After filling your carts on Black Friday and shopping online for Cyber Monday, there is another day dedicated to celebrate giving instead of getting. That day is the globally-recognized Giving Tuesday, celebrated in the United States on Tuesday, November 27.
While there are as many ways to give as there are organizations to help, one option is to give locally to the St. Charles Park Foundation, which supports park district services, programs and events that define the St. Charles community.
Summer traditions such as concerts in the park, the fireworks display during the Fourth of July Celebration and Sculpture in the Park are made possible with donations to the Foundation.
Facilities that care for animals such as Hickory Knolls Discovery Center and Primrose Farm benefit from the Foundation as well.
“Many of our animals at Hickory Knolls are pets that have been relinquished, so we strive to keep these animals healthy by providing nourishing food, enriching enclosures and access to veterinary care,” said Laura McCoy, Hickory Knolls Nature Education Supervisor. “Funding for these aspects of animal care allows us to provide the best life for our animals and to provide the best educational experience for our community.”
The same is true at Primrose, where staff care for the well-being of farm animals including daily feeding, milking cows, trimming hooves and repairing fences and/or gates. They also receive routine veterinary care, and at times, emergency care. “The time and money spent on these animals is substantial, but having them available to educate the public is an invaluable resource and worth every penny,” said Alison Jones, Manager of Farm Programs and Interpretive Services.
Just as Hickory Knolls and Primrose provide a safe and healthy environment for animals, the park district’s teen center also fosters a welcoming ‘home away from home’ with funds from the Foundation.
Each year the STC Underground Teen Center holds an annual Holiday Fundraising Campaign to help continue the free programs enjoyed by local teens in grades 6-12. The funds help provide programming and purchase equipment or basic supplies.
“The Underground brings together kids from all St. Charles schools to hang out, enjoy free programs and instill a sense of community and camaraderie,” said Darby Beasley, Teen Center Director.
“We promote a unique, safe environment – free of judgment, bullying and social anxiety – and the number of teens who visit each year is a true testament to the atmosphere we’ve created,” Beasley added.
In 2017 alone, the Underground had more than 1,000 teen members (memberships are free), and teens visited the center more than 5,400 times.
Giving to the Foundation also helps ensure the Financial Aid Program continues, giving all residents of all income levels the opportunity to participate in park district programs. More than $10,000 is awarded annually to economically-challenged youth and families in the St. Charles community.
The Foundation’s Memorial Program is an opportunity to purchase a tree or bench in a park setting, providing a connection with nature for all to enjoy. Memorial gifts improve the quality of life in the community and make a long-lasting contribution to the beauty of a park site.
Pet lovers are welcome to honor their furry friend with a recognition bronze plaque for only $300 at the St. Charles Dog Memorial “Timeless Tags” in Delnor Woods Park. Everyone is welcome to place an ID tag on the sculpture for free, adding to its beauty as it grows organically with each tag added.
Have an extra set of wheels in your driveway? Even donating your vehicle to the Park Foundation through the CARS program will make an impact as a percentage of your contribution is shared and will benefit local parks, programs and services.
To make a donation to the St. Charles Park Foundation or to learn about all of their fundraising projects, visit www.stcparkfoundation.org. Tag us on Instagram. Like Us on Facebook. @stcparkfoundation