ALBANY PARK — Israel’s Gifts of Hope is asking for donations for its annual Thanksgiving basket program for local families who have lost loved ones to gun violence.
The group’s free care baskets typically include a variety of foods and gift items, including gift cards, cookies, popcorn, soups, coloring books, candles, lotions and cards written by community members offering comfort.
Israel’s Gifts of Hope, an Albany Park-based group, is asking people to donate items of their choice or to sponsor entire baskets. The baskets are $25-$50 in value depending on the family size.
Neighbors who want to help should send a message to email@example.com, on the group’s Facebook page or text 708-669-9948 so the group can coordinate donation efforts. The last day to make a donation is Nov. 18.
This is the fourth year the family-run organization is providing care packages to local families. The group was founded in honor of Israel Aragon Jr., who was fatally shot in Albany Park in 2016.
“This started because our neighbors did that for our family the first Thanksgiving after we lost him,” said group co-founder Dalia Aragon. “Just knowing that our neighbors were out here and care about us when we felt bad, that was huge.”
Offering that same comfort to other families during the holiday season is important, especially if it’s their first season without a family member who’s been lost to violence, she said.
“The sad thing is we’re supporting a whole bunch of new families from 2020 and 2021,” Aragon said. “But now the families we’ve been working with since 2016 are coming around and want to help support these newer survivor families.”
The group is also asking families who have lost a loved one to violence to RSVP here to receive a Thanksgiving Care Basket on Nov. 20.
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