Friday, September 9, 2016

One Stop Community Christmas Invites Girl Scout Troops to Participate

One Stop Community Christmas
December 10, 2016

GSSI Girl Scouts have been invited to participate in the One Stop Community Christmas service project. This year the Girl Scouts have been asked to collect 1500 puzzles for kids of all ages.  

Miranda Zerbst, Service Unit Manager for SU 522 - Eastern Coles has offered to arrange pick ups of puzzle donations from other Service Units that want to participate.  You can reach Miranda at at or 217.246.0848 (phone or text)


What Is One Stop Community Christmas?

One Stop is a collaborative effort of many different area organizations (civic groups, schools, businesses, aid organizations, churches, sororities, healthcare providers, etc.) to come together at Christmas time and provide help and hope to families from 7 counties (Coles, Cumberland, Shelby, Moultrie, Douglas, Edgar and Clark) during the holiday season. 

A major focus of the event is the realization that a few years ago, there were many families who were getting help from several organizations and others were going without (either because they didn’t know where to go, or the resources had been used up by the time they got there). 

One Stop is an effort to band together and help even more families who need it, while making sure to provide a really positive experience for everyone involved. One Stop is about the power of partnership to make a difference in the community.

Is One Stop a Success?

By any metric, yes. In 2014, we helped 778 families and were able to provide a wonderful Christmas experience for 1815 kids! Not only that, but One Stop has brought diverse civic leaders and community-minded people together in ways that were not likely (or even possible) outside this event. One Stop has truly strengthened our community.

In 2011, the Salvation Army hosted the event in their gym. In 2012, One Stop took up the whole Salvation Army building. In 2013, we moved to the West Building on the campus of Lake Land Community College! One Stop keeps growing, and we are very thankful to Lake Land for their willingness to help us grow. We are happy to say Lake Land has invited us back for 2016. 

How Can I Get Involved?

1. Volunteer: Register to come out the day of the event and be a table worker or personal shopper (someone who goes with the client family to each table and helps them navigate the event); we will also need set-up and tear-down helpers. 

2. Give: This event is not cheap, as you can imagine. Every dollar makes a difference. Giving to the event (in cash or check payable to SEICF, Southeast Illinois Community Foundation, and memo One Stop on the check), or with physical items to give away is a crucial way for area organizations to partner with – and participate in – One Stop Community Christmas.

3. Drive: For organizations with many members/employees, a great way to get involved is to find out from the Executive Committee what resources are needed and ask your members/employees to bring in that item through the fall. Having a “Green Bean” drive (or whatever) really helps out.

4. Adopt: If you really want to invest in this very worthy event, then adopt a Table. When you do that, you become the Table chair (or co-chair) and are responsible for staffing and stocking that Table for the event. This is a huge responsibility, but also one of the most rewarding experiences.