JOLIET Ill. Dec. 3, 2018 — United Way of Will County hosted the second annual Spirit of Giving event on November 30th at Jacob Henry Mansion. More than 80 children joined in acts of service at “Santa’s Workshop” stations throughout the first floor of the mansion, decorated in all of its holiday glory.

At one station, children colored holiday cards, which were then packed into bags with homemade cookies and hand warmers for homeless individuals and families. These holiday homeless kits were distributed by the Will County Veterans Assistance Commission. “Many consumers shared that they had not had homemade cookies in years; they were grateful that someone cared enough to put the time in to make them cookies during the holiday season.” said Loren Yaksich of United Way of Will County.

Other stations included stuffing animals for kids in the foster system, sorting donated hats, socks, and gloves to distribute at Mobile Food Pantries funded by United Way of Will County, a “meet and greet” with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and a reindeer food making station. All of these stations encouraged children, a majority of which were from the Joliet Township High School district, to give back. Scouts were able to purchase a “Spirit of Giving” patch to celebrate the evening.

United Way of Will County’s Spirit of Giving event, which gives local children the opportunity to serve others, sorted 1,002 pairs of socks, made 112 homeless kits, and stuffed 233 animals. Next year, United Way of Will County wishes to grow this event to further its impact on the community.

United Way of Will County fights for the self-sufficiency, health, safety and education of every person in Will County. Through its extensive network of individuals, funded partners and corporate affiliates, United Way of Will County fosters collaborations, partnerships and develops solutions to the challenges facing the community. These collective efforts have resulted in the direct aid to one in three community members. The mission, to unite Will County communities and resources to empower people and create positive, sustainable change, is deeply rooted in United Way of Will County’s history beginning in 1936. To learn more about United Way of Will County’s community impact, visit