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United Way donors spread some holiday cheer

Updated: January 28, 2013 6:20AM

AURORA — More than 270 Fox Valley children are having a happier holiday season thanks to Fox Valley United Way and the individuals, community groups and local businesses that dug deeply to help area families in need.

The giving this season, said United Way CEO Mike Meyer, “reflects the sometimes amazing way our community pulls together to help those who need assistance.”

Deborah Collins, United Way director of administration, said nearly three dozen businesses, community organizations and “many more families and individuals” collected the names of individual children from the United Way and then purchased recommended gifts: new toys; books; clothing, especially scarves, hats and mittens; and grocery gift cards to help provide a family’s holiday meal.

There was a suggested $50 per gift.

“Many of the suggestions were practical — warm clothes — but many were toys, games and other items children wished for,” Collins said.

She estimated donors “collectively spent $15,000-$18,000 to help someone else have a better holiday.”

Among the businesses and organizations choosing to purchase gifts were Wrigley Co., Hotel Arista, ComEd and Aurora University. The Aurora Noon Lions Club, the Fox Valley Building & Construction Trades Council and the city of Aurora were among those making what Collins called “significant donations.”

Marking its 90th year, the Fox Valley United Way is the primary social services fundraising organization for much of Kane and Kendall counties. The organization raised more than $1.2 million during its 2011-2012 campaign year and disbursed those funds to 54 social services agencies serving Aurora, Big Rock, Bristol, Hinckley, Little Rock, Millbrook, Montgomery, Mooseheart, North Aurora, Oswego, Plano, Plattville, Sandwich, Sugar Grove and Yorkville.

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