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Thank you for your help in making the Snug Hugs for Kids clothing drive a success for over 25 years. Each year, Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops assist Children’s Home + Aid with much needed donations of warm winter clothing for the 40,000+ children they serve yearly with the Snug Hugs for Kids clothing drive.

Snug Hugs for Kids consists of 4 program components as follows:

A Better World Means Better Business

In 1990, Merlin introduced our moving image van program designed to transport customers and at the same time serve as rolling billboards in the communities we serve.

We sensed that we could also utilize the fleet of vans to help others less fortunate. After considering several program options, a winter clothing drive for needy children was chosen. It was to be called Snug Hugs for Kids. But it was clear we could not do it on our own. We needed a charity partner who could distribute the clothing that we collected to the persons who needed it most. After an extensive search, Children’s Home + Aid was by far our best choice for a partner.

In 1991, the first Snug Hugs for Kids clothing drive was held and it is still going strong. Over the life of the program, Merlin shops in Illinois and Wisconsin have collected and donated more than 250 tons of warm winter clothing to children and families in need.

Every year the collection period begins on November 1st and lasts for approximately six weeks (2nd week of December). Customers bring donations to their local Merlin shop, where it is sorted, packed, and stored until delivery day. Items needed most include coats, scarves, hats, mittens, gloves, boots, pants, sweaters, and socks.

On delivery day, Merlin franchisees, managers, and employees gather with their Merlin vans packed with clothing along with a large delivery truck and a form a caravan to drive into Chicago to deliver the clothing at a Children’s Home + Aid program center. It’s a much celebrated day by all – for the persons who are delivering the clothing and the persons who are receiving!

Children’s Home + Aid is a leading child and family service agency in Illinois. The organization helps children recover their health, their hope, and their faith in the people around them. We link children to a network of opportunity and care, to extended family, teachers, mentors, and the resources of the neighborhood and community. For more than 130 years, the organization has gone wherever children and families need them, and where that wor k has been proven to be most effective: at home, in the classroom, in the neighborhood, in the course of daily life. The organization has offices located across Illinois and serves more than 40,000 children and families in over 60 counties each year.

For more information about Children’s Home + Aid, visit childrenshomeandaid.org

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