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Connecting the community to help around the holidays

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Nov 23, 2020

The Lake County community has more of a reason to visit College of Lake County’s (CLC) Grayslake Campus thanks to the college’s many partnerships. Northern Illinois Food Bank continues its Pop-Up Markets, the Lake County Health Department will offer two drive-through COVID-19 testing days and CLC’s Women’s Center is hosting its annual holiday giving tree. 

Pop-Up Market 

NIFB Pop-Up at CLCEvery two weeks, the Northern Illinois Food Bank takes over CLC’s parking lot 3 at its Grayslake Campus to offer approximately 50 lbs. of food to families in need, no questions asked. Since the event began on Oct. 20, around 3,000 families have benefitted from the partnership. 

“It’s a cross section of society,” said Northern Illinois Food Bank Pop-Up Market manager Mike Keane. “There’s no trend of a certain gender, race, creed or color that comes to mind when I look out at all the cars lined-up.” 

The drive-through food assistance will continue at the college campus at least through the month of December. Look for the market on Tuesday Dec. 1, Tuesday Dec. 15 and Tuesday Dec. 29 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Volunteers are still needed for all days. Dates for other Pop-Up Market locations are available on the food bank’s website

COVID-19 Testing 

During the month of December, parking lot 3 at the Grayslake Campus will also serve as a mobile COVID-19 testing site. On Saturday, Dec. 5 and Monday, Dec. 14, the Lake County Health Department in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Public Health will conduct up to 500 tests each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until supplies run out. Participants will always remain in their vehicles. The test is free; however, providers will ask to see photo identification. No appointment is needed to receive the test and all are welcome regardless of symptoms. 

Holiday Drives 

While CLC’s Women’s Center staff have just wrapped up their Thanksgiving Drive, resulting in 50 families and 200 individuals receiving gift cards, they are already on their next project: the annual Holiday Giving Tree. For the past 17 years, the center has collected and distributed gifts to children all over Lake County, and they are not letting the pandemic disrupt their mission. 

“For many of the children, these are the only gifts they will get for the holidays,” said women’s center specialist Tammy Burns. “Every year I see the happy children talk to their thankful parents. Times were difficult for these parents before COVID, and now many are just trying to survive.” 

Collection efforts do look a little different this year. There are two giving options: gift purchases and monetary donations. There is an Amazon wish list for children under 13. All gifts are under $30 and will be shipped directly to CLC. As gifts are purchased, they are removed from the list. Monetary donations are accepted in increments of $25 at the Lancerzone bookstore, online or in person. Online purchases should be shipped to “Grayslake Pick-Up Lancerzone.” These gift cards will be used to purchase gifts for the children and donations are tax deductible. Those wishing to donate have until Dec. 4 to make their purchases. 

About College of Lake County: 

The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.