* COVID-19 * has changed the way Christmas Sharing will work in 2020. Though our Collections will be mainly virtual and our Distributions will be drive through, our focus remains – to make Christmas MORE JOYFUL for our neighbors in need! The following describes our historical program.
Our 51-year History!
“I can’t think about my own Christmas plans, until Christmas Sharing is over,” said Bill Davisson in 1969. As a school social worker, Davisson was concerned about several less fortunate students and families in the Wheaton area and as a result, started Christmas Sharing of Wheaton Warrenville.
Fifty one years later, this simple idea of thoughtfulness and compassion has grown into a completely volunteer program that provides food, gently used clothing and toys for families in need within the Wheaton Warrenville School District 200 and served nearly 800 families in 2019.
The photo (at left) appeared in the Wheaton Daily Journal newspaper on December 12, 1984.
Eight Wheaton and Warrenville area churches and 20 public schools in District 200 participate in the program. The schools typically* collect food, gently used clothing, toys, and household items in November of each year. Christmas Sharing also partners with local businesses and organizations for additional donations of linens, money, boxes, assorted household cleaning products and gift cards. These community partnerships are a valuable part of our program. The churches add the school and community collections to their own and then host two distribution events in early December. At these festive events, families are given a food box and may choose clothing and needed items along with new toys.
CHRISTMAS SHARING: AN IRS RECOGNIZED 501(C)3 PUBLIC CHARITY
While Bill Davisson is no longer with us, “his vision of the community reaching out to struggling families in District 200 continues to gain support from schools, neighbors, and local businesses” stated Barb Wernicke, past President. “At my church, the invited families start lining up to get in the door at least 2 hours before the event starts. As the raw December weather arrives, they find themselves in dire need of the winter clothes, coats, and boots which Christmas Sharing provides. After the basics are taken care of, a parent can select a new toy for each child and receive a food box to feed the family for week. Now that’s Christmas!”
*This year’s Collections will be mainly virtual and Distributions will be drive through. Please donate online!
As you scroll through this website, take some time to think about how you can help this growing program. Maybe it’s some volunteer time, or a donation of money. Both are appreciated and needed. As one of our volunteers stated, “This is truly an annual Christmas miracle.”