The season of giving is here, and one Oak Park nonprofit is looking to bring some holiday cheer to families in need – and teaming up with local organizations along the way. In partnership with Best of Proviso, the Hampton House and Brewpoint Craft, Suburban Unity Alliance (SUA) is hosting a Christmas toy drive to benefit children from Oak Park, Proviso Township and Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.
The collection, which began Dec. 6 and runs until Dec. 21, is another effort from SUA, as well as its collaborative partners, to support children and families. Accepted donations include new toys appropriate for children ages 6 to 12, and items must be unwrapped, said SUA founder Anthony Clark. SUA is also accepting monetary donations through its online website at www.suburbanunity.org/donate.
“A lot of families right now are struggling with work and employment and making ends meet,” said Clark, a community activist and teacher at Oak Park and River Forest High School. “That additional revenue or additional income to purchase toy items for children is difficult. It’s creating stressors, so we look to step up.”
Clark noted there are two drop-off locations for donors: Brewpoint Craft, 163 S. Oak Park Ave. in Oak Park and the Hampton House, 804 S. 17th Ave. in Maywood. Donations can be dropped off at Brewpoint during business hours, 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Those who are planning to drop off their toys at the Hampton House can do so between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. any day of the week.
Brewpoint founder Melissa Villanueva, she said she did not think twice about joining forces with SUA. Back in September, Brewpoint and SUA came together for a back-to-school drive, collecting face masks and travel-sized hand sanitizers for students.
“Anthony is plugged in. SUA is plugged in,” Villanueva said. “They know what the needs are, and we know that we [Brewpoint] can be a place where we can be connected and serve the community, and so, doing something like a toy drive during the holidays is an absolute no-brainer.”