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Clean out yer closets AND do a good deed: A Bloodshot Stuffed Animal and Book Drive

From the desk of Il Capo:

Pardon the potentially mawkish tone of this.

So, every year I do the Letters to Santa charity thru the Sun-Times. I get a few letters from kids asking for Bratz dolls, barbies, trucks, cars, Hot Wheels and the like. I make a harrowing run to Toys R Us or wherever, wrap them up, and send them away.

Two years ago I got a letter from a girl who asked for a warm hat. She was SIX and was asking for A HAT. A toy or a stuffed animal didn't even make her radar. Since then the few letters I do hasn't seemed like enough.  Even in these tough times, most of us are doing pretty ok comparatively. I find it unconscionable that any kid in this country, a country of so much, should be wanting for something so basic as a stuffed animal at this time of year (or any time, really).

Thus, I'm reaching out to you all, our friends and fans in Chicago, to perhaps spend this weekend going thru back closets, or overloaded toy boxes and shelves for gently used stuffed animals or books. Hell, even I have a few too many toys and stuffed animals.

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