December 2016: Christmas Traditions & Sharing

leland 2013Who among us doesn’t have wonderful memories of Christmases past...perhaps our fondest memory of waking up and finding that Santa had, indeed, brought that treasured gift you had been wishing so hard for! Perhaps it’s memories of going to church services and then having a traditional meal with your family while candles twinkled and your Christmas tree glittered. Perhaps your memory is of that handmade clay bowl you made your mother and her reaction to it (which she treated like it was a Picasso and which she still displays proudly 25 years later!). Perhaps it’s your first Christmas with your wife, your husband, or the morning you saw joy in your children’s faces.

All of us, no doubt, have a memory or two that comes to mind every year which we treasure, and that reminds us of why our Christmas memories and traditions are so special…and why they have meaning, no matter how much stores try to get us to think of Christmas as an endless merchandising event!

The Foundation, through your generosity, is working hard to help those in need at Christmas.

CLICK HERE for the listing of organizations that were impacted by Foundation funds.

December 2016 Impacts

Leland House provides up to two years of housing, support, and training for mothers and their families seeking to recover from domestic abuse and homelessness.The Foundation was delighted to give each of the 15 families living at Leland house each $200 in gift cards this Christmas. We also gave gift cards to the support staff of Leland House as a show of appreciation for all they do.

 The Foundation was proud to organize donations from First Trust employees to the women and children at Family Shelter Service which works to transform lives by offering help and hope to those affected by domestic violence and for the seniors living at the DuPage Convalescent Center.

To the families in Wayne Township, the Foundation fulfilled the entire Christmas wish lists of 8 families including a single mom with six children, one of whom is disabled.

The Foundation was pleased to donate over $2000 in department and grocery store gift cards to needy families of Milton Township.             

In Austin, the Foundation helped organize a toy and gift drive for The SAFE Alliance which serves the survivors of child abuse, sexual assault and exploitation, and domestic violence.              

* Year-End Giving: As part of the Foundation’s annual end-of-year giving, the following donations were made:  

  • Opportunity International received $5000 in support of their mission to provide access to financial solutions empowering people living in 28 countries to transform their lives, their children’s futures and their communities.
  • National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum received $1000 for their Thin Blue Line program which is a group of supports who symbolically stand with law enforcement. Once completed, the Museum’s Thin Blue Line will contain an inscription which reads

    “FT Cares FDN Honors All Heroes Who Serve”

  • By the Hand Club for Kids is a Chicago-based, after-school program that emphasizes academic excellence while nurturing the whole child. The Foundation granted $6,300 to By the Hand to fully fund a scholarship for one student for an entire year.
  • Mobile Loaves & Fishes received $7500 in support of the further development of their 27-acre Community First! Village for the homeless of Austin.