Written by: Robyn Shulman
Holiday for Hope
Did you know the current homeless average range for children is between 1.6 million and 2.1 million The amount of people who are homeless in Illinois has doubled from 2006-2010 (30,000 to over 60,000).
These homeless numbers include those from the inner city, children of veterans, and staggering numbers of kids from affluent areas. Over 70% of kids are now considered at-risk in America, and this holiday season does not look especially bright with nowhere to call home.
Holiday for Hope, going into its 25th year, brings together over 1,600 homeless children from around the state of Illinois for a day in December filled with food, toys, games, laughter, arts and crafts, sports, music and more. Around the world, we celebrate Holiday for Hope with over 6,000 others.
The day focuses on bringing hope for the future to those who are less fortunate.
How did it begin?
In 1989, a small group of amazing people walked into Clara’s House. Finding 54 children doubled up on beds or sleeping on the floor opened eyes and opened hearts. Dreams for Kids soon came with gifts, food, Santa Claus and the joy of hope.
The next year Dreams for Kids went to two shelters, and the third year they visited three. Having run out of space for the day, it was decided to bring kids to one location. Every year it grew, and people of all faith were invited, as others around the world were asked to join in and take part.
Today, Holiday for Hope is the largest holiday event of its kind in the world and brings over 1,500 homeless and severely at-risk children to one location in Illinois on one day in December and over 6,000 worldwide.