Martin Luther King Jr.

Events Honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022 in the Chicago Area

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Several events will be held across the Chicago area Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day as many honor the holiday with acts of service.

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

Cradles to Crayons

Cradles to Crayons will be collecting donations of new to like-new children’s clothing, including coats, boots, hats, gloves scarves, pajamas, winter clothes and more. There will be 34 contact-less drop off sites that will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday.

The event is said to be the organization's largest volunteer day during the coronavirus pandemic. The drop-off locations 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
• Children’s Lighthouse of North Center Chicago - 2600 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60618
• Cloud and Bunny - 1600 W 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 - 2120 W, 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 Café - 430 Asbury Ave, Evanston, IL 60202
• Mathnasium Ravenswood - 1754 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
• McGuane Park - 2901 S Poplar Ave, Chicago, IL 60608
• Moonwalker Café - 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 Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

More information can be found here:

Cook County Forest Preserves

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

Volunteers will clean up litter and begin ecological restoration activities at several forest preserves across the area. The activities will also include things like invasive species removal.

“The lessons Dr. King left us about the necessity of equity and the power of community are a transcendent gift for every American. Every day, we can choose to make a difference,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said in a statement.

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

Sand Ridge Nature Center
15891 Paxton Ave
South Holland, IL 60473 (view web map of Sand Ridge Nature Center)
Jan. 17, 10 am – 2 pm. Includes ecological restoration and invasive species removal and a self-guided poetry trail walk.

Crabtree Nature Center
3 Stover Rd
Barrington Hills, IL 60010 (view web map of Crabtree Nature Center)
Jan. 17, 10 am – 2 pm

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
9800 Willow Springs Rd
Willow Springs, IL 60480 (view web map of Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center)
Jan. 17, 10 am – 2 pm

River Trail Nature Center
3120 Milwaukee Ave
Northbrook, IL 60062 (view web map of River Trail Nature Center)
Jan. 17, 10 am – 2 pm

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center
12545 West 111th St
Lemont, IL 60439 (view web map of Sagawau Environmental Learning Center)
Jan. 17, 10 am – 2 pm

Trailside Museum of Natural History
738 Thatcher Ave
River Forest, IL 60305 (view web map of Trailside Museum of Natural History)
Jan. 17, 10 am – 2 pm

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

Caldwell Woods
W Devon Ave & N Nagle Ave
Chicago, IL 60646 (view web map of Caldwell Woods)
Jan. 17, 1 – 3 pm

Miller Meadow-South
1st Ave, south of Roosevelt Rd
Cook County, IL 60130 (view web map of Miller Meadow-South)
(near Forest Park)
Jan. 17, 11 am – 2pm. Meet at Grove #6.

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

City Year Chicago

City Year Chicago is getting together to beautify a school.

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

“For 28 years we have gathered together to serve in honor of the legacy of Dr. King and during these turbulent times, serving towards a cause and mission greater than self is more important now than ever,” City Year Chicago’s Senior Vice President and Executive Director Myetie Hamilton said in a statement.

Voting Rights Groups

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

The groups included in 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, U.S. Palestinian Community Network, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns.


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

"This program 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 will commemorate MLK Day with a free family-friendly event.

The event will center on Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and works, particularly in Chicago, including the Chicago Freedom Movement. It will include special family-friendly activities and performances, including youth poetry workshops, musical performances and more.

"We strive to lift up Dr. King’s accomplishments to all community members in Chicago and its surrounding areas," the museum said in a release.

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