The Marillac St. Vincent Family Services Charity Toy Drive Serves Hundreds of Children

The Marillac St. Vincent (MSV) Family Services Christmas Store is an exciting holiday tradition for Chicago families in need. Dating back to the 1960s, toy drives by local groups and individuals around the city have made holiday wishes come true at Marillac St. Vincent for tens of thousands of children.

Marillac St. Vincent Toy Drive Chicago DefenderEvery year, neighborhood families are offered the chance to sign up for the Christmas Store. On the Saturday before Christmas, registered families get to “shop” for toys, stocking stuffers, books, games, clothes, and stuffed animals for each of their children, have their gifts wrapped, and finally, leave with a full bag of food – enough to make a big meal on Christmas day complete with a turkey.

“We come every year and it’s just magical how generous people are and it really makes Christmas come alive for my children,” commented Marillac St. Vincent parent, Patricia Williams.

The event organizers at Marillac St. Vincent west side center, Marillac House, say it’s not too late to plan a toy drive in your church, office, or in your neighborhood.

This year organizers are asking for new toys for children birth-12 years old. The age categories are 0-4 years, 5-8 years, and 9-12 years. Due to the ongoing violence that plagues the communities they serve, Marillac St. Vincent is requesting not to receive any weapon-like toys (foam/plastic toy guns, water guns, etc.).

As a safety precaution, The Christmas Store will be a drive-thru event this year held on December 21 and 22. Marillac St. Vincent is asking for toy donors to schedule gift pickups with the center by Friday, December 4. In order to prepare for the day of distribution, it’s best for toys to be ready at the center by Wednesday, December 18th. Donations are also accepted via Amazon Smile.

All donations are tax-deductible.

To schedule or set up a toy donation pick-up, please contact Stephen Barker, or call (773) 584-4538.

Volunteers are also welcome by contacting: or calling (312) 943-6776 to sign up.


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