During this time of year, there are people who not only think of themselves but others as well. There are a number of different non-profit organizations within the Chicagoland area that are hosting everything from toy drives to feeding those in need. Below is a list of a few organizations that are giving back this holiday season:
Santa for the Very Poor had a private food-packing event Tuesday, Dec. 17, giving groceries to more than 800 families. Directors met at a Chicago-area food store that was paid to provide and pack two bags of groceries for the families. The directors and volunteers then took the groceries to their respective organizations. Those organizations distributed them and gave a gift card for more groceries, to each of the families they designated in need.
In the true spirit of the season, I Grow Chicago, gave 350 children in Englewood presents collected from many giving friends. The event took place Wednesday, Dec. 18 at O’Toole School (6556 S. Seeley) from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. I Grow Chicago’s President Robbin Carroll was in attendance, as well as Alderman Toni Foulkes (15th Ward).
The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division distributed 300 food boxes to families in need in their service area. The event took place Thursday, Dec. 19, at the Midway Corps Community Center ( 5036- 52 W. 47th Street) from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Additionally, the corps also give gifts of toys and clothing to 200 children.
The Salvation Army and Ray and Jon Kroc Corps Community Center (1250 W. 119th Street) distributed 350 food boxes to families in need in their service area, Thursday Dec. 19, from 9:30a.m.- 6p.m. The corps also give gifts of toys and clothing to 350 families with children, 1200 individuals total. This year, the Kroc Center also distributed 25 brand new bicycles to deserving kids. The bikes were generously donated by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.
Thornton Township Supervisor Frank M. Zuccarelli will be giving away 2,500 boxes of food Friday, Dec. 20, from 10 a.m.- 2:00p.m. at the ZAP Garage, 16910 Westview, in South Holland, IL. Thornton Township’s Food Pantry at 154th & Page in Harvey, IL, is currently under construction. Zuccarelli has received a grant from the government to expand the facility.
United Way’s corporate partner Zurich (an insurance group), has donated 34 $100 gift cards to 34 kids who access services at the Palatine Opportunity Center (POC). POC is a United Way funded agency that connects underserved residents in the Palatine Area to services and resources in an effort to build a community of empowered people, healthy families and vibrant neighborhoods. This Friday, POC will be busing the kids to the local Target in Palatine, where they’ll be able to pick out the Christmas gifts they’ve been wishing for.
Christmas in Englewood’s 18th annual Toy Drive Giveaway will take place at the Salvation Army Red Shield Center (945 W. 69th Street) Saturday, Dec. 21, at 10 a.m. The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Drive is now sponsoring the toy drive alongside the Chicago Cubs, Comcast, ComEd, Wal-Mart, and W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.) Alderman Latasha R. Thomas (D-17), WGCI radio on air personality Tony Sculfield, and the Salvation Army Red Shield Center will present toys, clothing, and educational gifts to nearly 1,000 underprivileged children between the ages of 0 to 12, from more than 200 families in the 17th ward.