Governor applauds successful 'Keep Our Kids
Warm and Safe' holiday campaign
Over 47,000 items donated to 117 charities
across the state
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[JAN. 27, 2005]
CHICAGO -- Today Gov.
Blagojevich applauded the impressive number of donations to this
year's "Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe" holiday campaign. State
employees, private citizens and corporate sponsors gave 47,676 items
to the campaign. This year also marked the first time state agencies
competed to see who could generate the most donations. The Illinois
Department of Employment Security was this year's winner, donating
2.4 gifts per person. The governor launched this winter's Keep Our
Kids Warm and Safe campaign at the Dec. 1 holiday tree lighting in
the Thompson Center.
"I am very proud of our state
employees, many of whom gave generously to this year's campaign,"
Gov. Blagojevich said. "This month's cold weather reminds us how
critical it is for all children to have warm winter clothing. Even
the smallest donations made a significant difference this winter
Corporate sponsors also made
generous donations to this year's effort. Kohl's department store
provided 2,500 hats and gloves, 21st Century Insurance donated 500
car seats and will conduct free safety inspections, and U.S. Bank
pledged $12,000 toward the purchase of winter clothing. U.S. Bank
also placed collection boxes at all 113 Illinois branch locations.
Winter clothing donations from this
year's holiday campaign were distributed to 117 local charities
across the state, from the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in Chicago
to the Galesburg Rescue Mission to the Women's Shelter in Cairo. Car
seat donations will be distributed throughout the year to needy
families with parents moving from welfare to work.
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"We at IDES are delighted that our
donations of 4,291 hats, scarves and other cold weather items are
keeping so many children warm during this wet and cold winter," said
Brenda A. Russell, director of this year's winning agency. "Together
we say thank you, governor, for the recognition, because we give
from the heart."
Illinois Department of Employment
Security personnel shared their gifts with the Heartland Alliance in
Chicago and with Catholic Charities and St. Vincent de Paul
throughout the state. The governor will present a plaque to the
department to recognize the efforts of the staff members.
The ongoing Keep Our Kids Warm and
Safe campaign focuses on making child safety seats available to
families who cannot afford them and providing new or gently used
coats, mittens, gloves, hats and scarves to needy Illinois children.
The governor announced the start of the campaign in December 2003.
[News release from the