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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.


Molly Babyak Will Lead HUGS as President for upcoming year

Molly Babyak will be the President of HUGS for our 2020 -2021 year.

Molly is no stranger to leading, as she was our President from 2013 - 2015. She has also led the Junior HUGS program since 2016 with Crystil Carrie.

During the early months of the Covid-19 crisis, Molly worked closely with our HUGS board to find unique ways to give back to and show appreciation to the community, first responders and health care providers. 


We welcome Molly to lead our HUGS organization during this challenging time and we are excited to continue giving back to our community!

Natalie Mareci, our Wishes Chairman pictured with Molly Babyak, our new President.

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!! 

Pictured -  Stephanie Poli and Danielle Newell


Junior HUGS

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.

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