The holiday season isn’t just a time to celebrate with family and friends. It’s also a time to unite with our neighbors in fellowship. 

Tonight, our neighbors, including residents of Orchard Village, a Skokie organization that supports and houses individuals with developmental disabilities, will make their way to our North-Northwest Region’s Thanksgiving Dinner at Bristol Palace. There, they’ll be greeted with dinner, dancing, gifts and more!

Hosted by United Way of Metro Chicago’s North-Northwest Suburban Board, the Thanksgiving dinner is one of the largest annual holiday dinners in the region. Guests will receive a traditional holiday meal, warm clothing and toys. The event is made possible by the generous support of United Way donors and local businesses. 

For some of the Orchard Village residents, the dinner will be an especially joyous occasion, as they don’t have the opportunity to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with family, said Jennifer Burgess, Orchard Village’s Director of Residential Services. 

“This dinner gives them a sense of home and family and love and celebration,” Jennifer said. “They’re dancing and breaking bread and having fun together. That brings a sense of security.” 

Lee Krause, a resident and self-described “party animal,” is most looking forward to the delicious turkey, ham and sides in the buffet-style meal. Then, he plans to hit the dance floor with Lunye Chambers, a staff member at Orchard Village. 

“It’s beautiful to see them get together every year, just seeing them engage with each other and the smiles on their faces,” Lunye said. “There are no words for it. It’s a beautiful sight.” 

‘Tis the season to help build strong communities. If you missed getting involved in the Thanksgiving dinner, there’s still time to support our next holiday event for families in West Chicago! Learn how you can support.