"Gifts for Guardians" Program Seeks Donations of Gifts for Children to Provide Their Parents, Guardians During Holidays

Program Teaches Youngsters the Importance of Giving, Recognizes Caregiver Sacrifices


Last updated 11/7/2022 at 9:21pm

JOLIET-"Gifts for Guardians," a program that gives children the opportunity to select gifts for

their parents and other guardians during the holiday season, is seeking donations of new items

for the youngsters to give their caregivers. The shopping event allows children to shop from

donated items for their parent or guardian, so they may experience the joy of giving at Christmas.

It also recognizes and encourages struggling parents during this time of year that often go

without, sacrificing for their children's happiness. Families/parents get to enjoy a hot cocoa bar

and cookies while the children select wrap gifts with the help of volunteers.

The program, now in its fourth year, will make the gifts available to youngsters of individuals

served by Morningstar Mission Ministries, the Forest Park Community Center, and Guardian

Angel Community Services.

Katie Rabenda, an attorney in Joliet, began this giving program to offer a way for children to say

thank you to the adults who care for them and to teach them the joy of giving.

"I established this program a few years ago because it saddened me to think that many children

do not have the opportunity to experience the joy of giving. I also saw so many caregivers who

provided selflessly during this time were seemingly "forgotten" and wanted to allow their kids to

show their love and appreciation." Rabenda said.

Stephanie Putman is Senior Program Director with Morningstar Mission, one of the nonprofits

Gifts for Guardians partners with to provide gifts for caregivers.

"Gifts for Guardians is a wonderful program that teaches children the importance of giving,"

Putnam said. "It's remarkable to see the joy on the children's faces as they choose items for their

loved ones."


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