The Crusader Newspaper Group

Illinois Lottery toy drive delivers holiday joy to thousands of children and families in need

 During a holiday season when families face hardship, any little bit helps to bring festive cheer to those who need it most.

This year’s second annual Illinois Lottery Holiday Toy Drive aimed to do just that, by collecting gifts from participants in Chicagoland and Springfield, who opened their hearts to share joy with others.

During the two day toy drive, December 8 and 10, the Illinois Lottery collected nearly 1,000 donated toys. The outpour of generosity from participants, along with the Illinois Lottery’s gifting match, means 2,000 new toys will now help bring holiday fun to children affiliated with the Boys & Girls Club Illinois Alliance, the beneficiary of this year’s efforts.

“We want to extend a big thank you to everyone who came out to support our holiday toy drive this year, helping us to collect and donate even more toys than last year to provide to families in need,” said Harold Mays, Illinois Lottery Director. “We hope our efforts will help spread the magic of the holiday season to children across Illinois.”

The annual toy drive is an extension of the Illinois Lottery’s continued partnership with the Boys and Girls Club’s afterschool program, Power Hour, where children receive homework help, tutoring and high yield learning activities.

“We are extremely thankful to the Illinois Lottery for organizing the holiday toy drive for a second year,” said Tiffany Mathis, CEO and Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Illinois. “Thanks to these efforts, we will be able to bring smiles to our young people during this season.”

To inspire the holiday giving spirit, adults who donated a new, unwrapped toy were gifted a holiday envelope with a $3 Holiday Instant Ticket and two $1 Fast Play Scan-N-Play tickets from the Illinois Lottery. All participants had the opportunity to receive a maximum of five festive holiday envelopes — one for each toy donated — for a total of $25 in Illinois Lottery tickets.

This year’s toy drive is another example of the Illinois Lottery’s commitment to education and communities throughout the State of Illinois. Since 1985, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $24 billion to the State of Illinois.

To download photos of the Illinois Lottery Holiday Toy Drive, click the following links for each event:

About the Illinois Lottery:

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $24 billion (since 1985) to the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund and to special causes. For more information, visit

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