OAK PARK, Ill. – In Oak Park, it was a holiday surprise Sunday for members of Oak-Leyden Development Services who received welcomed news.

The organization, created to help those with disabilities 60 years ago, continued its mission during the pandemic. On Sunday, the organization was gifted a $500 check from Buddy’s Helpers. Student-athletes were on hand to say ‘thank you’ for Oak-Leyden Development Services’ commitment.

“Keeping them all safe during the pandemic, but the sense of community was lost, and the staff continued to provide services every day,” said Oak-Leyden’s Chuck Nillies. “We knew we wanted to be there for them, and they knew, we knew, we wanted to be there for them, and that really got us through the last year.” 

On National Creativity Day, it’s one more way the Chicago area has overcome obstacles in the last year, to continue to serve one another.

“The idea of using creativity to connect with other people in the community is something we do every day at Oak-Leyden,” Nillies said. “So today really represents bringing people together and going forward.”