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All Hands on Deck for ILYA’s Holiday Giving Project!

The holiday time is upon us and Independent Living for Young Adults (ILYA) is ready to kick off our annual Holiday Giving Project. This important project supports young adults who have aged out of the State’s foster care system with gift boxes and meaningful items so they feel supported and cared for during the holidays.

We finally have the total number of young adults and children from the Independent Living Coordinators in both New Castle and Kent Counties who need support from First U and our Unitarian church partners – and we were surprised to say the least!

New Castle County has 62 young adults and 8 children and Kent County has 50 adults and 8 children. 112 adults and 16 children in all! This is a significant increase in New Castle County over last year’s numbers and with the additional commitment to supporting Kent County youth, we are asking for all hands on deck so that no one is left out. We certainly were not prepared for these numbers!

While there will not be wish lists available again, there are still some fun and easy ways you can help make the Holiday Giving Project a success this year. Please consider one or more of the following before the end of November:
Make a donation by check to First Unitarian Church with “ILYA Holiday Giving” in the memo line. ILYA team members will do the shopping.
Bring a personalized holiday card or two to the church office. Please make sure the envelopes are unsealed as we will be placing gift cards inside. Just sign your first name(s) and add a general note if you wish at the bottom. Please be mindful that many youth and families have diverse faith and ethnic backgrounds so the cards should have “generic” holiday messages and images.
Have extra 2022 calendars at home? Drop them off at church! We hope to provide each young adult with one calendar. There will be a box for both cards and calendars in the church office.
Help prepare gift boxes for distribution. We will be assembling gift boxes during the first week of December. If you are able to assist, contact the Holiday Giving Project Coordinators, Carolyn and Martha (contact info is below).

THANK YOU for stepping up and answering the call with your giving spirit and support of ILYA youth this holiday season.

Please contact the ILYA Holiday Giving Project Coordinators:
Carolyn Gibson ( or 610-388-0405) and Martha Gessler ( or 302-427-9037).