GRANITE CITY – Granite City Community Unit School District #9 is assisting with Billie's Kids Christmas to help brighten the lives of children by providing gifts and basic needs items through the generosity of members of the greater Tri-Cities Area.

This is a community collaboration between local merchants, businesses, GCSD9 and Granite City Foundation in conjunction with Billie's Kids Christmas. All donations go directly to the kids and families in GCSD9. Past years have seen over 250 volunteers.

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GCSD9 provided in-kind service with social workers vetting families and use of district facilities. Student and family names are obtained through GCSD9 social workers.

“Words cannot express the gratitude we have for this group and their volunteers, and for what they do for members of our community,” said GCSD9 Superintendent Stephanie M. Cann, Ed.S. “It gives all children the opportunity to have a happy holiday season. We are indebted to them for their service work over the past 50 years."

Started in 1970 by Billie Schuler and the Tri City Women's Division Chamber of Commerce, Billie's Kids Christmas continues helping families and children enjoy the magic of Christmas each year. The Schuler family took over in 2011.

The chair for the 50th Anniversary event is Emily Gavilsky, and Jamie Schuler is the gift collection chair.

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"My parents instilled in us the need to serve others," said Joe Schuler. "Our family has been service-oriented our entire life, and we want to serve our community and give back."

Donations are accepted from local businesses, corporations and community in the form of monitary donations to assist with the purchasing of gifts through an online registry.

On Saturday, Dec. 12, volunteers will delivers gifts to families homes. Each child receives two gifts and a goodie bag with a hat, gloves and a $50 Schnucks gift card. Prior to COVID-19, a pizza party was hosted with games, food and a visit from Santa at the GC Township Hall.

Last year Billie's Kids Christmas served 165 students, and the number has grown to more than 300 in 2020.

For more information about the Granite City School District #9, please visit our website at: or follow on social media at @GCSD9.


Chris Mitchell ‘95

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