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Countdown to Christmas!

I always get excited about working on the Christmas Baskets Program in late summer and early fall. There’s a lot to be excited about this year, including our new partnership with Toys For Tots. I’m also excited to be working with several new schools and agencies in Macon County, including Growing Strong Sexual Assault Center, Meridian Elementary School, Richland Community College, St. Patrick’s Catholic School and Warrensburg Elementary.

When you have a goal of serving up to 3000 children, you have to make some new connections and come up with new ways of doing things.

The other thing we’re doing this year that we haven’t before is having our Christmas Baskets Team take public applications. The way this works is that we set up in our conference room downstairs at Dove, Inc., and spend the day signing people up who walk in for an application.

On Thursday, November 14, from 8:30 – noon, and 1 – 5 pm and 6 – 8 pm anyone in Macon County who’s in need of a basket can come by, show proof of need (through the use of a medical card, WIC booklet, unemployment letter, etc.), proof of who’s living in the home (again, medical cards are great, but birth certificates, photo ID’s or pieces of mail addressed to each person individually are acceptable), and be signed up to receive a basket. We’re doing this again the following week, as well, on Tuesday, November 19, during all the same times. If you or someone you know are in need of a basket, please come by one of those two days so we can assist you! We’re happy to help.

We are still going to be cross-referencing with other agencies doing Christmas baskets so we can all serve the most people possible without over-serving any one family, so if you sign up with us, please don’t sign up somewhere else, too.

We’ve already begun receiving donations – including 700 or so more blankets from Project Linus, who were awesome enough to think of us again this year – and we’ve got quite a stash of toys building in our hallway. The only thing this year we’re asking not to receive are clothes.

We’re definitely still in need of the following:

  • Stockings (call for a pattern if you need one!)
  • Hats and gloves in all sizes
  • Wrapping paper (partial rolls are okay)
  • Tape

Volunteers – please call Angie, Basket Program Coordinator
 at 217.428.6616 
or email her at to schedule a time! 


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WAND and Dove have teamed up each year to collect the coats!  The clean or new coats are taken to participating clothing rooms for families to choose. 
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Participating Cleaners

Classic Cleaner, 2474 N. Main

Peerless Cleaners, 519 N. Monroe

Pride Cleaners and Launderers

2553 N. Main1804 E. Eldorado912 W. Eldorado2056 Mt. Zion Road
Waite's Dry Cleaners and Launderers

1004 S. Main, Decatur664 W. Eldorado115 Magnolia, Forsyth

Drop off sites

Decatur Public Library, 130 N. Franklin

Decatur Township Offices, 1620 S. Taylorville Road

Good Samaritan Inn, 920 N. Union

GT Church, 500 S. 27th

Illiopolis Christian Church, 302 Anne Street, Illiopolis



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Giving to the Next Generation sharing from

From self-expression to self-direction, there are countless ways for older adults to stay engaged and give back to others at the same time. Some of the most rewarding ways to express yourself and contribute to your community involve passing on experiences, wisdom, and skills to the generations that follow.

Everyone has something to share, and these ideas can help get you started.

Mentor. Use professional or personal experiences to guide a child, young adult, or even a peer. Example: Visit Senior Corps at to learn about becoming a foster grandparent.

Volunteer. Put skills to use while giving back to your community.
Example: Sign up to collect food/clothing donations, serve meals at a local soup kitchen, or help older friends with daily tasks at home such as paying bills.

Teach. Impart expertise via formal or informal education and tutoring opportunities.
Example: Check with local schools that may need reading, math, or s…