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Christmas arrives early at St. Coletta's of Illinois

Dec 18, 2023

Orland Park Rotary Club delivers boxes of art materials, replenishing dwindling supply

Christmas arrived early this year for developmentally disabled children and adults at St. Coletta’s of Illinois.

On Dec. 15, the Rotary Club of Orland Park delivered boxes of paintbrushes, canvas boards, acrylic pour paint, art markers and colored pencils, replenishing the nonprofit’s dwindling supply.

“We’re inspired by the work we see at St. Coletta’s and want to support their efforts,” said Rotarian Sue Linn, a member of St. Coletta’s Foundation Board of Directors.

As a Foundation Board member, Linn knows how important art supplies are to the nonprofit social service agency. She has seen firsthand how staff members use art to ease anxiety, enhance communication skills and boost self-esteem in the people they serve.

For 75 years, St. Coletta’s of Illinois has been empowering and supporting developmentally disabled children and adults through its educational, residential and vocational training services.

Its therapeutic day school, the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. School for Exceptional Children, serves students ages 3-22 while its Community Day Services program works with adults, helping them build adaptive learning skills, economic self-sufficiency, independence and integration into the community.

The social service agency serves more than 300 children and adults from the south and southwest suburbs every year.

Community members had an opportunity to see some of the artwork created by St. Coletta’s adult participants earlier this year when a collection of their acrylic pour paintings were displayed at the McCord Gallery and Cultural Center in Palos Park.


The month-long exhibit featured 27 paintings by 44 developmentally disabled individuals from St. Coletta’s of Illinois. Some of the pieces now hang in the lobby of St. Coletta’s Tinley park campus.


As a nonprofit, St. Coletta’s depends on the generosity of donors and community partners, like Rotary Club of Orland Park, to create and maintain its specialized programs.

“We’re blessed to have earned the Rotary Club’s support and recognition,” said Heather Benedick, St. Coletta’s CEO. “Together, we’re making a difference in the lives of so many deserving individuals.”

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