Giving back to the community
We learned this important value from our parents, Gus and Pearl Palumbo. In the 60’s they became very active in our hometown of Country Club Hills, IL, a newly developed south suburb of Chicago. They helped build the first Catholic Church, establish the little league baseball program and build the baseball playing field while also raising six children, Mike, Terry, Greg, Jackie, Tony and Augie. We lost our father in 1977, our brother Terry in 1995 and our mother in 1999. While we have forged our own lives and values those things that our parents were, we became. We appreciate the value of giving and care about helping others in the community where we were raised. We are proud to be from the South Suburbs of Chicago.
Christmas 2014 — Not another sweater!!
As the second generation of the Palumbo family grows older and begins to contemplate retirement, a third generation is now out of college, working and raising their own children. The fourth generation is beginning to grow and a fifth now on the way…. Something happened that we think has happened to a lot of families, we lost the true spirit of Christmas. In 2014, we realized we became complacent and Christmas felt a little like we were phoning it in. Why did we continue to buy sweaters for each other or just settle on a gift card with no real thought behind the gift?
Something was missing from our family Christmas. Not the love for each other, which has never wavered. Not only are we siblings but we are truly each other’s best friend. Certainly not the laughs and picking on each other in a good way. Something more tangible, something we should be doing instead of buying gifts for each other that we largely didn’t need.
Creating the Family Charitable Foundation
So we continued to discuss ideas after that Christmas and before Christmas 2015 we had formally created The Palumbo Family Charitable Foundation. Our first step was to reach out to a couple of food pantries in the South Suburbs and understand what assistance we could provide with the most impact. We were told of a few families that were in need of some help so their children could experience Christmas like kids should. This might not have happened without a giving hand. We ended up shopping for toys for five kids, and we also provided money for a single mother who could use it to pay her rent and thereby help her children experience a great Christmas. Providing for those families and creating the Foundation gave our family the best gift for Christmas any of us had gotten in a long time. Unless of course you count all the sweaters and gift cards!!!!