CHICAGO (CBS) — A toy drive is under way for children whose mothers are locked up.

Holly Krig, director of organizing for Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration, said the group regularly organizes trips for the kids to see their moms, and this is the second year they’re collecting toys.

Last year, they received more than 1,500 toys from their online wish list and in-person drop-offs.

Krig said this year they have the same goal to collect at least 1,500 toys.

“We’re about halfway through our goal, but we still have hundreds to raise,” she said.

The items will be sent to the moms ahead of their kids’ visits, and when then when the kids show up their mothers will be able to hand them a gift.

Krig said it’s an important way to keep the bond between mothers and their children. She noted children of incarcerated mothers don’t often get to see them.

“The average distance between a mother and her child during incarceration is about 150 miles,” she said.

Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration has arranged for a holiday party next month, and anyone can attend or drop off donations to the toy drive.

“There will be some moms who are attending who are able to leave during the day from transitional facilities from which they’re finishing their sentences, and so they will actually be there with their children,” she said.