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Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

Garfield Park Group Collecting 5,000 Gifts To Help West Side Families During Christmas

Breakthrough hopes to collect 5,000 donated gifts that can help Garfield Park families provide for their loved ones on Christmas.

Kids decorate a small tree during Breakthrough's Christmas Store event in 2017.
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CHICAGO — A non-profit is collecting gifts to help Garfield Park families put presents under their Christmas trees this year.

The non-profit, Breakthrough, hopes to collect 5,000 gifts that it will then sell for a deep discount at its annual Christmas Store event on Dec. 15. Selling the items at a discount provides East Garfield Park families with “a dignified way to purchase gifts for their loved ones,” according to the group’s website.

The Christmas Store will be stocked with donated toys and books for kids of all ages as well as clothes, electronics, home goods and personal care supplies. An estimated 500 shoppers will be able to explore the store during the event and grab items they need or want.

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The store’s items will sell for a fraction of their cost: A donated item that might normally sell for $10 will cost $1 for families at the Christmas Store event, while items that cost $50-$100 in stores will sell for about $5 at the event. No item will cost more than $10.

Some families will also be able to buy items with “Breakthrough Bucks” to ensure they “remain part of the gift-buying and -giving process,” according to Breakthrough.

The event will also feature activities for kids. A video from the 2017 Christmas Store shows children decorating Christmas cookies and hanging homemade ornaments on small trees.

Gift donations can be made by buying from the organization’s Amazon wishlist. Gifts can also be donated in person: Dropoff is open 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Breakthrough, 3219 W. Carroll Ave.

The deadline to donate gifts is Dec. 13. The Christmas Store event is Dec. 15.

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