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Breakthrough Collects 5,000 Gifts for 500 West Side Families

The Annual Christmas Store Provides Dignifying Holiday Shopping Experience for Residents of the East Garfield Park Community

Breakthrough is collecting 5,000 gifts to help over 500 East Garfield Park families put presents under their Christmas trees this year.

Breakthrough’s annual Christmas Store, scheduled for December 14, provides families in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood, as well as participants in Breakthrough’s programs, a dignified way to purchase gifts for their loved ones. Because of generous donations, parents, grandparents, and caregivers are able to purchase gifts at deeply discounted rates or with Breakthrough Bucks.

“We don’t want to replace the role of the parent or the provider in the home,” said Wilonda Cannon, Breakthrough’s Senior Director of Development. “We’re just there to lift the burden that many families experience during the holiday season.”

The Christmas Store will be stocked with over gifts for all ages, including toys, clothes, and electronics. An item that might normally sell for $10 in a store will cost $1, while an item that retails for $50 to $100 might cost $5. No item will cost over $10.

At this festive, all-day event, shoppers can also enjoy music, activities for kids, and the company of their neighbors.

Those interested in supporting the store can shop the wish list at or drop off gifts at the Breakthrough FamilyPlex, 3219 W Carroll Ave. If an office or church is interested in hosting a gift drive, contact [email protected] for more information. The deadline for donations is December 12.

To learn more about the Christmas Store and how to get involved, visit

Breakthrough partners with those affected by poverty on Chicago’s West Side to build connections, develop skills, and open doors of opportunity. With a hyper-local, 40-block focus in East Garfield Park, Breakthrough offers several services and programs for homeless intervention, youth development, and neighborhood transformation. Learn more at

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