PILL HILL — Samuel Love is so determined to ensure needy children affected by summer floods in Denver and Oklahoma have a good Christmas that he plans to go shopping on Black Friday to search for donations from shoppers.
The fourth-grader at Beasley Elementary School will go to a Walmart and Target on Nov. 29 to ask shoppers to donate to his citywide toy drive.
"The week of Thanksgiving, Sam will be on WVON AM to announce exactly which Walmart and Target he will be at," said Victor Love, Samuel's father. "We are waiting on confirmation from the two stores before announcing the locations. I can tell you that the Walmart store is on the South Side and the Target store is not."
Love said a toy manufacturer in southwest suburban Bedford Park has tentatively agreed to donate 1,000 toys, and Kellar Middle School in south suburban Robbins has agreed to serve as a drop-off location. And other drop-off locations include Beasley Elementary at 5225 S. State St; Josephine's Cooking restaurant, 436 E. 79th St., which is owned by Samuel's grandmother; and McDonald's restaurants, at 1657 W. 95th St. and 8313 S. Ashland Ave., which are owned by Derrick Taylor.
Donations are being accepted until Dec. 17.
This is the second toy drive Samuel has organized.
"Last year, I collected toys for kids in New York who did not have any toys because of" Hurricane Sandy, said Samuel, 10. "Now I need your help again to help kids in Denver and Oklahoma have a good Christmas."
In 2012, Samuel collected 800 toys, including $3,000 worth of toys donated by toymaker LeapFrog.
This year, Samuel is asking for gift card donations instead of toys, which are easier to ship or bring with him. He plans to personally deliver donations to charities in Denver and Oklahoma.
But new unwrapped toys will also be accepted.
This year, Samuel said he hoped to collect enough gift cards or money to buy 2,000 toys, which would be split between both cities.