Giving trees sprout holiday cheer in Burr Ridge
Mary Partyka and Cheryl Collins work on the tree. Members of the Willowbrook-Burr Ridge Chamber of Commerce hosted a giving tree in the lobby of MB Financial Bank on Madison. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
O Giving Tree
Giving trees are located at these local merchants. Each tree is covered with ornaments listing items needed by local charities.
• Burr Ridge Bank and Trust, 7020 County Line Road, Burr Ridge
• Burr Ridge Park District, 15W400 Harvester Drive, Burr Ridge
• BMO Harris, 101 Burr Ridge Parkway, Burr Ridge
• MB Financial Bank, 8300 S. Madison, Burr Ridge
• Indian Prairie Public Library, 401 Plainfield Road, Darien
• Batson Chiropractic, 6837 S. Route 83, Willowbrook
• Community Bank of Willowbrook, 6262 S. Route 83, Willowbrook
• Hinsdale Travel Service, 201 E. Ogden, Hinsdale
• Turtle Wax, Inc., 625 Willowbrook Centre Parkway, Willowbrook
• Whole Foods Market, 201 W. 63rd St., Willowbrook
Updated: December 6, 2012 4:10PM
BURR RIDGE — The poem speaks of “visions of sugar plums,” but for many, shampoo and diapers are part of their holiday dreams.
The annual Willowbrook/Burr Ridge Chamber of Commerce giving trees aim to make those, and many more dreams come true.
Trees, each decorated with the written wishes of people in need, have been set up in 10 area businesses.
“We added the library this time,” said Nancy DeYoung, chairman of the annual charitable effort.
Each tree is decorated with paper ornaments on which the wishes of eight local charities have been written.
“There will be ornaments on the tree with a Christmas wish,” said Cheryl Collins, executive director of the Chamber.
Among those wishes are toys for the annual Toy Express collection, school supplies for the Willowbrook Corner Initiative afterschool program, and basic toiletries for the homeless served by the Walk-in Ministry of Hope. Family Shelter Services, Teen Parent Connection, Wellness House in Hinsdale and Teens for Xcellence mentoring program also will receive donations from this year’s efforts.
Collins said the tradition is growing, despite tough financial times.
“It’s amazing to see the generosity,” she said. “We definitely rely on community support in doing this.”
Along with individuals, Collins said several area companies participate by donating items through the giving tree. Everest College in Burr Ridge has participated for several years by putting up its own tree, decorated with gift requests provided by the chamber. Everest President Jacob Kassuba said the giving tree is an important part of the holidays at the Burr Ridge campus.
Visitors to the participating businesses can choose an ornament from the tree, buy the items requested, and return them unwrapped.
“You return it unwrapped to the location you picked your ornament up from, with the ornament attached,” Collins said.
Donations are distributed to the eight charities, which use the items throughout the year ahead.
Soaring Eagle Academy of Burr Ridge, which provides instruction to children and young adults with autism, will use this year’s giving tree donations in its art and cooking programs. Donations of markers, paper and paint will allow the academy’s students to express themselves through art. Gift cards to food stores, pots and pans, and cooking utensils will help older students learn life skills such as meal planning and preparation.
“We are very grateful,” said co-founder and executive director Deanna Tyrpek. She said this is the second year that Soaring Eagle has benefited from the giving tree. “We received wonderful donations.”
“It’s wonderful to know that the community is supportive of what we are doing,” Tyrpek said.
Trees will remain at local businesses through Christmas Eve