TINLEY PARK, Ill. - The spirit of giving broke records in Tinley Park, and the pandemic certainly did not dampen the good cheer.
The bright holiday lights in Tinley Park powered into 2021 when homeowner Dominic Kowalczyk tallied up and delivered his annual donation to a local charity.
Each Christmas, he accepts donations from the crowds that view his Christmas spectacle.
When he first started in 2013, he collected $1,700.
In Christmas 2020? He collected over $32,000!
People were in the giving spirit this year, despite the hardship of the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s how Together We Cope can keep stocking the food pantry and keep people sheltered and clothed.
"This place helps you with everything you need. If they weren’t here, I wouldn’t survive," one person said of the charity.
"'Thank you' isn’t even enough words," another person said of the charity.
The twinkling lights were surely magical this past Christmas.
"It’s an amazing feeling. I mean, they’re so happy and so grateful here," said Kowalczyk. "People have really been helping out throughout this whole pandemic. . . I think it’s done a lot of good for everybody."
Kowalczyk’s donation came at a time when giving traditionally slows down, but the need was still great.
After eight years of being a donor, Kowalczyk has joined the board of Together We Cope.