright
We’re so grateful for your encouragement and support of the Holiday Giving Program and are confident that, despite all circumstances and challenges, this year will be just as joyful for children in foster care at SOS Illinois as previous years! Questions about the Holiday Giving Program at SOS Illinois? Contact Abby Johnson, Special Events Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.