Collections for the Care for Real toy drive start on Saturday, November 22nd. Care for Real is the food pantry for the Edgewater neighborhood in Chicago. In addition to providing families in need with food, clothing, school supplies, career counseling, and other services all year, Care for Real runs a toy distribution that last year provided gifts for more than 800 children. You can see pictures from last year's toy distribution here and the 2012 distribution here.
The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce is supporting the Care for Real toy drive for the 2nd year in a row. This year several Andersonville businesses are providing rewards to people who drop off donations of unwrapped toys and gifts for the Care for Real toy drive. Starting on Saturday, November 22nd (St. Morten’s Gos Day) you can drop off toys at the following businesses and get rewards:
- The Coffee Studio, 5628 N. Clark – Get a free gingerbread man for dropping off a toy
- George’s Ice Cream & Sweets, 5306 N. Clark – Get a free scoop of ice cream for dropping off a toy
- Foursided Custom Framing Gallery, 5061 N. Clark – Get a free greeting card for dropping off a toy
Or you can let the reward go the kids
- For each toy that you purchase and leave as a donation at Toys Et Cetera, 5311 N. Clark, the store will donate another new toy to Care for Real.
- You can now drop off a toy at Maddiebird Bakery, 1445 W. Devon and get a free cupcake for each toy or gift you donate. Maddiebird is also accepting donations of non-perishable food items also for Care for Real.
Toys can also be dropped off at the 48 Ward office at 5533 N. Broadway during their regular business hours.
All toys should be new and unwrapped so that parents can select the best gifts for their children. In addition to toys, stocking stuffers such as hats, gloves, and toiletries are also needed.
Toys will be collected through Monday, December 15th.
Although we call this a toy drive, out of 800 children who received gifts last year 35% were aged 13-17, yet gifts for these older kids tend to be the least donated. Consider giving gifts appropriate teens such as sporting equipment, jewelry and purses, or board games.
Because I know that many of my readers are not local to Edgewater and Andersonville but may still want to give, I've again set up an Amazon Wish List that ships directly to Care for Real, and I've focused on gifts for older kids. You can shop the wishlist here. (Clarification: You don't have to wait until Saturday to order.)
Please consider buying a toy or gift. Everyone deserves to get something special this time of year.
Get notified of new posts by email. Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.