George McCaskey and Patrick McCaskey represented the Bears earlier this week in delivering gifts and visiting with families in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood Tuesday at the Firehouse Community Arts Center.
The Bears and Bears Care, the team's charitable arm, have partnered with Lawndale Community Church for the organizations' annual holiday giving initiative. Bears staff, players and coaches had the opportunity to grant holiday wishes by purchasing items on a "wish list" for individuals or entire families.
In addition to the gift-giving component, Bears Care made a monetary contribution to support programming at the Firehouse Community Arts Center, which serves students from the Lawndale and Little Village neighborhoods. The contribution will help fund programming and facility upgrades and also allow the center to update and expand its tech lab with new laptops and desks.
Also of note is a significant contribution made by Bears players, and matched by Bears Care, which will assist each family participating in the event with resources to address basic needs including utilities and food.
All told, over $50,000 was provided to the community.
In addition, the University of Illinois College of Business Alumni Association collected toys at the recent Illinois-Northwestern football game at Soldier Field and donated them to the Bears holiday giving initiative, along with a cash contribution.