$150 to brighten Christmas for grieving families

Updated 12/23/2017 4:11 PM

Today's recipients of $150 through the Believe Project want to let a grieving family know the community cares about them and to brighten Christmas for a family who lost their mom. Through the contribution of an additional donor, the Believe Project award has been increased to $150 since the recipients shared their stories.

• Joan Hammel of Wildwood:


"I would like to nominate a family who lost the father this year. The father … lost his life saving his son while they were on a family/church canoe trip. One of the young sons was playing near the water edge on a break, and (the father) saw the kids having a hard time in the water. He went to rescue them, and did, but lost his own life in the process.

"His wife and two children are now on their own, and this will be their first Christmas without him. Both children are younger than 8. Some special gifts this year may help bring some joy in a very difficult time for them.

"He grew up in Lake County, and his parents have long been generous to the community through their service. I think it would also help them in their grief to know that the community cares."

• Carol Blatnick of Mount Prospect:

"A little over a year ago I lost my daughter to cancer. She had previously been ill with a rare disease that required plastic surgery on her legs, leaving her walker- and wheelchair-bound. My granddaughter and son-in-law have had a difficult time with this loss (emotionally) as well as financially. I have tried to help where possible but I, too, have been challenged this year -- surgeries and a seven-month rehab stint.

"It would be wonderful to present them with a check at Christmas Eve dinner letting them know about the kindness of others during this season of giving and peace."

• The Believe Project is awarding $150 daily in December to a total of 48 people with good ideas for how to use the money to do a good deed for someone else.

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