For the past 10 years, the Central School community has generously supported two Chicago-based charities during the holiday season – LYDIA Home and Metropolitan Family Services. Through our school’s donations, both organizations have been able to provide many families and children gifts for the holiday season. Sign up to contribute to the LYDIA Home HERE and MFS HERE.
What services do Metropolitan Family Services and LYDIA Home provide?
Metropolitan Family Services (MFS) offers a wide variety of programs and services designed to strengthen families and help them realize their full potential. Through mentoring and advocate programs such as The Children’s Center, Parenting Fundamentals and Family Violence Intervention, MFS empowers families to learn and to thrive.
LYDIA Home, founded as an orphanage in 1916, has become a successful alternative to state-run foster care and family assistance agencies. LYDIA helps troubled families and children, reaching people in diverse communities with a range of services, including Safe Families for Children, Foster Care, Residential Treatment, Learn & Care Preschool, LYDIA Urban Academy and Counseling Services.
How can I donate to Gift of Giving?
Sign up to contribute to both LYDIA Home and MFS through SignUpGenius. The SignUpGenius links will be available via the PTA website, the Central Scoop and Room Parent communication. Also, at the Book Fair Family Night on Wednesday, Nov. 14, the Gift of Giving committee will have a table allowing people to log onto SignUpGenius and donate.
There are two SignUpGenius links for you to donate through – one for MFS and one for LYDIA – because the organizations have different needs and different suggested donation amounts. For Metropolitan Family Services we are often times providing supplemental gifts and support, and for LYDIA, since many of the children do not live with their families, our donations are the only gifts they will receive at the holidays.
What types of gifts are needed and what is the price range?
Both organizations have requested mainly gift cards for the holiday season.
Giving a child or a family a gift card empowers them to get a present they know their child wants and look to buy it when that toy is on sale. In addition, LYDIA Home uses the gift cards to buy items such as toiletries, linens, pajamas, etc. for the kids throughout the year and not just at the holidays.
MFS has asked for gift cards in $25 increments to Target or Walmart for presents for kids of all ages. We are also hoping to help the MFS families with meals this holiday season with gift cards to stores such as Jewel, Target and Walmart. You may sign-up for as many gift cards as you would like to donate – any amount is very much appreciated!
For LYDIA Home this year we will be doing a combination of gift cards and “wish list” gifts. You can sign-up to donate gift cards to Target and Walmart in increments of $25 as well as for the children’s “wish list” items, which should not be wrapped. If you select a LYDIA Home child to purchase holiday gifts for, these are some of the only gifts they will receive so the range to spend on their requests is $75-$150.
Where do I drop off my donations?
There are several options for you to drop off your donation (see below). Prior to dropping off, please put your gift card in an envelope and inside be sure to include your name and contact number as well as the name of the child the donation is for, the number next to his or her name, age and gender. For LYDIA Home “wish list” donations, these gifts should not be wrapped. You may include gift receipts if you would like.
For “wish list” donations to LYDIA Home, we will email you the donation forms and tax documentation after you sign-up via SignUpGenius. You can find the In-Kind Donation Form here.
In Central’s front office by Mrs. O’Reilly’s desk there is a “Gift of Giving” bin. Envelopes can be dropped there. The bin will be checked twice a day.
There also will be three houses with drop-off boxes by the front door where you can leave your donations.
Deb Bernstein – 824 Oakwood Ave. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jeni Roderick – 731 10th St. (email@example.com)
Meghan MacKinnon – 1046 Greenwood Ave. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If needed, committee members can pick up donations from your home.
What is the deadline for donations?
You can sign up to donate items to MFS and/or LYDIA through Dec. 3 and items will be collected through Dec. 7.
The Gift of Giving Committee