Minor and Jennifer Mobley hope to bring smiles to many St. Charles School District 303 families again this holiday season.
Their nonprofit organization Big Hearts of Fox Valley, however, lends a helping hand to families in need year-round and not just at Christmastime.
To help bring attention to what Big Hearts of Fox Valley does, St. Charles Mayor Lora Vitek declared the week of Oct. 10-16 to be Big Hearts of Fox Valley Week.
Jennifer Mobley, the president and founder of Big Hearts of Fox Valley, was at the St. Charles City Council meeting Oct. 3 with her husband, Minor, to accept the proclamation.
“If it wasn’t for everybody here in St. Charles being so generous to help all these hundreds of kids year in and year out, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” Minor said after Vitek read the proclamation.
Other members of the group also attended the meeting. The group is dedicated to brightening the lives of children from low-income families in St. Charles School District 303.
As the proclamation notes, Big Hearts of Fox Valley, which is completely run by volunteers, offers assistance to more than 16,500 children ages 0 to 18 from St. Charles and portions of Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, West Chicago, South Elgin, Campton Hills and unincorporated Kane County. The group helps low-income families by providing clothing and toiletries throughout the year, warm winter coats each fall and Christmas gifts.
“We are helping a lot of families throughout the year like right now versus at Christmastime,” Jennifer Mobley said. “They’re not toys, but items like clothing, shoes, laundry detergent and toiletries. Those needs are being met right now.”
When it started in 2014, Big Hearts of Fox Valley only served one elementary school in the district. Now it serves all 17 of the district’s schools. The group works directly with D-303 social workers to identify families who may be experiencing a financial difficulty and families submit wish lists.
Big Hearts’ holiday toy drive runs through Nov. 7. More information is at bigheartsfv.org/holiday-toy-drive.
The group won’t have its annual gift wrapping party this year. Instead, Big Hearts will put all of its efforts toward its Christmas Sponsorship, Warm Coats & Warm Hearts and Big Hearts Throughout the Year programs.
“Due to the national and global challenges of the past two and a half years, including a pandemic and a looming recession, the needs in our community are greater than ever,” Jennifer Mobley said. “With our Big Hearts Throughout the Year program, which runs in conjunction with the D-303 school year, we’ve noticed a major jump already this year with families needing assistance throughout the school year. We’re seeing a higher need on our end, so we’re going to focus our resources directly on helping the kids in need instead of doing the wrapping party this year.”
The group expects 650 children’s holiday wish lists, which will be distributed in October. Last year, the group gave presents to more than 700 children.
“We still need some people to shop for these gilts from these wish lists,” Jennifer Mobley said.
More information about Big Hearts of Fox Valley is available at bigheartsfv.org.