Freedom Home Care celebrated the success of the inaugural World’s Biggest Heart Challenge for Lake Forest-based Fill a Heart 4 Kids (FAH4K). With 32 businesses participating, more than 4,800 hearts were collected and more than 1,300 Valentine’s Day care packages delivered throughout Lake and Cook Counties.
Throughout the month of February, Freedom Home Care—in conjunction with FAH4K— invited businesses, groups, and schools throughout Lake Forest and Lake Bluff to ask their customers to fill their windows with hearts with handwritten, heart-warming messages that helped local foster children feel loved during the month of February.
“We wanted to do something fun, different, and impactful throughout February which is recognized as the month of love and heart health awareness month,” says Sharon Burack, owner Freedom Home Care. “We reached out to Fill A Heart 4 Kids to launch the World’s Biggest Heart Chal- lenge to help raise awareness for the organization and make Valentine’s Day dreams come true for 3,347 local foster children.”
Donations of $1, $2, or more were collected to purchase care packages that were delivered, along with the cards, on Valentine’s Day. The goal was to deliver a Valentine’s package to each child waiting for their forever family—over 1,300 Val- entine’s Day Care Packages were delivered.
“We are so grateful for the support of the local community, volunteers, businesses, groups, and schools that participated this year,” says Annie McAveeney.“We look forward to the future as the World’s Biggest Heart Challenge makes an even greater impact and we break the actual World Record!”
Project Valentine began in 2007 as Fill a Heart 4 Kids’ first program. The McAveeney family of Lake Forest began taking in homeless children after learning of the thousands of local kids waiting to be adopted and the nearly 24,000 unaccompanied homeless youth living in crisis in Illinois.The McAveeneys set out to make Valentine’s Day a less painful experience for children without fam- ilies, by creating care packages and loving cards for children without families. These care packages and loving cards were then delivered to 48 children living in a local group home. The children responded with heartfelt thank you notes.
Founded in 1996, Freedom Home Care is one of the leading and most respected home care agencies in the North Shore and throughout the Chicago area. Participating businesses in this year’s event included: Bedside Manor, Dailey Method, Evereve, Forest Bootery, Fred’s Barber Shoppe, Freedom Home Care, Gorton Community Center, Griffith Gant & Lackie, Girl Scouts, J.McLaughlin, Kenzy Gifts & Décor, Kiddles Sports, Koenig & Strey, Lake Forest Library, Left Bank, LF Juice, Lillie Alexander, Little Tails Bar & Grill, LoMastro Performing Arts, Madgalena, Penny’s from Heaven, PostNet, Sage Explorers, Sara Camp- bell, SJ Hair Studio, Sunset Foods, Sushi Kushi, The Lake Forest Shop, True Value, and Unicorn Designs.
FAH4K leaders say they are grateful to all that participated in the challenge, from the businesses displaying hearts to the adults and children that created unique Valentine’s for foster children. They look forward to breaking a world record for most hearts displayed in 2020.