Orland Township Distributes Gifts To Over 200 Families

Yasmeen Sheikah

ORLAND TOWNSHIP, IL — The Orland Township tried to make the holidays a little more cheery for families struggling financially this holiday season.

The Orland Township Holiday Program has been assisting local families in need for more than 30 years, according to the office of Supervisor Paul O'Grady. In the past, the Holiday Program has provided for 100 to 150 families, but due to pandemic shutdowns and job losses, the need was greater this year. The Township said over 200 families signed up for the program in 2020.

"In a year with so many challenges and uncertainty, the Orland Township community came through and made sure every family and every child who signed up for the Township’s Holiday Program received a holiday meal and gifts," O’Grady said.

The Township said flyers about the Holiday Program and the Giving Tree — which contained tags with the gift wishes of local children — were available in October when the Township was posted at an early voting site. In Early November, Orland Township began receiving donations for the Holiday Program, according to O'Grady's office.

Weeks of sorting took place, and gifts were organized by a number each family was assigned for anonymity purposes. On Dec. 19, the Township distributed the gifts into residents' vehicles, with students from Andrew and Sandburg high schools, firefighters and cadets from the Orland Fire Protection District and regular Food Pantry volunteers.

O’Grady, Township Clerk Cindy Murray and Township Trustee Antonio Rubino attended the distribution, helping direct traffic, hand out gift cards and load vehicles, according to the Township office.

"The abundance of the donations for the Holiday Program - gifts, clothing, gift cards and food – was a heartwarming demonstration of community spirit," O’Grady said. "It is just one of the many reasons I am proud to be a part of this community and to be the Orland Township Supervisor."

For more information on services available through Orland Township, visit the website, or call (708) 403-4222.

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This article originally appeared on the Tinley Park Patch