top of page

Christmas wish comes true at St. Coletta's of Illinois

Dec 21, 2022

Orland Park Rotary Club delivers packages of art supplies for use in recreational therapy

A Christmas wish has come true at St. Coletta’s of Illinois.

On Dec. 16, the Rotary Club of Orland Park delivered dozens of Christmas presents containing art supplies for participants in St. Coletta’s Community Day Services program.

Art supplies are a hot commodity at St. Coletta’s and used daily to help the developmentally disabled open up during one-on-one therapy sessions and to improve their cognitive, emotional, social and leisure well-being.

“It’s a blessing to receive such a gift,” said Recreational Therapist Stephanie Wingo, who leads many of the art activities at St. Coletta’s.

She sees firsthand how art can help reduce depression, stress and anxiety while helping the developmentally disabled build confidence and socialize in their community.

“It’s like therapy in disguise,” she said. “We work on their social skills, color recognition, number recognition and cooperative play. They don’t see it (as therapy), but we know.”

St. Coletta’s of Illinois is a nonprofit organization that provides educational and vocational training services to more than 300 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Its Community Day Services program specializes in building adaptive learning skills, economic self-sufficiency, independence and integration into the community.

Based in Tinley Park, St. Coletta’s serves individuals from the south, southwest and western suburbs. It relies on donations and community partners, like Rotary Club of Orland Park, to fulfill its mission of serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental.

The Rotary Club of Orland Park has been a good community partner through the years, providing various supplies and materials, including children’s books for St. Coletta’s therapeutic day school library.

“We are fortunate to have community partners like the Rotary Club of Orland Park who recognize and support our work,” said Annette Skafgaard, St. Coletta’s executive director. “We would not be able to make a difference in so many lives without their support.”

Rotarian Sue Linn, a member of St. Coletta’s Foundation Board of Directors, said the Rotary Club of Orland Park decided to donate art supplies this year after seeing a few paintings created by St. Coletta’s participants.

“We were inspired by their work and wanted to support their efforts,” she said.

The Rotary Club of Orland Park is a group of local business and professional leaders who strive to transform lives and communities by identifying underserved needs. They meet regularly in Orland Park and Palos Park.

Among the art supplies they delivered to St. Coletta’s the week before Christmas were watercolor crayons, markers, paint brushes, oil pastels, colored pencil kits, stamp kits, cardstock paper, gel pens, adult coloring books and aprons.

“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude,” said Wingo. “This donation means our participants will be able to explore so many different art mediums. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

To learn more about St. Coletta’s mission or how you can help make a difference in the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, call 708-342-5200.

bottom of page