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Metra to Host Coat and Toy Drives

Coat drive November 30 to December 2; Toy drive December 9

Larissa M. Tyler | 11/25/2015, 2:07 p.m.
The weather is changing and it’s getting cold and blustery here in Chicago. It’s time to pull out the heavy ...

The weather is changing and it’s getting cold and blustery here in Chicago. It’s time to pull out the heavy winter jackets. And of course the holidays are right upon us…staring us in the face. That means it’s time to shop for toys and gifts for the little ones.

But if by chance, while you’re searching for your warm coats, you find an old one in your closet that you hardly ever wear, consider donating it to the needy. And, while you’re shopping for that perfect toy for your favorite niece or nephew, buy one more for a needy child if you can. Then, you can take your donated items to a Metra station for distribution.

Metra is partnering with NBC 5 Chicago in its Making A Difference Coat Drive and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation to help families in need.

New and gently used coats can be donated Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at all downtown Chicago Metra stations and stations along the BNSF Line to Aurora. This is the third time Metra, NBC 5 and the Salvation Army have teamed up to collect warm clothing for families in need. Last year, 722 coats were donated by Metra customers. Other partners in this effort include Comcast and Telemundo.

For the fourth straight year, Metra is hoping to transform its trains into Santa’s sleds, delivering new, unwrapped toys as a message of hope to children in need. The Toys for Tots program relies on the generosity of the public to help bring the idea of Santa Claus to the homes of less fortunate children.

Last year, customers gave 3,000 toys and $2,700 in donations. Members of the U.S. Marine Corps will be on hand for collections during the morning rush from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and the evening rush from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at all downtown Chicago Metra stations. Other sponsors include: PODS, Toys"R"Us and IHOP.

“Metra riders are extremely generous and supportive of these efforts,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Donald Orseno. “These are two important ways we can reach out and help families have a brighter holiday season.”

For more information, go to www.metrarail.com.