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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Local Frame Shop Organizing Coat, Boot And Toy Drive In Wicker Park-Bucktown

The owners of Helendora Samuels Picture Framing in Bucktown are collecting coats, boots and toys for children in Austin.

A pre-pandemic toy drive through Stepping Out In Faith / I AM Austin.
Tommy and Helendora Samuels / Provided
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BUCKTOWN — The owners of Helendora Samuels Picture Framing in Bucktown are collecting coats, boots and toys for children in Austin.

Lightly used winter coats and boots will be collected through Dec. 1. Toys will be collected through Dec. 23.

All drop-offs will be at Helendora Samuels Picture Framing, 1736 W. North Ave. at the Wicker Park-Bucktown border.

Co-owned by Pastor Tommy Samuels and Helendora Samuels, the framing shop opened six years ago and is one of the few Black-owned businesses in Wicker Park

After Block Club profiled the framers‘ struggles amid coronavirus, a reader created a GoFundMe fundraiser to support the business. 

RELATED: Helendora Samuels Picture Framing, One Of Few Black-Owned Shops In Wicker Park, Struggling During Pandemic

Helendora Samuels grew up in Austin. Her nonprofit, Stepping Out In Faith/I AM Austin, as well as Tommy Samuels’ church, The Righteous Way Of Living Ministries, sponsor the annual drives.

On Friday nights pre-pandemic, the couple invited children from the West Side and from Wicker Park to their framing shop for art lessons. This summer, the Samuelses organized a peace march through Wicker Park.

Helendora Samuels has said she hopes these efforts will create a “bridge” between Wicker Park and Austin. 

“I don’t believe in color,” she said in. July. “I just believe in love.”

To learn more about the Samuelses framing business or Helendora Samuels’ nonprofit work, email samuelsframegraphicsstudio@gmail.com or call 312-770-0713.

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