A Safe Place Project -by Deb Duba, Office Manager

This is the time of year when families start talking about the Holidays.  “Where are we going for Thanksgiving?”  “Who’s going to be there?”  “I sure hope I get some great presents during the Holidays!”  But for some there are no decisions to be made.  Battered women and their children live in fear of being abused every day.  For them, Holidays are no different than any other day.  But some are the lucky ones who’ve had the courage to leave their abusers and are now living in the safety of A Safe Place.

A Safe Place was founded many years ago and has a facility in Zion that has several apartments where these women and children can live rent free.  This is the first step; being kept safe until their abuser is no longer a threat.   It’s a place where they can get counseling and other services to prepare themselves to branch out and prepare for a new beginning.

We at Gurnee Counseling are proud to be a part of this special place.  We decided years ago that if we could help them in any way, we would do our best.  Speaking for myself and on behalf of others who have made contributions year after year, the feeling of knowing that in some small way we have helped a family in need is and amazing experience.  When we take our boxes and bags loaded with all kinds of wonderful contributions, the reception we get speaks volumes about the gratitude they feel.  It truly gives the Holidays a whole new meaning, for us and more importantly, the women and children receiving our contributions.  Showing them that others really do care is so heartwarming and so worth every effort.

Everyone is welcome to bring any of the items on their list of needs to Gurnee Counseling Center, where we have a box in the waiting room.  We will be taking all donations to A Safe Place the week before Christmas so that these families can feel safe, warm and cared for during a special time of year.  Here is a list of what they need, but any contributions would be greatly appreciated.


Holiday Wish List:

  • Stuffing mix
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruits
  • Cake mixes
  • Pie crust mix
  • Pie filling
  • Rice and beans
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Canned soups
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Wrapping paper
  • Tape
  • Gift bags/boxes

Household Needs:

  • Canned, non-perishable food
  • Paper napkins
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning solutions
  • Laundry supplies
  • Office desk and chairs
  • Toilet paper
  • Trash bags
  • Dish soap
  • Gas gift cards
  • Laundry supplies
  • Hand soap
  • Pillows
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels
  • Wash cloths
  • 60W energy saving light bulbs
  • Hand  held vacuum

Women’s Needs:

  • Bras
  • Ethnic hair care products
  • Hair brushes/accessories
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Deodorant
  • Ladies shaving cream
  • Pajamas and Robes
  • Perfumes
  • Decorative household items

Children’s Needs:

  • Baby bath wash
  • Baby lotion, powder, shampoo
  • Baby formula
  • Baby wipes
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Vaseline
  • Diapers (preemies and/or size 5&6 preferred)
  • Underwear

Candle Lighting Ceremony Needs:

  • Dowel rods
  • Purple fabric
  • Battery operated candles
  • Fabric paints
  • Clear glass jars
  • Long matches
  • Tea light candles
  • White T-shirts (children and adult sizes)


  • Adult novels
  • Young readers books
  • Spanish adult novels
  • Spanish children’s books
  • Spanish young readers books

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Deb at (847) 336-5621 x130.