CHICAGO - The annual Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade that was scheduled for this weekend has been canceled because of COVID-19.
Lester Fortier of the organization says the need for toys this year--during a pandemic--is greater than ever before.
“Hopefully, we'll be able to satisfy the needs of as many underprivileged children in Chicagoland,” he said.
Sunday would have marked the 43rd annual Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade. Last year, about 30,000 motorcyclists participated. Each one brought along at least one new gift for a child in need. More than 33,000 kids received toys for the holiday season.
But this year, organizers say after going back and forth with the city, the group chose to cancel the event because of gathering restrictions due to COVID.
“We're not gonna get that injection of toys that we usually get the day of the parade,” Fortier said.
So, the organization is asking the community to step up and deliver new, unwrapped toys to one of the hundreds of drop-box locations in Chicago and the suburbs, or donate on its GoFundMe page.
“All of us are gonna make an effort to make sure they get something under the tree, but definitely not as much as they had last year or the year before,” Fortier said.
You can find a full list of drop box locations and that GoFundMe page at ChicagolandTFT.org.
The group is also asking that no one gather at the parade site on Sunday because it could jeopardize future events.