News Release - January 26, 2004 


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Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe Campaign a Success
Governor’s campaign nets more than 650 winter clothing items

SPRINGFIELD – Just in time for the latest blast of winter weather, Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today his “Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe” campaign was a success. The holiday drive netted more than 650 children’s mittens, gloves, hats and scarves.

The Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe items were distributed to homeless shelters throughout Illinois during the month of January. Also, the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) winter clothing drive collected an additional 700 coats, jackets, gloves, scarves, hats and snow boots. CMS began distributing the items today.

“I am so proud of the citizens of Illinois for helping those less fortunate during the holiday season,” Governor Blagojevich said. “Your donations mean more to us and to the families you’re helping, than you’ll probably ever know.”

Governor Blagojevich kicked off Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe during Christmas tree lighting ceremonies in Chicago and Springfield. At the onset of the holiday season, he urged Illinoisans to share the holiday spirit by contributing winter clothing items to needy families. Through January 2, the public dropped off items at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago, the Governor’s Office at the State Capitol in Springfield and local Illinois Department of Human Service offices throughout the state. Americorps volunteers worked with the Department of Human Services (DHS) to sort and distribute more than 50 boxes of new and laundered pre-owned clothing items to homeless shelters around the state.

Some Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe collaborators include McDonough and Richland counties.

The Macomb DHS office, with support from local schools and realtors, collected eight boxes of more than 300 winter items. And, Richland County’s DHS office worked with Wal-Mart and Rural King, to collect more than $250 worth of hats, scarves, gloves and mittens. Those donations went to Stopping Women Abuse Now (SWAN) in Olney.

The Illinois Department of Central Management also donated today the results of its winter clothing drive. During the month long campaign, CMS employees in Springfield collected almost 700 winter coats, jackets, scarves and hats. The drive began in November with a one hundred-item jump-start from the Surplus Property Division of CMS in Springfield and from Lost and Found collections at airports and public buildings around the state.

“We are grateful our employees cared enough to make these donations,” said CMS Director Michael Rumman. “We hope these items provide comfort to area residents during the harsh winter months.”

CMS donated the items to Contact Ministries in Springfield. Contact Ministries was founded in 1978 and serves the people of Springfield and Sangamon County. Local churches, synagogues and human service agencies in the greater Springfield area generate the support necessary to drive Contact Ministries’ programs. Those programs include on site homeless shelter for emergencies, temporary housing needs of women and children, food through an onsite pantry, fans in the summer and blankets and coats in the winter and holiday assistance.

“Illinoisans from north to south stepped up this season,” said Governor Blagojevich. “And, the warmth of these collaborative, charitable efforts will be felt by those less fortunate all winter long.”

The following homeless shelters received items from the Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe campaign: Home Sweet Home Mission in Bloomington, Good Samaritan Ministries in Carbondale, Salvation Army in Champaign, YWCA of Danville, Decatur Macon County Opportunities Corp., Catholic Urban Programs in East St. Louis, Good Samaritan in Edwardsville, Community Crisis Center in Elgin, Salvation Army in Freeport, Samaritan Well, Inc. in Macomb, Stopping Woman Abuse Now, Inc. in Olney, YWCA of Quincy, Shelter Care Ministries in Rockford, Christian Family Care Center in Rock Island, Contact Ministries in Springfield, Catholic Charities, Lake County in Waukegan, DuPage PADS, Inc. in Wheaton and Southwest Chicago Public Action to Deliver Shelter in Chicago.

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