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St. Coletta’s participants, staff volunteer at My Joyful Heart in Mokena

Jun 20, 2024

Assist organization in mission to provide essential resources to underprivileged children

Participants from St. Coletta’s Community Day Services (CDS) program are making a difference in their community, engaging in a meaningful volunteer activity at My Joyful Heart in Mokena.

In May, they started visiting the children’s charity to help prepare items for distribution to children in need.

“I like helping people out,” said CDS participant Nick T. who initiated the community service project after discovering St. Coletta’s staff members volunteer at Feed My Starving Children in Aurora, packaging nutritious meals for hungry children around the world.

Inspired by their volunteer work, Nick took the initiative to research local charities where CDS participants could contribute. His efforts led him to My Joyful Heart, a children’s charity dedicated to helping kids in need by providing essential items and support.

With assistance from St. Coletta’s Activity/Production Assistant Tamika Readus, Nick arranged a meeting and tour of My Joyful Heart’s facility to learn more about their mission and operations. While there, they discussed ways St. Coletta’s adult participants could assist and make a meaningful impact in the community.

“He was really excited and wanted to do something to give back as well,” said Readus.

“We, as people, should help those who are less fortunate than ourselves,” explained Nick whose team of helpers assisted in the distribution process by adding hangers to each piece of clothing.

Based in Tinley Park, St. Coletta’s of Illinois provides educational, residential and vocational training services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Its Community Day Services program for adults strives to enhance their sense of purpose and connection to the community by taking small groups of individuals into the community each day to interact with others, develop skills and competencies, gain confidence and a sense of purpose, and enhance their independence.

Volunteering at My Joyful Heart complements the organization’s mission by offering opportunities to participate in meaningful activities, support a charitable cause, and build social connections which, in turn, enhance personal growth and fulfillment.

“We are incredibly proud of Nick and all of our participants for their commitment to making a difference in our community,” said St. Coletta’s CEO Heather Benedick. “Their efforts at My Joyful Heart exemplify the values of service and compassion that we strive to instill in everyone at St. Coletta’s.”

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