Community Nurse revived the Christmas spirit when it celebrated the 25th Anniversary of their Secret Santa program Jan. 29 at the Theatre of Western Springs.
About 100 people were on hand to share in the festive evening, which included a hot chocolate reception, proclamation read by Santa Claus and a presentation of “Unnecessary Farce” by Paul Slade Smith.
The founders of the Secret Santa program, Betty Kalber and Kathy Kalber Kinsella, were honored, as well as Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, Lyons Township High School, and the Prairie Trail Federation who are long time supporters of the program.
Betty Kalber and Kathy Kalber Kinsella revived the Secret Santa program in 1988, after it had been discontinued during World War II. The first year, it provided 360 Community Nurse pediatric patients with warm clothes, school supplies and toys at the holidays. Over the next few years, donations grew, more volunteers came on board and more children became involved. To date, almost 20,000 gift bags have been distributed through the program.
Secret Santa is a health incentive program for Community Nurse’s pediatric patients. Children who visit the doctor for their annual physical and the dentist for their annual exam are eligible to receive a warm outfit, school supplies and items from their holiday wish list in December.
Community Nurse Health Center provides direct services for medical and dental services to low-income individuals, and has been a staple of community health in west suburban Cook County since 1921.
For more information about Community Nurse Health Center, visit www.communitynurse.org.