Thank you for donating a little extra to benefit the families receiving needed health care from the Angel Harvey Family Health Center in Chicago.
In these unprecedented times, The Auxiliary of the Infant Welfare Society – Clarendon Hills Chapter has expanded its efforts to bring free and accessible healthcare to Chicago families by “Lighting up the Night” in Clarendon Hills. Your Luminaria kit purchase helps directly support the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago’s full-service clinic, the Angel Harvey Family Health Center, which serves more than 13,000 patients annually in the Logan Square neighborhood. Today’s need is urgent given the impact of the Coronavirus on this population.
For nearly 40 years, the Clarendon Hills chapter has sold Luminaria to light the winding roads of our village on every Christmas Eve and raise critical funds for Infant Welfare. For the first time ever, we will be expanding our efforts this year to “Light up the Night” by including Luminaria displays in Clarendon Hills village parks and high traffic locations. Please consider donating a kit to help “Light Up” areas like Prospect Park, Hosek Park and other visible locations throughout the village.
This custom of decorating outdoor paths with lighted candles on Christmas Eve originated in Mexico as a means to light the way for the Christ Child. The Clarendon Hills tradition of lighting luminaria (meaning little fires) on Christmas Eve was brought to Clarendon Hills in 1965 by Clarendon Hills Infant Welfare (CHIW) member Vi Humphreys. She recruited her neighbors to light 500 luminaria up and down her block that year. The following year, other members of the CHIW sold and delivered 5,000 candles, bags, and sand door-to-door in town as a fundraiser for the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago.
Clarendon Hills residents took quickly to the tradition by lining their sidewalks and driveways with the classic brown paper bags illuminated from within by a white candle. By 1968, the ever-growing demand for luminaria meant the end of door-to-door sales and the beginning of a single, central in-town location for sales. By the late 1970s, over 30,000 luminaria candles were being sold and airline pilots were reporting that they could see Clarendon Hills glowing below them on Christmas Eve.
The tradition of holiday luminaria has evolved into a breathtaking expression of community pride and unity still enjoyed by all today. It is truly magical and draws hundreds of visitors from surrounding areas.
HOW TO MAKE LUMINARIA:
1. Open each paper bag.
2. Fold top down twice to make a collar for stability.
3. Weigh down bag with some sand, kitty litter, soil or bird seed.
4. Nestle the candle into the sand.
5. Place bags about 5 feet apart along curb/sidewalk/driveway.
6. Light the candles at dusk on Dec. 24.
Sand is available for CHIW Luminaria at the Lions Pool parking lot in December while supplies last!