One of the many beautiful things about living in our community is that if you have an idea—you can often have the opportunity to bring it to life.
“I wanted to do something that showed that we’re all connected and that we all mean something to one another,” Lake Forest’s Laura Adams says. “I thought if we created a large quilt that symbolized this, it could be a constant reminder that we all need each other—that we’re all stitched together.”
When Debra Meredith heard Adams’s idea, she jumped on board to help make it happen. “I thought it would be nice if we could tie the quilt to a day of service,” she says. “A number of other cities have a day of service to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. This seemed like such a natural fit for Lake Bluff and Lake Forest—we just needed to find the right person to help us make this happen.”
Meredith and Adams decided to reach out to Pam Gracyalny, the new executive director at Lake County Cares.
“I had only been in my new position for two weeks when Debra and Laura reached out to me,” Gracyalny says. “But this is exactly the type of opportunity that we want to be a part of.”
LakeCountyCares specializes in matching the right volunteer with the right organization in need of help. For the Community Service Day on January 16, they have secured a number of organizations that will share information about what they do, as well as hands-on service activities that families can participate into together.
“It feels good to do good,” explains Adams, “so we’ll have a number of meaningful activities for even the smallest child to participate in. We’ll ask families to bring in canned food or diapers for the local food pantry and help stock their shelves. For the animal shelter, we’ll braid dog toys. For the Karam Foundation that is helps all Syrian children, our kids will draw pictures for them. I want attendees to feel the impact
they’re making. Even the smallest child can make a difference.”
The Community Service Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Stuart Room at Gorton Community Center. As the service presentations are being made, children will have the chance to make a square for the community quilt. “We’ve tapped Paula Doyle to help create this quilt. Our hope is that it will be a beautiful reminder of all the good in our community, and our goal will be to make this an annual celebration.”
To learn more, visit lakecountycares.org.