Making the Holiday Season Brighter in Chicago
Children’s Home & Aid is so grateful for all of the support we received in our Chicago Metro Region this holiday season. Read below for all the details of our holiday events!
In our Chicago Metro Region…
Holiday Gift Drive – In Chicago, Children’s Home & Aid partnered with 39 companies and numerous individual donors for our annual Holiday Gift Drive. Donors sponsored kids and families by fulfilling wish lists submitted through schools and our program staff, which included community-based behavioral health, Parents Care & Share, and foster care services.
Partners including Exelon, Hyatt, Aon, ITW, William Blair and PricewaterhouseCoopers sponsored over 1,200 child, sibling, and family wish lists – totaling nearly 2,000 kids, plus additional gifts for parents and caregivers! The Chicago Cubs, BMO Harris Bank, Showpad, CDW, and Strata Decision Technology also collected hundreds of items by hosting Essential Needs Drives, collect everything from socks and shampoo to therapeutic toys and kitchenware, distributed during the holidays and throughout the year to families in need.
Our Metro Region’s Holiday Gift Drive would not be possible without the wonderful volunteers who spent over 60 hours on site at our holiday headquarters. Volunteers from the White Sox Volunteer Corps, as well as 7 of our corporate partners including CDW, Axiom Law, and Credico, helped Children’s Home & Aid staff move, sort, and wrap gifts, ensuring all children and families had their needs and wishes fulfilled for the holidays.
Snug Hugs for Kids – Our 29th Annual Snug Hugs event was an overall success this year, thanks to our long-time partner, Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops. Merlin collected new and gently used winter items at their shop locations across Chicagoland and delivered more than 50 boxes of coats and winter clothing to the Mitzi Freidheim Child & Family Center in Chicago’s Englewood community. Nearly 200 families shopped for winter items thanks to the generosity of Merlin’s staff, volunteers and customers, as well as the hand-made items donated through our Crochet & Knit-A-Thon held in early November.
White Sox Holiday Lunch – The Chicago White Sox hosted children from our VIVA and Englewood home visiting programs at Guaranteed Rate Field on December 13 for lunch and a day of fun. In total, approximately 100 kids, siblings and parents attended. Parents were able to select a gift to have wrapped for their child while kids made crafts. Afterward, everyone enjoyed a lunch of ballgame favorites including hot dogs, chicken tenders, macaroni & cheese and desserts. Post-lunch, children received a new winter Sox hat and then played fun games – some kids even hit a few practice balls.
Children and their families got to meet Santa in the Sox locker room. Santa had the wrapped presents that were selected earlier, and called children by name to come up and get their gift and take a photo. One little boy was so excited to see Santa – he asked if Santa remembered him, and Santa said ‘of course I do’!
Thank you to the generous Children’s Home & Aid supporters who made the holiday season brighter for kids and families!