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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Pilsen Resident Wants To Give 200 Holiday Gift Bags To Seniors. Here’s How You Can Help

People can donate tea, candies, puzzles and more for the gift bags, which organizers will give to residents at low-income senior housing facilities and a senior center.

Cristina Puzio and volunteers giving gift bags and spending time with folks at a Pilsen senior home.
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PILSEN — A Pilsen resident is continuing a tradition of making gift bags for older people in the neighborhood, bringing back the effort for a third consecutive year.

Cristina Puzio and volunteers will give away bags of goodies to two low-income senior housing facilities in Pilsen and a senior center that work with people across the Southwest Side. They’re asking for gifts such as chocolates, tea, socks, puzzles, card games and more.

A full list of donation ideas is here.

People can drop off donations 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1-4:30 p.m. daily at the Pilsen Satellite Senior Center, 2021 S. Morgan St., or 2-5 p.m. at the Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy, 2520 S. Western Ave. You can donate until Dec. 13.

Puzio first organized the drive in 2020. She said she was inspired to dedicate a gift drive to older people since they were being hit particularly hard by the pandemic and the isolation of quarantine. 

“They’re getting ignored, and they can’t even get out of their house,” Puzio previously said.

Last year, organizers put together 150 bags. The goal this year is 200, Puzio said.

Anyone with questions about donating can contact Cristina Puzio at

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