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Glancer Magazine

GLANCING THE GALLANT | St. Charles Woman Holds Gift Drive for Residents at The Grove

by Kristen Kucharski


Holiday blessings abound when Santa’s sleigh is too small to deliver the overflowing donations received for each of the 88 residents at The Grove of St. Charles.

It began as a simple post on social media to collect gifts for a nursing home as most residents, including Julie’s mother, have been confined to their rooms due the COVID-19 pandemic. The residents have been missing the traditional holiday activities like concerts, bingo, caroling, and the like that bring simple pleasures to the place they call home.

Each day as more and more gifts were dropped on Julie’s front porch, she was simply overwhelmed with emotion and amazed by the outpouring of generosity and love from community members. People dropped off homemade blankets, slippers, lotion, candy, puzzle books, reading books, and handmade drawings by young children.

Every donation had a personal story that touched Julie deeply. People found joy in the gift of giving during an otherwise time of sadness from the loss of family members, loss of family gatherings, loss of jobs, homes, in-person schooling, or life as we have known it. These stories brought Julie to tears, and yet also provided pure joy knowing that sadness has turned to happiness through a simple act of kindness.

As the owner of Erasistable Vintage Rental and Styling in St. Charles and a member of the Geneva Women’s Club, Julie has always given back to local organizations such as Mooseheart and CASA, but this year felt our local seniors also needed special attention. She is hopeful this is the just the beginning of a new and meaningful tradition.


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