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MLK Day Celebrations in the Chicago Area – NBC Chicago

Several Martin Luther King Jr. Day events are being held Monday in the Chicago area as many honor the holiday with acts of service.

Here’s a look at what’s planned around Chicago:

Cradle to crayons

Cradles to Crayons raises funds for new to refurbished children’s clothing including coats, boots, hats, gloves, scarves, pyjamas, winter wear and more. There will be 34 contactless drop-off points, which will be open on Mondays from 10am to 1pm.

The event is set to be the organization’s largest volunteer day during the coronavirus pandemic. Drop off points include:

• Acorn Library – 15624 Central Ave, Oak Forest, IL 60452
• Alcott Center – 530 Bernard Dr., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
• Alternatives, Inc. – 4730 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640
• Aw Yeah Comics – 7925 Lincoln Ave, Skokie, IL 60077
• Bank of America – 1301 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville, IL 60563
• Bank of America – 1300 North Arlington Heights Rd., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
• Buffalo Grove Park Community Arts Center – 225 McHenry Rd, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
• North Center Chicago Children’s Lighthouse – 2600 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60618
• Cloud and Rabbit – 1600W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
• Creative Scholars Preschool – 1735 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
• East Bank Storage – 429 W Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60654
• Edgewater Playhouse – 1048 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Chicago, IL 60660
• Flying High Sports & Rec Center – 5400 East Ave, Countryside, IL 60525
• Fry Family YMCA – 2120W, 2120 95th St, Naperville, IL 60564
• Highwood Public Library – 102 Highwood Ave., Highwood, IL 60040
• Indian Boundary YMCA – 711 59th St, Downers Grove, IL 60516
• Jewett Park Community Center – 836 Jewett Park Drive, Deerfield, IL 60015
• Lake View YMCA – 3333 N Marshfield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
• Little Beans Cafe – 430 Asbury Ave, Evanston, IL 60202
• Ravenswood Math School – 1754 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
• McGuane Park – 2901 S Poplar Ave, Chicago, IL 60608
• Moonwalker Cafe – 4101 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60641
• Quilter’s Trunk – 10352 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60643
• Reebie Storage and Moving Co – 2325 N Clark St #300, Chicago, IL 60614
• Soul 2 Sole Dance Inc. – 799 Central Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035
• South Side YMCA – 6330 S. Stony Island Ave., Chicago, IL 60637
• StudioUs – 4806 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
• The Giving Factory – 4141 W. George St. Chicago, IL 60641
• Timeless Toys – 4749 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
• Tiny Tots Incorporated – 2603-2611 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
• Ultimate Ninjas Chicago – 2915 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
• Universal Wellness Source – 1902 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
• West Cook YMCA – 255 S Marion St, Oak Park, IL 60302
• Windy City Fieldhouse – 2367 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647
• Kangaroo Kids – 4161 N Ladies Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

For more information, see: https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/chicago/mlk2022/

Cook County Forest Reserves

The President of the Forest Preserves of Cook County is in honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. hold an MLK Day of Service: Give Back to the Land.

Volunteers clear trash and begin ecological restoration activities at several forest sanctuaries across the region. Activities also include things like removing invasive species.

“The lessons that Dr. King on the need for justice and the power of community are a tremendous gift for every American. Every day we can choose to make a difference,” Cook County Chief Executive Toni Preckwinkle said in a statement.

The Forest Preserves provide bags and gloves for volunteers at the following locations:

Sand Ridge Nature Center
15891 Paxton Ave
South Holland, IL 60473 (see Sand Ridge Nature Center web map)
January 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Includes ecological restoration and invasive species removal, plus a self-guided poetry trail walk.

Crabtree Nature Center
3 Stover Rd
Barrington Hills, IL 60010 (see Crabtree Nature Center web map)
January 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
9800 Willow Springs Street
Willow Springs, IL 60480 (see Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center web map)
January 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m

River Trail Nature Center
3120 Milwaukee Ave
Northbrook, IL 60062 (see River Trail Nature Center web map)
January 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center
12545 West 111th St
Lemont, IL 60439 (see Sagawau Environmental Learning Center web map)
January 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m

Trailside Museum of Natural History
738 Thatcher Avenue
River Forest, IL 60305 (see Trailside Museum of Natural History web map)
January 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m

Dan Ryan Woods Visitor Center
S Western Ave & W 87th St
Chicago, IL 60620 (see Dan Ryan Woods Visitor Center web map)
17 January, 12pm – 3pm. Meet at the Dan Ryan Woods Pavilion. Includes a self-guided storybook trail, tree walk, and activity bags for at-home learning.

Caldwell Forest
W Devon Ave & N Nagle Ave
Chicago, IL 60646 (view Caldwell Woods web map)
Jan 5, 1pm – 3pm

Miller Wiese-South
1st Ave, south of Roosevelt Rd
Cook County, IL 60130 (View Miller Meadow-South web map)
(near the forest park)
January 17, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Meet at Grove #6.

Sauk Trail Woods-North
W 26th St, west of Euclid Ave
South Chicago Heights, IL 60411 (view Sauk Trail Woods-North web map)
January 17, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m

City Year Chicago

City Year Chicago teams up to beautify a school.

This year, AmeriCorps members and a small number of volunteers will attend the Kellman Corporate Community School in North Lawndale.

“For 28 years we have come together to honor the legacy of Dr. King, and in these turbulent times it is more important than ever to serve a cause and mission larger than oneself,” City Year Chicago senior vice president and executive director Myetie Hamilton said in a statement .


A Chicago coalition of suffrage and civil rights groups is holding a rally, followed by a car caravan, to pressure lawmakers to honor King’s legacy by passing a voting rights bill immediately.

Groups attending the rally and caravan include: Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Black Lives Matter – Chicago, SEIU Healthcare IL IN, Southsiders Organizing for Unity and Liberation (SOUL), NAACP, Indivisible Chicago, Indivisible Chicago South Side, Rainbow Push Coalition, Justice for Nick, Make Noize for Change, Arab American Action Network, US Palestinian Community Network, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns.


ChiGivesBack will host an MLK Jr. Day of Service supporting a local Chicago public school. As volunteers, we will organize rooms, repaint walls, and paint murals throughout Tanner Elementary School on Chicago’s South Side.

“This program was launched in 2019 as part of our #Teach2Give initiative to support CPS teachers, faculty and students,” the group said.

Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Museum is celebrating MLK Day with a free family-friendly event.

The event will focus on the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr., particularly in Chicago, including the Chicago Freedom Movement. It will feature special family-friendly activities and performances, including youth poetry workshops, musical performances and more.

“We strive to extend the achievements of Dr. King to all parishioners in Chicago and the surrounding area,” the museum said in a press release.

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