Forty local children received Christmas gifts this year, thanks to the dozens of Weiss employees who “adopted” local families for the holidays. “Everyone was delighted to participate,” says Yashida Blocker, Human Resources representative, of the 20 departments that spent the weeks leading up to Christmas shopping and wrapping gifts.
For the past three years, Weiss has partnered with the Robert R. McCormick Boys and Girls Club to adopt the families. “Weiss has been a consistent partner, whereas most partnerships occur on a year-to-year basis,” says Mitchell Day, the Club’s program director.
The organization provides wish lists from the children. Those wishes range from hats and gloves to mp3 players and dolls. “It always blows their minds when they magically receive an item that was on their wish list,” Day says. “Most will ask at least a couple of times, if we are serious and if the presents are really theirs to take home.”
Manager of Security Kevin Brown and Officer Joseph Dunn delivered the gifts the Tuesday before Christmas. The gifts, including a bicycle, filled an entire transport van.
“The families are very taken with the generosity of their Weiss sponsors,” says Day. He remembers one grandmother who opened a gift card from her family’s sponsor. “She was so shocked and so excited that she cried and kissed my Outreach Coordinator.” The card, Day adds, enabled her to purchase groceries for a holiday dinner.
The McCormick Boys and Girls Club has been in existence since 1958. Children between ages 6 and 18 can enroll in the program for a $20 annual fee, which covers all activities the Club offers. It serves 2,400 members annually and 350 members daily.
Individuals interested in volunteering or assisting the Club can call (773) 271-8400 or complete an online volunteer application at http://www.bgcc.org.