This past Thursday, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest hosted their annual Christmas to Remember event, which saw record giving and volunteer participation. With Meijer and People's Bank as the presenting sponsors, the organization was able to provide over 500 Club members with at least $150 dollars worth of gifts, totaling around $75,000 in resources distributed back to the youth of Northwest Indiana.
"While we certainly did buy a lot of toys, we made sure to provide the basic necessities for our youth that might not always have everything they need. They year, we really wanted to display our thoughtfulness. For a lot of families, the holiday season can be an immense financial burden," said Director of Community Outreach, Wendy Mang, "We are hopeful that this moment of joy affects their home life, their academic life, and so on. We had over 200 volunteers at the event, and this only scratches the surface of the massive community effort that made this year so great. I am honored to be a part of it.”
Each year, the organization identifies Club members in need, and sponsors and volunteers come together todonate, shop for presents, and decorate, all in an effort to give Club members a magical holiday.
Volunteers consisted of groups like Meyers Glaros, First Merchant's Bank, Centier Bank, Safety Kleen, Portage Exchange Club, Lake County Police Department, and many of the Valparaiso University Athletic Programs, including the football team, baseball team, volleyball team, and girls' basketball team.
For incoming interim-CEO, Larry Moore, this was his first experience with Christmas to Remember.
"The holidays are a time of joy, hope, and togetherness, and I'm so proud to be part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana.
Through our organization, we help to bring the spirit of the season to all of our members, helping families bridge the financial gap many face during the holidays. With this being my first Christmas to Remember in my time with the organization, I am glad that the turnout was so strong for our kids."
This year’s Christmas to Remember program was co-presented by Meijer and Peoples Bank. In addition to gifts, the organization will provide 500 holiday meals to Club families, courtesy of the combined efforts of Strack & Van Til, Aunt Millie's, and Indiana Beverage.