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Help Fill Santa's Empty Pocket with Toys and Turkeys for Oak Lawn Families

Friends rallying to ailing restaurant owner's side to help her collect donations to feed the hungry this Christmas.

Once again Sandi and Eddie of Big Pappa’s Gyros will restore the spirit of Christmas local families in need with their third annual Christmas dinner to feed the hungry.

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For the past three years, the couple has footed most of the costs to provide turkey dinners with all the trimmings to hundreds of local families facing financial difficulties.

It has been a tough year health-wise for Sandi Digangi, who has been undergoing cancer treatments. Even though friends are advising Sandi to take it easy this Christmas, she insists on feeding the hungry with help of her life partner, Eddie Memishi, and her three children, Anthony, 17, Michaline, 14, and Nicolette, 11.

Like Big Pappa's Gyros on Facebook.

The ailing restaurant owner's many friends are rallying to her side to help her collect donations of food, toys and monetary gifts to fulfill Sandi’s dream of putting the true meaning of Christmas in motion.

This Thursday, Dec. 20, Oak Lawn Patch will be helping the St. Linus Men's Club collect new toys, food and monetary donations from 6 to 9 p.m. at the

Patch will be handing out some swell schwag to those dropping off donations and signing up voluteers on Christmas to cook and distribute dinners. Food donations can range form cases of pop and water to whole turkeys.

Watch the 2011 video, "Volunteers Deliver Dinners and Christmas Cheer"

Last year, Big Pappas cooked and distributed more than 1,000 turkey dinners to families in the Oak Lawn area. Families with children also received toys. Sandi hopes to top that number this year.

All donations will go toward brightening the holidays of LOCAL families facing hard times. They could be your neighbors, your child’s friend from school, or someone you sit next to in church.

Sandi and Eddie will be accepting donations up until Christmas Eve. Residents are asked to drop off new toys and gift cards for turkeys at Big Pappa’s at 10806 S. Cicero Ave. from time to time.

And if you have some young people in your house looking to earn some community service hours for confirmation, Sandi has plenty of jobs for them to do leading up to Christmas, including some character-building, sweet potato-peeling.

For more information about making Christmas a little brighter and warmer for Oak Lawn families, including donations and volunteering, contact Sandi at 708-741-4014.

Read "Nothing Will Stop Local Couple from Feeding the Hungry on Christmas.

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Pat F December 17, 2012 at 05:21 PM
God bless these beautiful people for helping many many families through this Christmas season..With all that's gone wrong in this world it's nice to know some still remember how to help people in need.. Thank you!!!
Michelle Kreydich December 18, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Spoke w/Sandi over the weekend. She says they always get lots of toys for the little ones, but the older kids (10-14yr) get left out. She encouraged people to donate gift cards from Sports Authority to address this need. God bless Sandi & her family.

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