News Release

Church of Jesus Christ Provides 1,200 Chicago Residents with Warm Clothes

Local Latter-day Saints and the Humanitarian Center distribute 22,000 pounds of clothing, coats and blankets

As temperatures begin to plummet and Chicagoans brace themselves for another cold winter, some residents will be warmer thanks to a coat drive sponsored by the Illinois Chicago Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After learning of a Church-sponsored coat distribution event in Detroit, the local leaders launched a similar initiative in Chicago.

Over the past six years, the congregation has successfully hosted back-to-school carnivals, Easter egg hunts, Halloween haunted houses, exotic animal presentations and magic shows, among others. The events have garnered so much popularity that residents often ask missionaries if they are affiliated with the church that hosts events for families.

For this event, the Church’s Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City provided 22,000 pounds of clothing, coats, and blankets to be distributed at the Hyde Park and Pulaski meetinghouses.

Missionaries from the Illinois Chicago Mission dedicated their Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 23, 2023, to sorting and preparing the donations for distribution, which took place on the following day.

“I was amazed at the years of fellowship from the Chicago Stake that made this activity possible,” said Wilford Wagner with the Church’s communication department in Chicago. “The members of the community felt at home and were blessed by receiving clothing and blankets for the winter. Everyone’s life was blessed.”

Barbara Maloof, Chicago stake communications director, reached out to groups assisting refugees in the area. The refugee organizations attended and gathered 17 bundles of essential items for those they serve. They also sent volunteers, who worked with local members of the Church of Jesus Christ, missionaries and neighbors to facilitate the event.

“To be successful, our coat drive involved the work of a lot of committed people throughout the community,” Maloof said.

A missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints volunteers at the coat drive in Chicago, Illinois, on Friday, November 24, 2023.2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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About 600 community members came to each building, and most families left with several large bags of warm clothes to prepare for the winter.

“Helping at an event like this has great meaning to me,” said Jefferson Torres, a community volunteer. “I came here from another country, so I know there are many challenges.”

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