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CHICAGO (January 7, 2021) — Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day to honor the late civil rights icon’s legacy of giving back to those most vulnerable in our communities. On Monday, January 18, Cradles to Crayons Chicago (C2C) invites Chicagoland families to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by donating new or gently-used children’s items, such as winter coats, boots, hats, gloves and scarves and warm clothes, at six drop-off locations throughout the city.

Additionally, C2C seeks volunteers to safely sort and pack items at its Giving Factory—C2C’s main warehouse for housing donated items. To ensure the safety of volunteers and staff, C2C requires all guests to wear masks and abide by its 10 feet of separation guideline. Those interested in volunteering can sign-up for a shift and review C2C’s safety guideline at cradlestocrayons.org/chicago/take-action/volunteer/in-the-giving-factory/.

“Though this year’s MLK Day of Service looks different from previous years, the importance and message remain the same. It is vital now more than ever that we help those in need as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all of us,” said Shoshana Buchholz-Miller, Executive Director of Cradles to Crayons Chicago. “We understand the power of community and together we can help ensure a safe and dignified future for Chicagoland children by providing the items they need most this winter.”

The MLK Day of Service is part of C2C’s Gear Up for Winter initiative, which aims to provide 37,000 Chicagoland children with essential winter items, and the most-needed items include:

  • Winter Coats (sizes newborn to adult medium)
  • Winter Boots (sizes infant/toddler 5 to adult 10)
  • Warm Clothing (size newborn to youth 18/20 or adult medium)
  • Toys (especially for infants and ages 10-12)
  • Books (ages 0-12) 

New and gently-used items can be donated at six contactless donation sites throughout the Chicagoland area, including:

  • Logan Square – The Giving Factory (4141 W. George)
  • Woodlawn – South Side YMCA (6340 S. Stony Island)
  • Buffalo Grove, IL – Bank of America (1300 North Arlington Heights Rd.)
  • Highwood, IL – Highwood Public Library (102 Highwood Ave.)
  • La Grange Park, IL – La Grange Park Public Library (555 N. La Grange Rd.)
  • Naperville, IL – Bank of America (1301 E. Ogden Ave.)

Items will be distributed to children through C2C’s network of service partners. C2C has taken extra precautions to safely continue to meet the needs of the community, including quarantining donations before processing, increased sanitizations, and more. Full donation guidelines can be found here.

In addition to providing kids with the necessary winter gear, C2C continues to supply families with diapers and essential hygiene items as part of its ongoing COVID-19 relief support. For more information about “Gear Up for Winter,” visit, cradlestocrayons.org/chicago/gufw2020/

About Cradles to Crayons

Cradles to Crayons is a national nonprofit organization with locations in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago that provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive—at home, at school, and at play. Cradles to Crayons supplies these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities across Chicagoland. Donations are processed and packaged by volunteers at warehouses called “Giving Factories” and are distributed to children through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners. For more information, visit www.cradlestocrayons.org.


Public Communications Inc.
Ashley Antonini
aantonini@pcipr.com, 309.202.5357