Barrington unites for season of giving
Pat Karon helps coordinate Barrington Giving Day at the First Church of Christ Science in Barrington. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 7, 2013 6:16AM
BARRINGTON — Every December, Barrington area residents, businesses and civic organizations come together to make the holidays brighter for thousands of individuals in need.
The annual Barrington Giving Day provides food, coats, toys, blankets, hygiene items and other goods to families and individuals living in the Barrington School District 220 boundaries.
Pat Karon, who leads the effort, reported that the program has grown every year.
“The numbers just keep going up,” she said. “This is the first year we’re doing snow boots.”
Karon added that most of the donations they get are brand new.
“Pat has expanded the program every year,” confirmed Teri Pellon, a volunteer with Barrington Giving Day. “We now provide diapers, which are very expensive.”
Pellon also credited Karon for getting schools throughout District 220 involved by placing donation boxes in every school.
Each year, Karon puts together a list of families in the district with children on the federal free or reduced lunch program. She coordinates the delivery of the donated goods, which include boxes of food for holiday meals.
“We buy the food so that every family gets identical food in their boxes,” Karon explained.
For winter coats, Karon said she has a list of how many children are in each family.
“So if you have four children in your family, you can get four coats,” she said. “Because children go to school in less than appropriate winter gear.”
Karon said Barrington Giving Day also aims to help senior citizens in need. The group assembles baskets for them containing items like food, candy and personal care items.
Karon, who has been involved with Barrington Giving Day for more than 30 years, said the organization depends on the generosity of area residents.
“Without their generosity, we would not be able to do this,” she said, pointing out that Barrington Children’s Charities has donated $20,000 for the second year in a row.
“It used to be mostly used stuff,” Karon said. “Now, most of the items we get are brand new.”
Volunteer Holly Madden said she thinks it’s wonderful that families receive items that are brand new.
“The quality we’re giving to people is impressive,” she said. “It’s nice to see the generosity.”
Patti Britton, another volunteer, highlighted the new boots and shoes that are going to children in need this winter.
“What kid doesn’t want a new pair of boots?” she said.
Noting that there are so many people in need, Britton said Barrington Giving Day is appreciative of any donation, no matter how small.
“Every little bit helps a lot of people,” she said.
For more information or to donate, visit www.barringtongivingday.org.