Moraine Township

News of the Township

For Immediate Release
date: w/o November 1, 2009
Contact: Mari Barnes, Supervisor, 847-432-3240 or email


Want to do something to help your neighbors during the coming holiday season? Looking for a worthwhile family project that will benefit others and teach your children the lessons of giving? If you have the ability to provide gifts or supplies for others, become a Moraine Township holiday sponsor and/or volunteer this year.

Moraine Township Supervisor Mari Barnes and staff have begun the process of lining up sponsors for the Phyllis Santullano Holiday Gift Drive for children, as well as the annual Food Pantry holiday donations for families. Items will be distributed on December 17 and 18. The Santullano Drive is named in memory of Phyllis Santullano, former Highland Park City Councilwoman, Executive Director of the North Suburban Self-Help Center and community activist. In 2007, the Township assumed responsibility for a holiday gift event named in Santullano's honor about fifteen years ago.

"Even before November 1 each year, we start to work with schools, religious groups, clubs and agencies to organize the annual gift drives in time for the December holidays," Barnes said.

Barnes is especially interested in recruiting members of the community to become gift sponsors for one or more children birth through 18 years of age. Needy youngsters are identified by school social workers and social service provider agencies in the area. Sponsors are matched anonymously, and gifts are distributed at the Santullano Holiday Gift Drive in December.

Each sponsor is assigned one or more children just after Thanksgiving and has until December 16 to shop. Children fill out a reasonable wish list (electronics excluded) and the sponsor is asked to buy accordingly.

"We hope sponsors will stay within the $50 range per child we're suggesting," said Barnes. "This community effort isn't about the biggest and the best, but about participation, and the personal touch of holiday caring."

Gift drop-off will be on December 16 and 17 at Trinity Church, with more specific information provided after sponsors sign up.

Volunteers are very welcome to participate in all aspects of the Santullano Drive: teenage through adult volunteers are needed for receiving and organizing as gifts are dropped off, and helping with gift distribution as parents come in to pick them up.

The Township is also looking for a volunteer Santa to serve on Thursday and Friday, December 17 and 18 from 4PM to 8PM.

"Last year, to keep children busy while their parents waited in line to pick up the gifts, we brought in a volunteer Santa," said Barnes. "It was a terrific success, and we would love to repeat it this year."

"Gift certificates and donated food basket items have also been very much appreciated in the past, and are distributed to needy families in the Moraine Township area," she added.

To sign up, contact the Township Office at 847-432-3240 or email Supervisor Barnes at Check out information about the Township at



Return to Press Release Archive

Return to News of the Township

Return to Home Page


777 Central Av, Highland Park IL 60035, 847-432-3240