CHICAGO, November 17, 2022 – The WGN Morning News Drive-Thru Toy Drive celebrated its 20th year on Friday, December 9 from 5am – 10am. This year, the toy drive was LIVE and in-person. Viewers were invited to drive up and drop off a new, unwrapped toy at the WGN-TV Studios, located at 2501 W. Bradley Place in Chicago (near Addison & Western).
The toy drive featured Santa along with WGN Morning News’ Paul Konrad, Pat Tomasulo, Dean Richards, Ana Belaval, Morgan Kolkmeyer, and fun-filled holiday activities, including performances by the Selah St. Sabina Youth Choir of Chicago. Reporter Marcus Leshock was at the Jewel-Osco store at 2940 N. Ashland Avenue in Lakeview. Toy donations will be accepted December 8-11th at participating Jewel-Osco locations. This year’s toy drive will benefit Christmas in the Wards and Off the Street Club.
The first fifteen viewers to bring new and unwrapped toys to the WGN-TV Studios on December 9 during the 5am hours on a first come, first served basis, were eligible to win a pair of tickets to one of the following: Blue Man Group at the Briar Street Theater, the Harlem Globetrotters at the Wintrust Arena on December 27 and Allstate Arena on December 28 and The Immersive Nutcracker, a Winter Miracle, at Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago. Ticket distribution of choice of show to be decided by WGN-TV.
Monetary donations are also welcome! Via WGN-TV Family Charities, a McCormick Foundation Fund, all donations will be matched at 50 cents on the dollar. With WGN-TV and the Foundation paying all campaign and administrative expenses, 100% of all donations, plus the match, are granted to qualified nonprofit organizations. This year’s WGN Morning News Drive-Thru Toy Drive proceeds will be divided evenly between Off the Street Club and Christmas in the Wards as a grant. WGN-TV will accept financial donations through December 31, 2022.
TO MAKE A FINANCIAL DONATION – Viewers are encouraged to donate at:
- TOY to 97999 (message and data rates may apply)
JEWEL-OSCO STORE LOCATIONS TO DONATE A NEW, UNWRAPPED TOY FROM DECEMBER 8-11:
- 6509 W. Grand Ave. in Gurnee
- 345 S. Rand Rd. in Lake Zurich
- 2940 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago
- 333 E. Euclid Ave. in Mount Prospect
- 750 Army Trail Rd. in Carol Stream
- 1655 E. 95th St. in Chicago
- 17930 Wolf Rd. in Orland Park
- 4 E. Ogden Ave. in Westmont
- 1227 Naper Blvd. in Naperville
- 20 S. Weber Rd. in Romeoville
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WGN-TV Family Charities, a McCormick Foundation Fund, is focused on creating opportunities for children and families to help them fulfill their potential. The charity hopes to bring awareness to various organizations and to enlist community support to help make a difference in the lives of families throughout the Chicago area.
Since 1996, Christmas in the Wards has served Chicago’s underserved and hard-to-count communities, bringing the spirit of the season to hardworking families, deserving students and youth. Christmas in the Wards dedicates 100% of their resources for a sole purpose: to serve. Annually, this is accomplished by working with local aldermen and community leaders to select over 700 deserving families from the wards of Chicago and Chicagoland, who would otherwise go without essentials such as food and clothing, and special gifts from Santa. In addition, Christmas in the Wards supports education in marginalized communities through its laptop giveaways, providing over 200 laptops to middle school and high-school-aged students excelling in the classroom. This holiday season, Christmas in the Wards welcomes back Christmas Spectaculars, hosting over 40 wards and families from Chicago’s South, West, and North Side communities, along with 10 communities from Chicago Southland.
Off the Street Club is Chicago’s oldest boys and girls club, providing hope, play and ‘casual joy’ since 1900. The Club currently serves more than 3,000 kids in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country, West Garfield Park. Providing after-school activities, summer camps and events ‘where kids can be kids’, Off the Street Club’s motto is, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Every child seeking a safe place to go is welcome to join Off the Street Club for games, play and mentorship; it’s where ‘hope has a home.’
WGN-TV is Chicago’s Very Own source for news and entertainment and is owned and operated by Nexstar Media Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nexstar Media Group, Inc. WGN News programs more local news than any other Chicago TV station and can be seen on WGN-TV; the WGN9+ app on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV; online at WGNTV.com/Live and the WGN News mobile app. In-depth local weather coverage is available on all newscasts, WGNTV.com/Weather and the WGN Weather mobile app. WGN Films, part of WGN-TV, presents compelling and in-depth cinematic journalism that goes beyond the headlines to explore the stories and issues that affect Chicago area communities. WGN 9.2 is the Chicago affiliate for Nexstar Media Inc.’s 1950s – 1970s classic TV network Antenna TV, WGN 9.3 is the Chicago affiliate for Grit, WGN 9.4 is the Chicago affiliate for Nexstar Media Inc.’s 1980s – 2000s retro TV network Rewind TV, and WGN 9.5 is the Chicago affiliate for TBD. For more information on Chicago’s Very Own WGN-TV, go to WGNTV.com