Ways to Give Back for the Holidays

Patch has compiled a short list of different charitable efforts around Orland Park, Tinley Park and Oak Forest.

As the holiday spirit settles over the Southland, several annual food, toy and monetary charitable efforts are kicking into high gear to help the less fortunate this holiday season.

We've rounded up several holiday drives in Oak Forest, Orland Park and Tinley Park that could use your help this season. 

Oak Forest

The Marley Project

The Marley Project, an Illinois nonprofit effort headed by Oak Forest High School freshman Marley Majetic, is holding its annual holiday food drive from now though Dec. 15. The Marley Project accepts non-perishable food items at various locations around the Oak Forest community. Every item collected will be donated directly to local food pantries.

Drop boxes are located at:

  • Oak Forest City Hall
  • Oak Forest Park District Central Park Building
  • Oak Forest Park District Don Gorman Fieldhouse
  • A.J. Smith Federal Savings Bank (14757 S. Cicero Ave., in Midlothian)
  • Tinley Park Community Church

Monetary donations may also be sent directly to The Marley Project at: 5919 Condado Drive, Oak Forest, IL 60452 OR c/o Tinley Park Community Church 7939 167th St, Tinley Park, IL 60477. For more information, contact The Marley Project via its Facebook page.

Toys For Tots

Through December 15, the Oak Forest Police Department will hold its annual Toys for Tots program. A toy collection bin is set up at the Oak Forest City Hall, 15440 S. Central Ave., where unwrapped toys can be placed for distribution. The program will not distribute toys that resemble weapons and food items.

For more information about the program, contact Sgt. Scott Durano at the Oak Forest Police Department, 708-687-4050, x1239.

Orland Park

Orland Township Adopt-a-Family

The “Adopt-a-Family” program is designed to enhance the holiday season for the less fortunate families in Orland Township by providing food, new toys and clothing. Whether a sponsor selects a small or a large family, it's certain they'll brighten someone's holiday season. The program is a popular idea among businesses, churches and school and social groups. If you're interested in adopting a family or for additional information on the “Adopt-a-family” program, contact Linda Bienias at 708-403-4222.

Adopt a Soldier's Family

The Orland Park Chamber of Commerce will offer an opportunity to Adopt a Soldier's Family this holiday season. Anyone wishing to participate will be given the first names, ages and needs of a soldier's family, along with the first name of the soldier's spouse, with three of their wishes and needs. Donors will also be given the soldier's service number and three of their wishes and needs as well.

All gifts must be ready for pick up by Dec. 10, or can be dropped off at the Crestwood Armory, 13838 S. Springfield Avenue, Robbins. For more information, contact Janice at 708-842-6353.

Jewel-Osco, Together We Cope Pair Up for Turkey Dinner Program

Your local Jewel-Osco store is accepting monetary donations from its customers through Nov. 20 to support Together We Cope’s Thanksgiving dinner program. Jewel-Osco will prepare full turkey dinners, ready to heat and serve, for distribution to TWC’s client families on Thanksgiving. Donations can be made at the door or the register.

For more information about this program, visit Together We Cope's website.

Tinley Park

Holiday Gift Drive for Women and Children at the Crisis Center for South Suburbia

For women and children who are escaping abuse, the holiday season can be filled with homelessness, joblessness, loneliness and fear. The Crisis Center for South Suburbia works to inspire hope and comfort among the families they serve by surrounding them with support and affording them the joy of being able to share gifts with one another in the spirit of the season.

For those who would like to donate, a holiday wish list is available on the Crisis Center’s website, or can be obtained by contacting Kerri at 708-429-7255, ext. 126, or at kerrit@crisisctr.org.

Donations can be made at the Tinley Park Public Library during normal business hours from Nov. 26 through Dec. 14.

Together We Cope Secret Santa Program

Together We Cope has 1,700 children lined up for the agency’s annual Adopt a Child program, in which area youngsters in need are “adopted” by generous people who provide holiday gifts for them. TWC seeks several hundred more such Secret Santas to complete this year’s effort. Sponsors are asked to provide two $15 gifts and a pair of pajamas for each child they adopt, or to provide gift cards that can be given to the children. For more information, reach out to Tina Kessens at 708-633-5040 or tkessens@togetherwecope.org.

Texas Roadhouse, Walt's Food and Together We Cope Holiday Turkey Drive

For each $50 gift certificate purchased at Texas Roadhouse through November, the restaurant will give TWC a coupon for a 10- to 12-pound turkey from Walt’s, which is providing the turkeys below cost. TWC will distribute the coupons to client families during November for their holiday meals.

Central Collision Center Thanksgiving Food Drive

Central Collision Center, 18040 S. Oak Park Ave., will collect non-perishable food items to donate to the Alicia's House Food Pantry. Suggested donations include: canned soup, canned vegetables, canned fruit and traditional holiday food. Central Collision Center will match all donations made by donors. Donations will be accepted through Tuesday, Nov. 20.


Know of other holiday charity drives? List them in the comments!

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Mary Yuktonis November 16, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Sears Hardware and Appliances (7010 West 159th Street Orland Park) is doing a food drive from now through the end of December. All the donations will go to the Tinley Park Food Pantry. Stop by my store!
Lauren Traut November 16, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Great! Thanks for sharing, Mary!
Deb Melchert November 17, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Every penny from sales at the Village Booth at the Holiday Market goes directly for care packages for our troops (http://www.tinleypark.org/index.aspx?NID=570) and American Legion Post 615 will be hosting 40 + Seaman Recruits from Naval Station Great Lakes on Christmas Day. We'll provide a comfortable setting with TV's, video games, cellphones and computers for the recruits to use to contact friends and family. They'll be there all day and served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stop in and say hello to some men and women, many of whom are away from home for the first time.
Landmark Flooring November 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM
If anyone knows of local fundraisers in out area Landmark Flooring provides $250.00 and $500.00 gift certificates to these tyoe of events. Please contacgt the store at 708-349-0011
Deb Melchert November 27, 2012 at 07:55 PM
We just got confirmation that will have active duty members from the Army, Navy and Marine Corps helping out at the village booth during the 3 day Holiday Market. Come on by and say hello to them.


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