Deerfield honors vets through Give Where You Live service day

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 07:06:54 AM. Approximately 150 people took part in Deerfield's Give Where You Live Day on Friday, held to commemorate Veterans Day.

People from and beyond filled care packages, wrote cards, made blankets and brought money or gift cards for veterans and members of the U.S. Armed Forces as part of Give Where You Live Day on Friday.

"Everything we're doing here today goes to the (Midwest) Veterans Closet," Deerfield Mayor Harriet Rosenthal said. "We're making blankets to say we care and you're appreciated. We're packing hygiene kits and accepting donations of money or gift cards."

More than 150 people took part in the two-hour event at Village Hall, according to Mary Anne Glowacz, communications director for the Deerfield Police Department.

Veterans and active duty servicemembers can shop at the Veterans Closet for food, sundries, clothes, household goods and more, according to Barb Karacic of Lake Forest, the organization's director of the food nutrition resource center. She said 4.6 percent of Lake County's residents are veterans.

"A lot of them are too proud to go to a food pantry, so we call it something else," Karacic said.

Held semiannually since 2015, Give Where You Live Day takes place each Martin Luther King Day and Veterans Day when school is out so children can get a sense of why they have the day off, according to Rosenthal.

Three generations of the Reid family attended the event: Liz Reid of Deerfield, her son and daughter-in-law, Jim Reid and Kristy Reid of Roscoe, their children and two of their friends.

"This is something we've always done and we get to do it (today) with family," Kristy Reid said.

Her daughter, Ava Reid, made cards that would go to veterans on occasions like a birthday or a holiday.

"I like doing this because you're doing something nice for someone," she said. "It makes me feel good and it makes the other person feel good."

"It's nice to be able to do this and give back with your children and grandchildren," Liz Reid said. "Instead of just playing with them, we get to do something that has a little meaning."

Janet Stern of Deerfield also made cards. For her, it was a way to feel closer to her son, a U.S. Marine officer stationed in the U.S., and to help those serving around the globe.

"There are so many young kids who are so far from home," Stern said. "He is not in danger, but so many are."

Lydia St. John of Deerfield and her son, Danny St. John, a Walden Elementary School fourth grader, also made cards. Danny is the son and grandson of veterans, his mother said.

"I'm saying happy birthday to a vet," Danny said. "I'm putting a little letter inside to say how I feel and appreciate what they did."

Nicholas Pizzo, a Kipling Elementary School fifth grader, made a no-sew blanket.

"This is a bit of fun, and I'm going to make someone feel good," he said.

Steve Sadin is a freelancer for Pioneer Press.

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