CHICAGO – In an effort to help children this holiday season, Governor Rod R. and First Lady Patricia Blagojevich today launched the annual Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe giving campaign with the lighting of the Christmas tree at the James R. Thompson Center. The Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe drive is an effort to collect winter clothing, car seats and food for children in need. Governor Blagojevich and the First Lady were joined by Illinois Department of Health and Family Services Director Barry Maram, Illinois Department of Central Management Services Director James P. Sledge, and Greater Chicago Food Depository Agency Programs and Services Director Angel Laluz.
“Families across Illinois, and some people you may know, are facing tough financial times, and that it why it is even more important to remember those who are in need this holiday season,” said Governor Blagojevich. “The donated items collected through the Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe program help keep children in Illinois warm and it gives parents a sense of relief that their children will be provided for throughout the cold winter.”
“Many of us enjoy the winter season as it signals the beginning of the holidays. But the cold months are also concerning to parents who worry about keeping their children healthy and safe,” said Mrs. Blagojevich. “The Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe campaign reminds us to give during the holidays to help make sure that children who need warm winter clothing or child safety seats can get them.”
First launched in 2003, Governor Blagojevich’s annual, statewide Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe campaign has helped collect more than 140,000 pieces of winter clothing and child safety seats, which were donated to local charities across the state. Governor Blagojevich and the First Lady encouraged citizens, businesses, and state employees to donate new or gently used gloves, mittens, hats, scarves and new car seats at many of the State’s agency offices across Illinois.
Today’s tree lighting ceremony included an excerpt from “A Christmas Carol” by the Goodman Theatre and performances by the Queen of Angels Elementary School Choir.