For the last 38 years, LIUNA 362, Bloomington, Illinois, has taken the lead on the annual Children’s Christmas Party for local, low-income families. This annual event is a labor management cooperative program, co-sponsored by the McLean County Chamber of Commerce and the Bloomington & Normal Trades & Labor Assembly (AFL-CIO). Local 362 takes responsibility for purchasing toys, signing up participants and helping organize the event logistics.

Traditionally the party is held at Bloomington High School, with games and activities and a visit from Santa. Usually about 350-375 children attend. Because of COVID, the event this year was a drive-through at the Midwest Food Bank warehouse in Normal, Illinois. More than 850 children received a gift, a candy bag, a family USDA food basket from the Food Bank, and a family $100 gift certificate from the Bloomington Pantagraph, the local newspaper.

An article about the event was also published on the area’s National Public Radio station website.

Thanks to all who volunteered their time and more to give back this holiday season!

Featured image: Vice President Penn, Charlie Moore, and the Claus Family (Joe and Jennifer McMillan)

Local 362 volunteers directing traffic

Vice President John Penn helping pack toys

Toys waiting to be picked up