News & Events

2011 Holiday Gift Program

We may not always realize that everything we do affects not only our lives but touches others, too. Yes, every time you offer someone a helping hand, every time you have a kind and gentle word to give, you help someone to find beauty in this precious life we live.

Holiday Gift Program Letter

Dear Friend of Home of the Sparrow,

The holiday season is fast approaching and Home of the Sparrow invites you to help create warm holiday memories for the families in our shelters and transitional apartment programs. Homeless can happen to anyone. During these difficult economic times so many families are struggling and that’s why we have re-structured our holiday gift program.

Just imagine what the families with children are missing by not having a home. Our new holiday program enables mothers and children to develop a tradition of their own and to create happy memories together during a very difficult and challenging time.

We are seeking gift cards to places like: grocery stores, gas stations, Walmart, Target, Kohls. By giving the gift of gift cards, moms can purchase what she needs for her family: a small gift for her children and practical items that she would go normally go without. We embrace women to take control of their lives and be an active participant in buying that special gift for her child. This would never be possible without the gift of gift cards. We also have attached a wish list of the most needed items that can be purchased and donated.

Home of the Sparrow relies on the generosity of the community to pursue its mission which is: To provide Hope, Opportunity and Support that empowers women and children, as they journey from homelessness to self-sufficiency. Your gifts allow us to provide safety and security to families, restore confidence, and empower women for success!

Details on how you or your group or organization can become involved follows below. If you would like to participate in this program, please contact: Tammy at 815-271-5444 x40 or

Please remember Home of the Sparrow never closes – Homelessness is 24/7. Your donation will make a significant difference in the lives of residents in our programs and brighten the eyes and hearts of our women and children now and throughout the year.


Debbie DeGraw
Vice President Marketing/P.R. and Development

Giving Options

Gift Suggestions:

  • Gift Cards: To any grocery store, gas station, discount/department store, etc. In addition to purchasing holiday gifts for their children, these are used year round to ease tight budgets, reward hard work, obtain shelter supplies, and assist our women with transportation.
  • Direct Gifts: A specific “Gift Wish List” of items that might bring joy to the women and children in our shelters (e.g. toys, books). Please call Tammy at 815-271-5444 x40 to adopt a family from our Holiday Giving Program.
  • Monetary Donations: Making a gift through cash, check, or credit card will help us to keep our shelters open. Your financial gift will also support our continued efforts to maintain and improve our array of critical supportive services. Second Start Donations: $500 graduate apartment for one month; $400 one month electric bill at McHenry Shelter; $300 one month electric bill at Crystal Lake Shelter; $200 one month gas bill at Crystal Lake Shelter; $100 one month water bill at McHenry Shelter; $50 less than one week of gas for automobile.
  • Gift Certificates: To any entertainment outlet (e.g. movie theater, skating rink, etc.). These are used to encourage recreational family activities for women and children to do together. These certificates are given to women who do not have discretionary income.
  • Vehicle Repair Gift Certificates: Vehicle repair gift certificates are needed for cars and vans used by Home of the Sparrow to transport clients to necessary appointments. Timely maintenance of these vehicles is critical for us to continue to help residents overcome transportation barriers. Gift certificates can help ensure budget issues do not delay repairs and impact program services.
  • Shelter Supplies: See our Shelter Wish List for items we use year-round to keep our shelters clean and comfortable.

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