2019 Holiday Memorial FAQ


How do I submit my loved ones name?
You can submit the name of your loved one via the request form found on our website.

How much does it cost?
FREE! Having an ornament personalized and hung on the memorial is free. However, we ofcourse appreciate donations and put them to good use.

How do I make a donation?
Donations can be made two ways.
Checks can be made out and mailed to
Wake the Nation
ATTN: Nicole Neuman
2633 Clarence Ave
Berywn, IL 60402

How can I help?
You can join us to decorate! Decorating the tree is not only helpful but fun. Our team loves seeing the families that come out each year to decorate. Last year we even hosted a tree “undressing”. You can also become a holiday memorial sponsor!

How can I sponsor the Holiday Memorial?
We are glad you asked!
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 wakethenation@live.com 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 second 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. 

How do I include my loved one’s photo on the memorial?
Photos are welcome but not necessary. Should you want to have your loved ones photo included on the memorial, please attach to the ornament request form.

My photo won’t attach, what do I do?
On occasion this happens. Don’t stress! If your photo won’t attach, it is likely do to size. Please consider using another photo to ensure the picture quality. However, you can also e-mail the photo to wakethenation@live.com. We will do our best to adjust the size accordingly.

What is the deadline to submit a name or photo? 
All names and photos must be submitted by November 20th for guaranteed placement on the memorial.

Can I submit my loved one’s name after the deadline?
Yes, you can. However, we do not guarantee ornaments will be hung on the memorial if submitted passed the November 20th deadline. We try to be as accommodating as possible but make no promises passed the deadline. Regardless, submitting may be in your best interest as we hold on to your information and will be sure to send you a reminder for the following years memorial.

Will my photo be returned?
Photos will not be returned.

How do I get my ornament?
Ornaments will be shipped to those who submit $10 to cover the cost of packing and shipping.

How will I see my loved ones ornament?
The WTN team takes a photo of each ornament on the tree and posts them on our Facebook page. We encourage you to find, “like” and follow us on all our social media to see photos and videos of the ornaments, memorial, and tree decorating event.

Instagram: @wake_the_nation
Twitter: @wakethenationUS


You can also join us to decorate the tree or visit the zoo on your own time if you live in the area or are making the trip. Please visit the zoo website for more details.

How long will my loved ones ornament be displayed?
The tree will be decorated Sunday November 24th at 12:00p.m. All are welcome and encouraged to join us in decorating! The tree remains up til early-mid January when the WTN team heads back to take the ornaments down.

How many ornaments will adorn this tree?
We have capacity for 300 ornaments.
The first 300 names and 100 photos are guaranteed to be hung.

Are ornaments the same as last year?
No, ornaments are different every year.

Who can help decorate the tree?
All our welcome to attend! The WTN team will be there and kids are encouraged. Cookies and hot chocolate will be provided!

When will my ornament be shipped?
Shipping various from year to year. Aside from the very fact that so many names are submitted, shipping is by the far the most overwhelming part of this memorial. After undressing the tree in mid-late January, our team takes some time to spruce the ornaments up. With winters like Chicago’s they usually need a little cleaning. We package them with love, take some time confirming addresses (a surprising amount of people move between October when they submit a request and March when they go out), and then off they go. Requests for shipping passed our submission due date typically go out in fall as we begin work on the new years memorial. 

What’s the deal with the complimentary tickets to the tree trim?
In the past we have been given complimentary tickets admitting volunteers to the zoo to help us decorate. While we wish were had enough for everyone that just isn’t the case. Over the years, a dedicated team of volunteers has consistently shown up to help us decorate. This year, tickets will be reserved for them. Should we be able to acquire additional tickets (as we are actively working toward) we will provide a ticket reservation link at a later date.

Where in the zoo is the tree located?
This information has not yet been disclosed to us, we will reveal it’s location via facebook as the day gets closer.

Who do I contact if I still have questions?
Email us at wakethenation@live.com

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