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.
The recipients will be:
An organization for homeless families in Chicago
Nicholson Technology Academy A pre-school thru 8th grade academy in Chicago's impoverished Englewood neighborhood.
Here are the general guidelines for stuffed animals, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION AND DONATE ONLY ITEMS THAT FIT THE BILL. THIS ISN'T A GARAGE SALE. NOTE: We are ONLY accepting stuffed animals and gently used or new children's books. No toys, games, clothing or other items. Gotta stay focused...
a) New or very gently used and in excellent, unsoiled, condition;
b) Must be soft and cuddly, not stiff;
c) Not smaller than 6'' or bigger than 18'' tall (they can be a little
taller if they are squishy-soft and can pack down;
d) No Beanie Babies;
e) Not animated or talking (battery operated);
f) No TV cartoon characters (i.e.: Sponge Bob, Sesame Street characters, Action Characters, etc.) Exceptions: soft classic Disney characters like Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore; Snoopy, etc.;
g) No sea animals, bugs, or reptiles;
h) Holiday-styled animals with seasonal trimmings removed are OK (snip off Santa hats, Valentine hearts, etc.).
You can drop off at Bloodshot Records, 3039 W Irving Park Road [Map] -- our office hours are M-F, 10a-6P---a lot of the time we are here later, so call to check (773-604-5300) We'll take care of collecting and send to the appropriate organization. In exchange, we'll give you a little goodie in the form of a Bloodshot sampler or t shirt.
We'd like to have the donations in our mitts by Friday, December 10 so they can be distributed in a timely mann
Thanks for helping out,