Chicago area charities facing toy donation shortage hope for 'Christmas miracle'

Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Charities facing toy donation shortage hope for 'Christmas miracle'
The Catholic Charities toy drive is coming up short and hoping for a "Christmas miracle." The Salvation Army is also struggling to meet demand.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Catholic Charities is marking its 75th anniversary of its Celebration of Giving.

They usually provide gifts for thousands of children in the city and suburban Cook County. But so far this holiday season, the nonprofit is coming up short.

"Things are tight, everyone has to set their priorities," Catholic Charities volunteer Joe Hobein said.

And with families being squeezed by inflation, the need this holiday season is even greater.

"You just kind of wish we could do more to get more in a timely fashion, but things are tight all over. People are doing what they can," Catholic Charities Volunteer John Bradshaw said.

They have extended the deadline for their toy drive until Dec. 16, hoping for a change of fortunate.

Unwrapped toys can be dropped off at 721 North LaSalle.

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Right now the need is for toys for kids 10 years or older.

"Unfortunately when we don't receive the donations that we need, that means we are unable to fill those toy requests and those children will won't receive Christmas gifts from Catholic Charities," Catholic Charities Volunteer Engagement Interim Director Melissa Lucas said.

Other nonprofits are also struggling to meet demand, including the Salvation Army for its annual Angel Tree program.

The Salvation Army is collecting unwrapped toys at all of their locations until Christmas Eve.

"It's concerning at this point if we will have the ability to meet the need of the clients who have already applied as well as those who have been wait listed because we have exceeded the capacity," Salvation Army Midway Citadel Captain Corps Officer Dalvius King-Harvey said.

Late Tuesday morning, a truckload of toys came in from Lake County to Catholic Charities in River North.

"It feels like a Christmas miracle that our partners in Lake County had these excess donations," Lucas said.

Volunteers are keeping the faith that more donations are on the way.

"We try do the best we can with the resources that we have," Hobein said.