Lake County Family YMCA is joining forces with Kids Rank and Illinois Operation: Military Kids (OMK) for the third annual Hero Pack Drive.
Hero Packs are filled with items that are meant to help maintain a connection between the military child and his or her absent parent. Donations for the drive can be dropped off at Northern Lake YMCA, 2000 Western Ave., Waukegan, from now through March 16. Donations of things such as blank photo albums, mini scrapbook kits, journals, note pads, small art kits, simple craft activities, stationary, stamps, activity books, small games and gift certificates from local service-based businesses are being sought. They should be small, new and gender-neutral. For the convenience of those wishing to participate, some of the needed items are available for purchase at both Ys.
The donated items will be put into backpacks on Saturday, March 17, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Northern Lake Y. This provides another opportunity for interested persons to get involved in this project by volunteering to help fill the backpacks. Advance registration is encouraged, but not required.
These Hero Packs, along with personalized certificates, are then presented in a special ceremony designed to make the child feel recognized and special. These ceremonies can be hosted at local schools or other community venues for one or more children. Anyone with information about a child with a deployed military parent is encouraged to contact Kids Rank.
The idea of the Hero Pack Drive was developed by OMK as a way of saying "thank you" for the sacrifices that military youth make while their parents are deployed. Kids Rank has partnered with OMK the past two years in support of this program.
For more information about donating items, volunteering to help assemble the Hero Packs or hosting a Hero Pack ceremony, call Kelcey Liverpool at Kids Rank, (847) 505-2411, or visit www.kidsrankonline.com.
The Lake County Family YMCA is a cause-driven nonprofit that strengthens the community through programs and services that foster youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Chartered in 1912 as a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit, our association is comprised of the Central Lake YMCA in Vernon Hills, Northern Lake YMCA in Waukegan and Early Head Start in Waukegan. To learn more, visit www.ymcalakecounty.org