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Holiday Helpers is a program that allows EIU student organizations, departments, and individuals a chance to provide to families and seniors in need (here in Charleston and Coles County) with gifts of new clothing, household necessities, and toys. Families and seniors are identified through partner agencies with the Office of Student Community Service. This event is sponsored by the EIU Office of Student Community Service and Fraternity and Sorority Programs.

How it Works

You choose to adopt a family or a senior; families can vary in size from one person up to nine or 10. You will receive the family's wish list for the holidays starting Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. The wish list will be sent to you soon after we receive your paperwork. Adopting a family costs $50 PER family member and must include three items per family member. These three items are one household item (cleaning supply, detergent, etc), one clothing item and one fun item. These guidelines help ensure equality among all adopted families. Adopting a seniors costs $50 and the above guidelines must be followed.

Important Tips

Please keep in mind to purchase only new items for your adopted family. Clothing is always a priority as many families do not have proper shoes, socks, jackets, gloves, etc. for the winter months. If you would like to donate food for your adopted family, please purchase a gift card to a local grocery store.

Next Steps

  • Please fill out the interest form no later than Nov. 6, 2015. Get ready to make the difference to families here in Charleston!
  • Beginning on Nov. 9, 2015 (or when you turn in your application), you will receive a family profile for your adopted family.
  • All items must be delivered to the SCS Office in the MLK Jr. Union on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Please make sure to bring a typed list of what items were purchased for each family member. Please do not wrap your items. Feel free to donate wrapping paper.


  • To learn more, please call the Student Community Service Office at 217-581-3967 or email volunteer@eiu.edu.
  • Thank you for sharing the holiday spirit with our community!