Hugs & Wishes Program
The HUGS & WISHES Program has become the heart of our organization over the years. Our mission is to brighten the lives of people in our community who are going through a difficult time,"one hug at a time!"
Unlike other wishes programs, we do not send people on vacations or pay bills of any kind. Our program is simpler, yet perhaps more meaningful to those needing immediate assistance or needing their spirits lifted.
To date we have fulfilled over 900 wishes for those living within a 20 mile radius of Shorewood. People may submit a wish for a family, neighbors, friends and even strangers that would benefit from our program.
Please go to the "HUGS & Wishes Program" tab above to submit a wish or to see examples of some of the wishes we have fulfilled.
To make a donation to our Wishes Program click the "Donate" button above.
Saying Good-Bye to
our HUGS President
Our current HUGS president, Jenn McDowell and her husband
are starting a new adventure in Bristol, Rhode Island. Jenn began her new job as a senior provider integrity analyst with Blue Cross of Rhode Island in March. Though she is sad about moving away, she's excited to be living near the ocean.
Jenn took over as President of HUGS in the fall of 2017. Molly Babyak, who was a past president and oversees the Junior HUGS Program, will be our new President for the upcoming year.
HUGS to you and your husband, Jenn. Thank you for all you do!
Annual Chocolate Ball
The HUGS & Wishes Chocolate Ball is our largest fundraiser of the year and raises money for our Hugs & Wishes Program. This event is typically a sold out event to over 400 guests and is held the first Saturday of February.
Giving Back to the Community During a Pandemic
In early March, we paused our Wishes Program for the safety of our HUGS members and wish recipients. Though we knew it was the right decision, it was still heavy on the hearts of our members who wanted to help in some way. So we were happy when we found some creative ways to show appreciation to our community during the quarantine. The following are some of the ways we gave back during this time:
Provided lunch & dinner for Morris Hospital ER
Supported Regency Care of Morris with Groceries for their staff
Sent 110 appreciation cards to nurses
A small group of members made over 1500 masks for healthcare providers
Donated 50 blankets and bears to St. Joe's Hospital
Provided lunches for employees, patients and families at Joliet Hospice
Provided TCBY for staff of Trinity Services
Mailed 50 Teacher Appreciation Cards
Delivered smart cookie packages to graduating 8th graders and seniors
Sent monetary donations to St. John's Catholic Food Pantry and St. John's Lutheran Church Food Pantry
Making a difference one hug at a time.
Thank you to our Healthcare Heroes & First Responders
Thank you to our healthcare heroes and first responders who help protect our community by working the front lines of the pandemic.
A small group of of HUGS members put their sewing talents to good use over the past few months sewing masks for our healthcare heroes!
Pictured is the daughter of one of our members and her coworker, sporting their new masks at Silver Cross Hospital. Sending big HUGS to them and all of our Healthcare Heroes.
Thank you for your dedication on the frontline! Stay safe!!
Shorewood Junior HUGS are middle school and high school aged girls with a desire to make a difference in our community. Their mission statement is "Building relationships and leadership skills through community service".
Pictured are Junior HUGS girls preparing food for the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago. The meals will feed families of children being treated at area hospitals. This is just one of the many projects our Junior HUGS girls take part in during the year.
Click on the picture to learn more on Junior HUGS.