Dulce Maria of S.H.E. Gallery and Harrison Jones of Marz Community Brewing Co. welcome donation drop-offs at the tap room entrance through the ThanxMingling event on Saturday, December 7.

Winter Clothing, Toy Drives Seek Community Help to Deliver Neighborhood Cheer

Published November 29, 2019

Residents of McKinley Park and nearby neighborhoods can contribute to local families in need this holiday season by bringing toys and winter clothing to local donation drives. The Thanx 4 Giving project brings together Sharing His Energy (S.H.E.) Gallery and the McKinley Park neighborhood's Marz Community Brewing Co. to collect food, toys and winter gear, culminating in the ThanxMingling fund-raiser on Saturday, December 7.

Now is the time to donate, said Dulce Maria, founder and proprietor of S.H.E. Gallery. "It's apparent that homelessness is a serious problem in the city. Helping to provide warm clothes, food and toys for those in need is what a community should do," she said.

Illinois 2nd District State Rep Theresa Mah Winter Coat Drive poster 201911Illinois 2nd District State Rep Theresa Mah hosts a Winter Coat Drive from the 2nd District office at 2108 W. 35th St.The drop-off point is just inside the entrance to the Marz Brewing tap room, which is open noon to 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, noon to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 10 p.m. on Sundays.  All of the donations are locally directed through area charities, Maria said, including to God's Closet at First Lutheran Church in the Bridgeport neighborhood, the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Toys for Tots.

The drive seeks non-perishable food, new, unwrapped toys, and warm winter clothes: new or very lightly used. Especially needed are new men's underwear and underclothes in general, and warm clothing for all ages, Maria said.

The Thanx 4 Giving drive culminates in the ThanxMingling event from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 7, at Marz Brewing. Artists from S.H.E. Gallery will offer original artwork for sale, and performer DJ Phunk will have vinyl on offer.

"We primarily work with graffiti-innovating artists who paved the way for the street art movement," Maria said. "Our artists are not very mainstream, although the work is very authentic." All proceeds will go to support the Thanx 4 Giving drive, she said.

Also in the McKinley Park neighborhood, Illinois 2nd District State Representative Theresa Mah is presenting a winter coat drive from her district office at 2108 W. 35th St., Chicago. Neighbors can bring in and drop off new and gently used winter coats and winter accessories for all ages, which will be given to local families in need.

Maria said she was inspired to conduct the Thanx 4 Giving drive since she and her family benefited from a holiday-changing donation when she was a child in Chicago. She hopes Thanx 4 Giving becomes an annual effort, she said. "Perhaps we also can use this as opportunity to touch on the deeper-rooted problems of mental health and lack of resources that our city faces," she said.


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