CHICAGO (CBS) — Christmas shopping is rarely easy, but it’s even harder for low-income families surrounded by violence.
Morning Insider Marissa Parra got a behind-the-scenes look at one Englewood school that is stepping up to meet family needs.READ MORE: Chicago Has 'Formally Passed The Omicron Peak' As New COVID-19 Infections Decline, Hospitalizations Level Off, Top Doc Says
Andreanita Anderson is not shopping for herself, she’s stocking up for her children.
“My son, he’s tough on clothes, and he don’t have pajamas at the moment,” she said. “He’s gonna love this.”
She was referring to the Montessori School of Englewood’s pajama drive. A lot has changed since their first one last December
“It became more than just a pajama drive after a while, because there was a larger need for our students,” said the school’s family coordinator, Jonathan Howell.READ MORE: No Changes To Chicago Travel Advisory; Every State Remains On The List For 3rd Week In A Row
When students were food insecure during the pandemic, Howell rallied thousands of meals. Now, for families who may have trouble staying warm during winter break, he’s rallied up supplies, using donated money and gift cards.
He was able to buy up and give out hundreds of new gloves, coats, backpacks, scarves, and pajamas; just in time for Christmas.
“It gives you kind of like the holiday spirit, you know? It makes you know that there’s people that care out there,” said Erin Garcia.
As for their next big project, Howell said that depends on the needs.
“Englewood is going through tons of change; with COVID, with violence,” he said. “Our families need help. … If that’s meals, if that’s clothing, if that’s a hug, we’re here for that.”MORE NEWS: 15-Year-Old Killed, Five Other Juveniles Wounded In Trio Of Shootings In Chicago On Tuesday
To learn more about the Montessori school of Englewood, what they do, or how you can help, head to their website.