'Cradles to Crayons' winter collection drive begins

A major collection drive is underway in the city and suburbs to outfit thousands of Chicago area children for winter weather.

Volunteers in Logan Square and other spots began the large task Monday of collecting and sorting piles of winter gear for Cradles to Crayons.

"We need coats, we need boots, we need warm sweaters and warm clothing. We are pretty low on those items and we know it's getting cold outside and the families we serve are desperately going to need them," said Shoshana Buchholz-Miller, Executive Director of Cradles to Crayons Chicago.


Cradles to Crayons aims to outfit more than 54 thousand children for winter with its "Gear Up for Winter" campaign. That's on top of the 120 thousand kids the non-profit has already served this school year.

"The demand we have has skyrocketed since pre-pandemic times. Our demand for diapers, for example, was up 300 percent last year and we served almost double the kids we had the previous year, pre-pandemic and we haven't really seen that kind of need go away," said Buchholz-Miller.

So Buchholz-Miller is asking families to clean out their closets then donate all those jackets, boots and sweaters your kids grew out of but are still in good shape.

"We know that if kids don't have proper outerwear like coats and boots they don't go to school, so they're missing out on that learning time, engagement with their peers, that social time and they don't get to play outside and that's really important too for their mental health," explained Buchholz-Miller.


There are 22 drop off locations in the city and suburbs to donate new or gently used winter gear this week.

  • Buffalo Grove: Bank of America - 1300 North Arlington Heights Road
  • Deerfield: Sachs Recreation Center - 455 Lake Cook Road
  • Evanston: Little Beans Café-Evanston - 430 Asbury Avenue
  • Glenview: Kohl Children Museum - 2100 Patriot Boulevard
  • Highwood: Highwood Public Library - 102 Highwood Avenue
  • Lincoln Park: Reebie Storage and Moving Co. - 2325 North Clark Street #300
  • Lincoln Square: Timeless Toys - 4749 North Lincoln Avenue
  • Logan Square: The Giving Factory - 4141 West George Street
  • Logan Square: Tula Yoga Studio - 2827 West Belden Avenue
  • Logan Square: Windy City Fieldhouse - 2367 West Logan Boulevard
  • Naperville: Bank of America - 1301 East Ogden Avenue
  • Oak Forest: Acorn Public Library - 15624 Central Avenue
  • Oak Lawn: Oak Lawn Park District Community Pavilion - 9401 Oak Park Avenue
  • Oak Park: Oak Park Public Library - 834 Lake Street
  • Ravenswood: Mathnasium Ravenswood - 1754 West Wilson Avenue
  • Ravenswood: Sulzer Regional Library - 4455 North Lincoln Avenue
  • River North: East Bank Storage - front desk - 429 West Ohio Street
  • Roscoe Village: Kangaroo Kids - 4161 North Damen Avenue
  • Sheridan Park: Cloud and Bunny - 1600 West Montrose Avenue
  • South Side Chicago: South Side YMCA - 6330 South Stony Island Avenue
  • Wicker Park: The Kids’ Table - 2337 West North Avenue