Over 1,000 toys distributed to children at Parkway Gardens


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Residents of Parkway Gardens marked the holidays with a Winter Wonderland experience and freebies for all residents 18 and under on Saturday, December 11. Related Midwest and Related Affordable have teamed up with Chi Gives Back to deliver toys to kids. More than 500 residents enjoyed individually wrapped cookies, games, holiday music and a photo op with Santa on Saturday in a heated tent at Parkway Gardens. Residents 18 and under received a toy or gift card. Guests were invited to enjoy a hot drink at the Future Ties Hot Chocolate Station and join Project HOOD to create a greeting card using their photo with Santa Claus.

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“Every family should feel the holiday spirit this time of year,” said Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest. “Being able to do something special for our residents is something the Related team looks forward to every year, especially after the events of 2020 have pulled us apart. We are so happy that we were able to create a winter wonderland for families and children at Parkway Gardens.

“We congratulate the Related Midwest and Related Affordable teams for their leadership on behalf of the families of Parkway Gardens,” said Kouri Marshall, Co-Founder of ChiGivesBack. “It was a joy to celebrate, to share the joy of Christmas and to see the enthusiasm of the children as they selected their gifts.”

Power 92’s HotRod played festive tunes throughout the event as attendees danced and participated in a 360-degree photo booth, limbo, and other games. Related volunteers and Chi Gives Back helped the children choose their gifts and gave out treats. Residents were encouraged to bring home a photo with Santa Claus to remember the day as well as a holiday cookie or cake pop. Kids received face paint and decorated greeting cards, and guests enjoyed the food at Harold’s Chicken Shack. The outdoor setting and additional protective measures provided space for residents to safely attend during the pandemic.

Future Ties, which offers mentoring programs, summer camps and after-school activities onsite at Parkway Gardens, handed out free hats, gloves and scarves during the event so residents can stay warm this winter.

“This season we are proud to bring warmth, light and fun to Parkway Gardens,” said Jennifer Maddox, Executive Director of Future Ties. “More than ever, it is time to think about how we can give back to our neighbors and especially to our children.

Rainbow PUSH participated in the event by offering free turkeys to residents. The Related Midwest continues to make permanent improvements to the Parkway Gardens capital and host events for residents. Winter Wonderland follows a series of resident events hosted by Related, including a summer ice cream, a back-to-school event with free school supplies and groceries, and the unveiling of a series of murals created by teenagers from Parkway Gardens in partnership with After School Matters and artist Erick “Roho” Garcia. The Related Affordable Foundation continues to seek scholarship applications for residents of Parkway Gardens attending high school, including colleges and trade schools.

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