STICKNEY – Stickney and Forest View are two communities that could be featured on posters that celebrate what the holiday season is all about. In these communities, people care.
And for that reason, the Stickney-Forest View Public Library is partnering with St. Pius X Parish to collect donations for those in need from the Stickney and Forest View communities.
The library has put up its own Wish Tree with ornaments that double as wish lists for families in need. The ornaments contain what gift items the kids would like to have for their families under their tree Christmas morning.
It works like this: Those interested in sponsoring a family can take one or more ornaments from the tree, purchase the items listed on those ornaments and bring them unwrapped to the library or the church. There, volunteers from St. Pius X Parish will wrap the gifts and distribute the presents to the assigned family.
Roberta Birmingham, coordinator for the church’s Family Assistance Ministry, said it was the Council of Catholic Women who initiated the program with the ministry. Families request assistance through word of mouth, references and the church bulletin.
“We’ve been doing this a long time – at least 15 years – if not more,” Birmingham said.
Leighton Shell, head of the library’s Popular Services Department, said this year is the first time the library has joined forces with the church.
“It was a church program that we wanted to help out,” Shell said. “It gave us a way to help out in the community. One of [the library’s] goals is to be as big a part of the community as we can.”
Meanwhile, these are hard times in the land of plenty. The floods that came in mid-April forced many Stickney and Forest View residents from their homes and left expensive damages in its wake.
“Some of our families were really hit hard by that flooding,” Shell said.
The church gave the library 39 ornaments to put on the wish tree Nov. 27. The same day, five had already been taken off the tree by participants who will use them as shopping lists. Those ornaments represent about 20 families in the communities, Shell said.
The deadline for area residents to bring in items on the wish lists is Dec. 15.
The library will also be accepting Christmas tree decorations for the library’s tree as a method of paying overdue fines at the rate of $1 for each ornament, with a maximum of five.
More information is available by calling the library at 708-749-1050.