At its annual dinner dance Together We Cope honored a special group of women who have for 16 years presented a festive crafts day for children in need, little ones who want to share the Christmas spirit by making gifts for their families, teachers and friends.
“Gifts from the Heart” is offered to the children of TWC client families by the Beta Beta Chapter of Lambda State, Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. This is a society of women educators, both active and retired, who sponsor various projects and education grants in the south suburban area. But it’s “Gifts from the Heart” that brings out their real creative flair. On a Saturday in mid-December the society sets up more than a dozen craft tables, a book table and a gift wrapping station and goes to work with 50 to 75 youngsters who make a wide assortment of Christmas gifts under the guidance of the teachers. Beta Beta members provide all of the materials to make fleece scarves, jewelry, keychains, candleholders, ornaments, or holiday mugs filled with candy and hot chocolate.
It started as a crafts table at a TWC children’s Christmas party, and grew into its own program as more and more people got involved. “Now we’ve got a regular following of our members and their friends who come out to help the ‘Gifts’ program,” said Carol Schaal, president of the chapter. “This program illustrates the real meaning of Christmas,” said Kathryn Straniero, TWC executive director. “It helps children give back to the important people in their lives. Thank you, Beta Beta Chapter, for all that you bring to families of Together We Cope.”