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Dec. 15 was the 36th annual Children’s Christmas Party for struggling families at Bloomington High. Co-sponsored by the McLean County Chamber of Commerce and our local labor unions, it’s a lesson in labor-management cooperation and reminds us that great things can happen if we all give a little. 

Almost 400 children enjoyed a day of games, crafts and a Santa visit. Local businesses, organizations and individuals generously donate the funds, the chamber, labor unions, Illinois State University student athletes and other helpful souls volunteer. 

Thanks to Bloomington parks and the library, Children’s Discovery Museum, Museum of History, Lions Club, Humane Society, Heartland College faculty union 6038, Karen Schmidt’s Book Bike, United Way, Connect Transit, WBNQ, Open Source Classroom, Corn Belters baseball, Bright Horizons, Bloomington High Choir, musician Marcos Mendez, Wild Style Design face painters and Kari Sandhaas, Jim Neeley and David Dow, who set up their own craft booths. No one goes hungry thanks to Schnuck’s, Avanti’s, the Midwest Food Bank and Illinois Wesleyan University. Apologies to anyone not mentioned. 

It’s a day of good cheer and many smiles, delighted screams and happy children. Parents who don’t have much hopefully know their community cares and shares. In the words of a famous fictional child from 175 years ago, “God bless us, everyone!”

Mike Matejka, Bloomington

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