Remembering our loved ones together

A Letter From Our Executive Director                                                                     

This has got to be one of my favorite projects Wake the Nation puts together annually. As someone who lost a loved one to overdose, I understand how difficult the holidays can be. What is supposed to be a joyful time is easily overcome by the loss and grief.

It’s not just the first year, it’s every year. Someone is always missing, one chair at the table is always empty. Even six years later, I find myself looking for gifts to buy for my loved one knowing I won’t have the opportunity to give them to him.

Decorating the holiday memorial tree at Brookfield Zoo has become my gift to my loved one. Its become my way to celebrate the holiday with him. It is Wake the Nation’s gift to all of your loved ones too! It is truly a beautiful way to honor their memory and celebrate their life during the holiday season. And it brings a little bit of light to the holidays we may otherwise dread.

Our 2017 Ornaments

Much like the memorial is a gift to my loved one, it can be yours too. Our memorial sponsors help cover the memorial costs and are recognized and thanked on our social media, in future Holiday Memorial communications and updates, and via signage in front of our memorial tree. To become a sponsor please contact or by phone (708) 785-0291. Sponsorship payments can be made online via paypal or by check made out to Wake the Nation and mailed to the attention of Nicole Neuman at 2633 Clarence Ave Berwyn, IL 60402

Sponsorship Level Cost What Your Gift Makes Possible
Ornament Sponsor (2 available) $500 Your support covers the cost of purchasing ornaments to remember the loved ones of more than 400 families.
Tree Sponsor (1 available) $300 Your generosity will allow us to purchase a large tree so that we never have to turn away a family who wishes to honor their loved one through the holiday memorial.
Keepsake Sponsor (4 available) $250 Unfortunately, many families are unable to afford the cost of shipping their memorial ornaments. Your gift covers the cost of shipping out ornaments after the holiday memorial concludes so that every family can remember their loved one through these keepsake ornaments year after year.
Volunteer Appreciation Sponsor

(1 available)

$100 Your sponsorship provides doughnuts, hot chocolate, and hand warmers to our volunteers who brave the cold to help decorate the memorial tree each holiday season.

In addition to the above sponsorship levels, we  welcome donations of any size from $1 to $1,000. Every dollar counts and helps keep Wake the Nation going year-after-year. 

Every life matters, everyone deserves to be remembered and honored. Submit your loved ones name or consider purchasing one as a gift for someone you know who has recently lost someone because of substance use disorder. Then join us in celebrating the holidays, celebrating our loved ones, and decorating the tree! Find comfort in our team and others there to honor their loved ones. It’s going to be a beloved tree!

Cassandra Wingert
Executive Director


2 thoughts on “Remembering our loved ones together

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