Donated winter coats at the Irving Park Food Pantry, 4256 N. Ridgeway Ave., hang by size, waiting to find a new home. Credit: Ariel Parrella-Aureli/Block Club Chicago

IRVING PARK — North Side community groups are ramping up their collection of winter coats for newly arrived migrants and other Chicagoans who might not have access to warm clothing. 

More than 18,600 migrants have arrived in Chicago since August 2022, city data shows. More than 11,300 are being housed in temporary city-run shelters, while about 3,800 are sleeping in police stations and city airports.

The city also has a population of about 68,000 unhoused Chicagoans, according to the Bring Chicago Home campaign

Here are groups accepting winter clothing donations.

Irving Park Community Food Pantry

The Irving Park Food Pantry’s annual coat drive is underway and will run through November. The group is in need of new or gently used winter coats to help families in the 60641 and 60618 ZIP codes prepare for winter.

The pantry is also accepting cold-weather gear such as hats, scarves and mittens, but it is asking people to refrain from dropping off sweaters, sweatshirts, other clothing and boots.

Donations for the Irving Park Food Pantry can be taken to these locations:

  • Big Helpers: 4184 N. Elston Ave., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday  
  • Compass Real Estate offices: 2044 W. Roscoe St., 1653 N. Milwaukee Ave. and 2350 N. Lincoln Ave., third floor.
  • Disney II Magnet School: inside the main entrance at 3815 N. Kedvale Ave., 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • Disney II Magnet High School: inside the main entrance at 3900 N. Lawndale Ave., 8:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • Distinct Bath & Body: 4046 N. Milwaukee Ave.
  • Irish American Heritage Center: 4626 N. Knox Ave.
  • Irving Park YMCA: dropbox in the lobby at 4251 W. Irving Park Road.
  • Jet’s Pizza: dropbox in the waiting area at 3951 N. Kimball Ave.
  • J.T.’s Genuine Sandwich Shop: 3970 N. Elston Ave. (closed Mondays).
  • Old Irving Brewing Company: 4419 W. Montrose Ave., noon-10 p.m. daily.
  • Perkolator: 6032 W. Irving Park Road.
  • The front porch at 4731 Kiona Ave. (anytime).

Anyone with large donations who needs a delivery arranged or anyone interested in running a coat drive in partnership with the pantry should email

Collected coats and other clothing will be given out 9 a.m.-noon every Wednesday at the pantry, 4256 N. Ridgeway Ave., through Nov. 8.

For more information, visit the pantry’s website

Migrants outside the 12th District Police Station on Sept, 8 2023. Credit: Alex Hernandez, Block Club Chicago

North River Commission

The North River Commission in Albany Park is accepting donations for migrants in Chicago. 

The commission is asking for new or freshly washed blankets and pillows; winter clothing for adults and children, including snow boots, hats, gloves and scarves; athleisure wear and other comfortable clothes; new underwear and socks for adults and kids; lightly worn shoes; and new hygiene products. 

Items can be dropped off 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at the North River Commission Office, 3403 W. Lawrence Ave., Suite 201. Call or text Erika from the commission at 872-257-8773 to let her know you are dropping items off.

For more information, visit the commission’s website.

33rd Ward Community Care Collective

The 33rd Ward’s Community Care Collective is working with the North River Commission to collect donations of warm clothing for layering; winter jackets, hats and gloves; and warm blankets, quilts or sleeping bags. The collective also has an Amazon wish list.

Donations can be dropped off noon-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at The Scent Queens Candle Company, 3728 W. Montrose Ave.

Donations can also be dropped off at the North River Commission’s office, 3403 W. Lawrence Ave., Suite 201.

For more information, visit the collective’s website.


In addition to these organizations’ donation drives, the city has partnered with Instituto del Progreso Latino on an Amazon wish list of supplies for newly arrived asylum seekers. The list includes pants, shoes, shirts, hoodies, backpacks, razor blades, shower shoes and laundry bags. When buying from the wish list, people should choose the Immigrant Rapid Response Gift Registry shipping address at checkout.

People can also drop off new donations at New Life Centers, 4401 W. Ogden Ave.

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