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Lake County community breaks a record for holiday donations

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Dec 22, 2020

Giving Tree

The Women’s Center at College of Lake County (CLC) is known for supporting special student populations and their families; this includes single mothers, returning students, displaced homemakers, nontraditional career seekers, survivors of sexual assault, stalking and dating and domestic violence, women in cultural transition and LGBTQ+ individuals. When the holidays roll around, that support focuses on making the season special. The staff accomplishes this through two major initiatives: the Thanksgiving Drive for supplying families with grocery store gift cards, and the Holiday Giving Tree for ensuring children receive at least one gift.

Both drives were made even more critical this year due to difficulties families faced related to COVID-19. The Lake County community stepped up to the challenge. The Holiday Giving Tree began nearly two-decades ago and yet in 2020 it experienced a historic first.

“Never, in the history of the Women’s Center, have we had every child ‘adopted’ without using previously donated funds,” said Tammy Burns, women’s center specialist. “I could not be prouder to be part of this organization.  You have helped make this holiday season truly special for more than 50 families. There is not a big enough thank you out there to match the generosity you have shown our students and their families.”

In total, more than 200 gifts and $2,200 in gift cards were purchased. These items will be delivered to more than 100 children and teenagers across Lake County. Burns adds Campus Services and the Lancerzone Bookstore staff deserve special shout-outs for accepting the continuous flow of Amazon deliveries and collecting all the monetary donations, respectively. Now the center will return its focus to the on-going mission of student support while preparing for their school supplies drive in the summer.

About College of Lake County:

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. Learn more at or call (847) 543-2000.