How to Participate in Chicago and Suburban 2022 Holiday Toy Drives
This week, several gift drives and toy collections are going place around the city, as many in Chicago and its suburbs search for ways to give back during the Christmas season. Here are the dates, locations, and instructions for a couple of this week’s activities.
Toys for Tots Drive by Metra
On Tuesday, Metra and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation will host their eleventh annual Toys for Tots Drive. According to a Metra press release, the drive will take place from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. at all downtown Metra stations. In addition to monetary gifts, new, unopened items will also be appreciated. The following places will have Metra staff collecting toys:
Station near the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street
The intersection of Canal Street and Jackson Boulevard at Chicago Union Station
Madison Street and Canal Street – Ogilvie Transportation Center
LaSalle Street Station – 414 S. LaSalle St. Van Buren Station – 132 E. Van Buren St.
Jalisa Ford is doing her third annual gift drive to remember her 9-year-old son, who was murdered in 2020. Ford said, “I feel emotional simply being able to assist the children and respect my son’s memory.”
January, age 9, was tragically wounded by a stray gunshot while playing in his front yard in the Cabrini Green neighborhood in July 2020, according to authorities. Following the horrific event, Ford established the 1 JAR Foundation, which provides resources and initiatives for all of Chicago’s youngsters.
“Many children were affected by the loss of my son, so I want to be able to do a good deed and spread Christmas cheer this season,” she added. Through Friday, Ford will take contributions of unopened gifts, jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves, as well as gift cards.
In a news release, Kids Above All, a non-profit that offers early childhood education, foster care housing, and counseling services to families in suburban Cook, DuPage, Kane, and Lake counties, requests contributions of new toys, books, and clothes for children of all ages.
Also required are volunteers to assist in organizing and distributing gift packages. Tuesday is the last day to drop off donations at the Kids Above All’s A Better Life Distribution Center, located at 1880 E. Oakton St. in Des Plaines. Donations may also be made through an Amazon Wish List for those who cannot drop off things in person.