HOIDSA Newsletter

Winter 2023

From the HOIDSA Board

Hello HOIDSA Families! Happy New Year to All! We are excited for 2023, and looking forward to a new year!

We had some fun social gatherings in the last quarter of 2022, including the Halloween Party, the Adult Holiday Party and then the Family Holiday Party. It was so nice to see everyone!

We also are always open to input on what resources that you may need or that would be helpful. We hope to get back into some larger fundraising events in 2023 as well, but that means that we are in GREAT need of volunteers. We need help in the following areas - Board Members, an Annual Friendship Walk Chair, Education Chair, and just General Event Volunteers. What can you help with? Please reach out to the board via email (info@hoidsa.org) or phone (309) 363-3125 to discuss volunteer opportunities.

Our board meetings are scheduled for the first Monday of each month at 6pm. Anyone is welcome to attend!

Upcoming Events

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HOIDSA Family Dance Party

Saturday, Feb. 18th, 6-9pm

616 West David Street

Morton, IL

Come join us for the Family Dance Party! Chuck Tucker will be there to DJ the party! All ages are welcome!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

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Young Adult Cooking Class - March 21

Beginning March 21, the young adult cooking class will resume. The class will be held on the third Tuesday of each Month in the Bethel Lutheran Church Kitchen at 425 N. Missouri Ave. in Morton, IL.

The class is open to High School aged and older. Participants will learn safe food handling, preparation techniques, and knife skills. A different dish will be prepared each class.

Cooking Class Utensil Needed:

  • “Let’s Cook! Healthy Meals For Independent Living” by E. Rice & A. Kissack
  • Small to Medium Strainer
  • Can Opener
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • 2 Spatulas 1 small, 1 large
  • 2 Wooden Spoons
  • Whisk
  • Turner
  • Oven Mitt and Potholder
  • Timer
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Sharp Paring Knife
  • Sharp Medium Knife
  • Apron
  • Storage Case for Utensils


  • Glass Bowls Small, Medium, Large
  • Glass Pie Plate
  • Glass baking Dish

RSVP to Meri Tucker (endroad@comcast.net) or 309-264-4900

Space is Limited

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Portillo's Fundraiser

Have dinner at Portillo's (4412 N. Rockwood Drive in Peoria) on March 21 between 5pm and 8pm to help support HOIDSA. 20% of sales will benefit our organization and be used towards our ongoing programming. You can order online or in the app for pickup using the code PORTILLOS55 before checkout in the "Apply Offer" field, or show the flyer or a digital version to the cashier when ordering at the restaurant.

Member Spotlight

AweSam Buttons by Sam Heim

When Sam finished high school in the Spring of 2019, he continued to work several part-time jobs. However, he also knew that he wanted to start his own business because he liked being his own boss? Buttons are fun, quirky, and awesome so he launched the AweSam Button Company. Each button or magnet is handmaid by him or one of his friends who drop by to visit his workshop. He really likes making them, and hopes you enjoy them too!

You can buy buttons or magnets from Sam. He can sell single buttons or magnets but can also accommodate bulk orders! There are more details on his website: http://awesambuttons.weebly.com

You can also follow AweSam Buttons on Facebook. Go check him out!!

Recap of Recent HOIDSA Social Events

Halloween Party

On October 23, HOIDSA hosted a Halloween Party. It was fun filled event for the whole family. Everyone looked great in their costumes. Thanks to all of the families that attended and congrats to our costume contest winners!

Adult Holiday Party

On December 6, parents and adults gathered for the Grown Up Holiday Party. There was much fun had during the fun game of Deal or No Deal. Some people won some great prizes and others won some not so great prizes.

Family Holiday Party

On December 10, we hosted the Family Holiday Party. There was crafting, cookie decorating, face painting, snow ball fights, and of course Santa!
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HOIDSA Support in Action

Student Support Stipend

HOIDSA fulfilled 7 Stipends in November and December after teachers or staff members of students with Down syndrome completed an application to get additional resources and programming for their students. Some examples of items purchased included: visual schedules, adaptive classroom equipment, a reading program, flash cards, and even a special chair (as seen in the picture below of a pre-k friend)! We love supporting students to be more successful in their programs!

If you would like to share details of the stipend with your child's teacher, you can find details here:


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Holiday Gift Giving

Each year HOIDSA spreads some holiday cheer by buying gifts for individuals in need within our community. We reach out to local organizations (EPIC, ADDWC, TCRC, and AC LifePoints) that work with individuals with Down syndrome and they provide us with wish lists for these individuals. Next our "elves" go out shopping from the lists which include many necessities like winter coats, pajamas and socks but also some fun items like movies, craft items, toys and snacks. Once all of the shopping is done, the elves wrap the holiday gifts and deliver them to the organizations. In December 2022, HOIDSA purchased gifts for a total of 31 individuals plus some $100 gift cards to Trinity Services. Thanks to all of the elves that volunteered to help make this happen....Ann Hollis, Christy Getz, Julie Heim, Sarah Mabee, and Teri Ehrenhardt.
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