News Flash


Posted on: November 7, 2022

Township Tale of the Month


Challenging Times: Annual Gift Card Drive

Makes Holidays Joyful For Families In Need

When holiday time rolls around this month, many families will be able to share gifts with children thanks to the Niles Township Food Pantry Foundation’s Holiday Gift Card Drive — 2022.

Those in need who might not be able to afford gifts for their children otherwise are provided store gift cards to go shopping. The Holiday Gift Card Drive, the subject of our December Township Tale Of the Month, is made possible by the generosity of our compassionate community. Without your donations, some children would have to go without gifts this year because of the challenging economic times so many face.

There are many barometers in which to measure the conditions confronting our Niles Township Food Pantry neighbors. Over the last 12 months ending June, 2022, the consumer price index for all urban consumers increased by more than 9 percent. 

The average annual inflation rate between 2018 and 2020 was under 1.9 percent. In 2021, the rate jumped to 7 percent, and in 2022 to 7.7 percent at the time the Township Tale Of the Month was being written.

These numbers speak truth, of course, but we see a more direct truth in the many neighbors who visit Niles Township. They come seeking assistance so they can put food on the table or pay their rent and utility bills just to be able to stay in their homes.

Our goal is to lend them a hand for essential needs, but also to make sure their children can enjoy their holiday no matter the hardship that has befallen the family.

For many years, the Niles Township Food Pantry Foundation held a popular annual toy drive around this time of year, bringing many families in need to the Pantry to pick out gifts for their children. The pandemic forced us to change; instead, we raised funds to purchase gift cards for families to do their own shopping, a safer way to proceed.

We never went back to our toy collection because we always kept in mind what is best for the people in need we serve.

During our COVID-modified holiday drive, we learned that adults feel more empowered when they can choose their own gifts for their children. We heard from more than one of our neighbors about how meaningful these gift cards have become to them and their families.

The annual two days in December when we distributed our collection of gifts were always memorable and festive and filled with good cheer. Handing out gift cards may not look or feel as immediately rollicking, but what those gift cards mean to the people we serve is more than reason to have made this our new annual drive.

This year, we have set a goal to raise $75,000 to buy gift cards for families. Every donation helps. Please use the QR code seen with our Holiday Penguin to make a donation. If you prefer “old school,” drop off or send a check to the Niles Township Food Pantry Foundation, 5255 N. Lincoln, Skokie, 60077. Please write “2022 Holiday Drive” in the memo line.

You can also participate in one of our fundraisers that benefits the drive. Check our social media pages and website for more information.

Once you make your donation, head on over to and follow our fundraising thermometer as we climb toward our 2022 goal. Your generosity is never taken for granted and our appreciation is always sky high. The generosity of the Niles Township community has always been a Holiday Gift to all of us.

Holiday Drive Flyer

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