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Joanie’s Mission, Helping Those In Need

Joanie%27s+closet+hosts+their+annual+Valentine%27s+Day+Event+every+February.+
Joanie's closet hosts their annual Valentine's Day Event every February.

Joanie's closet hosts their annual Valentine's Day Event every February.

photo used with permission of Mary Dobrow

photo used with permission of Mary Dobrow

Joanie's closet hosts their annual Valentine's Day Event every February.

Ian Iacullo, Staff Writer

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Joanie’s Closet, a subcommittee dedicated to helping the less fortunate, is currently searching for new volunteers to pay tribute to May Whitney’s late nurse, Joanie Bednarz, who passed away years ago.

Joanie’s Closet and its workers make sure to show selfless acts of humanitarianism in order to aid families and are looking for people to take after how Joanie lived her day to day life through her actions said the executive chairman, Mary Dobrow. More people would help the organization expand and further their mission, she said.

Previously, the presidents from eight different school districts in Lake Zurich voted to make Joanie’s Closet a district-wide initiative, and then in 2016 the organization became a committee of the School District 95 Educational Foundation. Joanie’s Closet is respectful to the dignity and anonymity of its clients and anyone may seek them out if they need aid, said Dobrow.

We are very sensitive to the privacy of those we assist. We have resources available to help high school students. All a high school student needs to do to get help is to talk to their counselor or social worker, and Joanie’s Closet will assist without knowing who the student is,” Dobrow said. 

According to the committee, their mission is simple: to provide assistance with immediate needs to the less fortunate families and students of District 95. This includes giving socks, shoes, groceries, school supplies, breakfast, and winter clothing to name a few. Joanie’s Closet is an inclusive committee that welcomes any support it can get, Dobrow said.

“There are a number of ways high school students can get involved to help Joanie’s Closet. We have been partnering with the Interact Club and NHS team for a number of years for assistance at our School Supply Packing Party, Winter Coat Inventory,  as well as our one main fundraiser, the Parent/Child Valentine’s.  Other schools have also done their own fundraisers or donation collections to benefit Joanie’s Closet.”

Recently, Joanie’s Closet has been focused on developing partnerships with other organizations and local churches, such as the Alpine Chapel. This helps the committee expand its reach and enables them to help more people in need in the Lake Zurich community, said Dobrow.

While Joanie may have long since passed away, the committee is intent on revitalizing the legacy.

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Joanie’s Mission, Helping Those In Need