[shareprints gallery_id=”38186″ gallery_type=”filmstrip” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”xlarge” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” captions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]Indeed, the holidays can be a stressful time for many. Remember that scene from It’s a Wonderful Life when neighbors gathered en masse in support of George? Well, that sort of thing happens each year right here in Naperville when many people come together to support some of the community’s most vulnerable residents – those living with mental illness.
The Drop In Center is a collaboration of Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of DuPage. With two locations (Naperville and Glen Ellyn), the weekly program is free and offers those with a primary diagnosis of mental illness and their families an opportunity to share a meal and spend leisure time together.
The Drop In Center’s annual Holiday Party is a lively event that includes socializing, a delicious dinner, entertainment, and of course, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. This year’s party is December 17 at the Naperville Park District’s Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center.
Indeed, this event could not happen without the tireless support of many organizations. Volunteers from Wesley Methodist Church will provide the holiday dinner. Volunteers from Benet Academy will decorate the room and St. Timothy Lutheran Church will entertain with caroling. The Tom Russell Charitable Foundation has provided financial support for the purchase of gifts. But perhaps most notable is the dedication of members from the Exchange Club of Naperville who, by party time, already will have donated many hours in preparation for the event. They not only provide funds for gift purchases, but lovingly help with the shopping and wrapping – trying their best to honor the wish lists of over eighty participants.
For more information about WDSRA, visit www.wdsra.com.