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Why Giving Back Is Better Than Getting

pantry garden

Many years ago someone told me, “you won’t be happy by what you get, you’ll be happy by what you give.” How true that has come to be since hearing that. The power of giving balances our life. Our mental and emotional health is nurtured by uplifting others. Many of us have plenty to meet our necessities, so using our time, talents, or treasures to help others is a positive way to impact our community. Here are four wonderful philanthropic things happening around our community:

  1. The Pantry Garden

Oswegoland Park District’s Natural Resources Manager, Dave Margolis, started a community pantry garden ten years ago. Our operations crew has applied their exceptional knowledge in horticulture and environmentalism to construct 50 raised garden plots. With the help of our staff and volunteers in the community, we are able to grow 5,000 pounds of food annually. All of our yield is transferred to the Northern Illinois Food Bank Program and is distributed to 10,000 families in Kendall County who are food deprived or compromised. If you are interested in volunteering, email Dave Margolis or call 630.554.4439

  1. Mason’s Popcorn

At this year’s PrairieFest, ten-year-old Mason traveled from North Carolina to attend our Expo Village with his Popcorn company Mason’s Market, NC. His mission is simple. Mason quotes on his Facebook page, “My name is Mason, I am 10. I opened my gourmet popcorn stand in Holden Beach, NC in 2015. I’m going to change the world one bag of popcorn at a time.” Mason gathers all profits he makes from popcorn sales and puts it back into the community. His mother grew up in Oswego and he wanted to support her hometown by donating all the money he made in the Expo Village back into the community for kids who cannot afford to join sports teams. Mason has made a substantial impact on helping us create healthy opportunities for the community.

  1. From Wild to Wise

We started a new program this year where Kid’s Connection kids head over to Brickford Assisted Living Center for an hour after school. Staff chauffers small groups of students to the center each week for cards, coloring, word searches, and games. Within moments of entering the threshold of the building the ice broke. Kids and seniors hit it off in moments of laughter and smiles. Even the rowdiest of children transformed into well-behaved, tender companions. The kids felt extremely proud of themselves to pay respect and have fun-energy to offer the residents.

  1. A Full Circle of Service

In 2005 the Oswegoland Park Foundation was established as a charitable organization to fund projects that are unsupported by tax dollars. The primary goal of the organization is to create unique recreational experiences and preserve parks and green spaces in our community for future generations to come. Donations come from businesses to individuals. That money continues full circle and is put back into the communities from which it came. Coming up to generate support for the Foundation is the inaugural Fox Bend Golf Classic and the Brew at the Bridge Best Brewery Contest. For more information on the Oswegoland Park Foundation or to learn how to help, click here.

Every one of us has a unique way we can help. Whether you have extra time, a special talent, or treasure to share, there is always somewhere meaningful to put your efforts. Creating a giving atmosphere flourishes a happy, positive community that is sustainable rather than depleting. The little ways we can give back are what establishes purpose in our society and compassion in its individuals.

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