CHICAGO — Fearing that some of the area's neediest children could go without presents this Christmas, Catholic Charities is asking the public to help donate 5,000 gifts by Wednesday.
The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago's 69th annual toy drive is looking this year to give 25,000 kids a gift or two to open this Christmas.
As it stands, the charity is about 5,000 presents short with not much time to go, spokeswoman Kristine Kappel said. It could be the first year that the charity does not reach its goal, she said.
"A few pretty big corporate sponsors weren't able to participate this year," Kappel said. "We thought we could make it up with the public and are coming up short."
The kids who receive the presents are all clients of Catholic Charities endeavors, including some who live in church-run shelters and use other social service programs— and they say the situation is "desperate."
"All of them would not have something else to open this Christmas," Kappel said.
To help in the effort, gifts can be dropped off at Catholic Charities headquarters at 721 N. LaSalle St. or at St. Casimir, 2601 W. Marquette Road. Suburban drop off locations can be found here.
Catholic Charities has also teamed with Toys R Us so gifts can be bought online and shipped to charity headquarters. Visit Catholic Charities website here to learn how to donate via Toys R Us's website.
Gifts must be donated by Wednesday so they can be sorted and sent to locations throughout Cook and Lake counties.
"We are blessed to have volunteers and donors who return to us year after year to provide children and families with gifts and necessities during Christmas," Maria Jochum, director of volunteer relations for the charity, said in a statement. "However, this year we are noticing fewer donations coming in from the public and we still need 5,000 more toys in order to make every child's Christmas wish come true."
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