MINOOKA — The Chanooka Wish Foundation received a $10,000 donation from the Grainger Foundation earlier this month.
“Thank you. I don’t even know what to say,” said Chanooka Wish President Carolyn Koranda. “I’m speechless.”
With tears in her eyes, Koranda accepted the check at the Minooka Village Hall on Oct. 12 from Linda Jayne, administrative assistant for Grainger.
“I am so touched. The families have no idea this kind of help is coming their way,” Koranda said.
The Grainger Foundation was established so the Grainger family could give back to the communities in which they reside and which help make their company successful.
“Minooka is now part of Grainger’s community, and that is why we want to give back here,” Jayne said. Channoka Wish is a local non-profit organization that has been helping families in need in Channahon and Minooka since February 2007.
Chanooka Wish provides food, clothing and school supplies assistance, holiday food baskets and more. Koranda and other members of the community who help her with Chanooka Wish started their organization after a similar organization, called Helping Hands, disbanded. Funding has been the organization’s biggest hurdle since it started.
As Chanooka Wish has grown, Koranda said, and more people in the communities recognize the name, however, funding has become less of a struggle. Other community-minded organizations help out, too, like Boy and Girl Scout troops.
Chanooka Wish currently operates out of Koranda’s home, but she hopes to have a set location somewhere in town in the future.
“This is the best part of the job we ever get to do,” said Tommy Kersting, director of distribution operations at Grainger’s Minooka distribution center.
Kersting then explained to Koranda that Grainger has an activities committee that is always interested in helping the community, as well.
“If you guys ever need help organizing, running anything as far as distribution, need people to volunteer, come talk to us,” Kersting said.
The donation will be used to fill Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets for the families Chanooka Wish helps, Karanda said.
“We normally give them a 12-pound turkey,” Koranda said about the entree donated in the holiday baskets. “I want to double that. I want them to have leftovers.”
The money left over after filling the baskets will be used to fill the foundation’s food pantry.