Holiday card drive spreads joy to adults with special needs at Lutheran Social Services

SHADY OAKS, iLL. (WLS) -- About 1,000 holiday cards were handed out over the weekend to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the Shady Oaks campus of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.

"My goal was to get at least 500 cards donated, but when I kept counting cards and I'm like okay we're up to 750. Okay we're up to 800. Okay wow we're up to 1,000," said Cassie Greenhill who called for the holiday card donations.

For Greenhill this is personal. She has a form of autism.

Greenhill started the holiday card project in 2019. It was canceled due to COVID last year.

The paraprofessional once again reached out to her network for help this year, including her alma mater Oak Forest High School.

"Giving is important and being kind is important, giving to people you may never meet is important," said Paige Stryczek, teacher. "So there are so many lessons our students at Oak Forest High School can learn."

The Sophomore Student Council worked together on the cards.

Greenhill wanted to make sure the cards were personalized for the recipients, so she provided information on their interests.

"I had a guy name Michael and he liked musicals so I drew a picture of West Side Story on a red construction paper," said Tim Farrell, student.

Greenhill said about 15 people received more than 50 cards, not only with different designs but also messages.

"It is always good to help the community anyway you can to put a smile on someone's face," said Declan McMahon, student.

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois officials said the residents at Shady Oaks enjoy reading the cards and having them read to them.
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