On Dec. 13, 2013, an old tradition at the Whiteside County Health Department was able to be revived, thanks to the generosity of the family of Thelma Sipe.
Thelma was an angel, and for years crocheted hundreds of mittens and hats and made blankets that she donated to us to use at our Christmas open house for families in need. She supplied us with so many extra items to make Christmas special for so many.
Her legacy lives on, as many community members who are talented in making these handmade items have stepped forward and are bringing us the items now.
This year, we were able to again sponsor a Christmas open house and carnival at the health department for hundreds of children and their families, thanks to the memorial donation from Thelma’s family.
Every child received presents from Santa, thanks to the donations from Walmart Distribution Center employees and 3M Corp.
Games were enjoyed by all, and prizes were donated from several local fast-food establishments.
Refreshments were enjoyed and, of course, Santa was there to go over children’s lists with them. It was a fantastic way for those volunteering their time to make this event a success, by giving to those in need by their donations of food and items and volunteering their time for this event.
This large undertaking would not have been possible without the employees, who volunteered their time that evening, and the members of the Community Health Clinic Governing Board, who came to assist. (We couldn’t have done it without board members’ help).
All are to be commended for their help in making this event a success, and making the holidays much brighter for so many families.
Note to readers: Pam VanderVinne is a registered nurse and case management coordinator for the Whiteside County Health Department.