Barrington Giving Day is one of the Barrington area’s longest-running nonprofit organizations with 80 years of service and growing. Created originally under the Barrington Salvation Army, its mission is to serve families in need in our community. As the needs of our community continued, Church Women United was formed and a community food pantry was established. Church Women United combined their efforts with the Salvation Army and distributed boxes of food. This event was later expanded to include warm clothing and toys. Over the years the outreach to families in need evolved and in 2005 Barrington Giving Day (BGD) was formed.
Today, BGD partners with the Barrington 220 School District to reach families who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program as outlined by the State, as well as families in our community that have been hit by unexpected hardships and in some cases have become homeless. These families that meet the criteria are sent invitations to attend Giving Day Events.
BGD brings together a wide group of area nonprofits, businesses, and an army of community and student volunteers to make its magic for others. Until now, BGD held two events per year—the Winter Event in December at Station Middle School, and a Back-to-School Event held in August at St. Matthew Lutheran Church. In 2021, BGD launched a third event, a Spring Event in May which provided non-perishable food items and household goods to help families during the summer.
Barrington Giving Day holds three events per year. The Winter Event is held in December at Station Middle School and is considered the main event. At this event guests are provided food, warm coats, snow pants, boots, hats/gloves, blankets, books, toys, household paper products, personal care products, baby products, and more. The Back-to-School Event is held in August at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, where families receive gym shoes, clothing, backpacks, school supplies, and other needed items for their children to have a successful start to the school year. This year, the Spring Event will be held in May to provide clothing, home goods, and non-perishable foods to help with the summer months. Over 436 families, including over 1,086 children, were served in December at Giving Day.
Another new initiative for Barrington Giving Day is that its board has decided to create a full-time job position for an executive director starting in February 2022. Dori Hough, who started volunteering at Giving Day in 2008, has been hired. She has demonstrated extraordinary efforts to run Giving Day as a volunteer executive director. Hough has most recently worked as executive vice president at Merix Pharmaceuticals. She grew up in unincorporated Inverness and attended Fremd High School. She has three children who all attended BHS.
Barrington Giving Day 2021 required 430 volunteers, and an army of people from the school district including students, teachers, and faculty. In addition to preparing for the event, volunteers are needed to run the event. Guest families are contacted about the event and register online for an appointment time. This allows volunteers to check the guests in, assign a personal shopper, and transport their items to a car.
Others manning the event included members of the Barrington Lions Club, Breakfast Rotary, and Barrington Junior Women’s Club. The Community Meal was in force to offer foods for guests to take home.
The Barrington Area Community Foundation awarded Giving Day with its “Best Use of Volunteers Award” for their work. BACF has also been a grantor for them each year.
Sponsor and partner Barrington Bank & Trust assists with processing the financial donations and has been very supportive to Giving Day with help from J. P. Hills, who serves as treasurer on the nonprofit’s board.
Several area vendors attended this year. Guests entered the event through Station Middle School’s library, where they could meet people representing local resources. Barrington 220 Early Learning Center, the Barrington Area Library, WINGS, and Harper College were all available.
Dori Hough wants to make sure the entire community is aware of Barrington Giving Day. As you can imagine, coordinating these events is no small task. It requires a significant amount of time, energy, donations, and financial contributions. “None of this would be possible without support from our community, as well as relationships and partnerships we have built over the years,” Hough said. “We hope we can count on you in the future!”
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