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Collaborative food and toy drive planned Saturday, December 19

First United Methodist Church, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (December 15, 2020) – Charitable organization We Are Lansing is planning to host a food and toy drive at First United Methodist Church in Lansing on Saturday, December 19. The event is free and will occur from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Food and toy Drive
Cam Sanchez poses during the October 24 food drive his organization oversaw. He collaborated with other members of the community to bring the upcoming food and toy drive to life. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

The drive is organized by We Are Lansing founder Cam Sanchez in collaboration with many different community members, including First United Methodist Church pastor Dave Price. Price said earlier this week that there were 8,000 lbs of food to be given away as well as over 2,500 toys.

Food and toy collaboration

The event will function similarly to the food drives that have occurred at First United Methodist church in both August and October, with cars entering the church parking lot from southbound Burnham Avenue. Participants will receive bags of food and toys as needed, be prayed for, and exit onto Greenbay Avenue.

Although registration is not required, Sanchez recommends it to make sure there are enough items to go around. Registration can be completed online. Sanchez estimates over 120 people have already registered.

Organizer Cam Sanchez made this flyer for the event, which includes the sponsors that have supported it.

The food that will be given away on Saturday was donated by Convoy of Hope and other community sources. The toys were donated by multiple organizations and individuals in the area, Sanchez said, including the Ziemkowski family, who annually organizes a toy drive and this year is collaborating with Sanchez.

According to a Facebook post by Colleen Ziemkowski, she, with the help of her family, already donated $5,000 worth of items to help kids in local hospitals this year, and Saturday’s toy drive is “phase two” of the family’s holiday outreach.

Toys were also donated by Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders and Waldo Cooney’s Pizza, both of which offered their customers deals in exchange for toy donations.

food and toy drive
Can Sanchez (right) takes a photo with Mancino’s owner Amy Todd, who offered 20% off to customers who brought in a toy for the drive. (Photo provided)

Friday events for school families

In addition to Saturday’s event, Sanchez and volunteers are hosting a school-exclusive food and toy drive on Friday from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. The giveaway is only for families of Lansing schoolchildren. online is requested for this event, but not required.

“Kids deserve a Christmas”

Sanchez said while he was growing up, his mom lost her job, which sometimes made the holiday season difficult. “It was hard. Sometimes we didn’t have a Christmas. Sometimes we didn’t have power, lights,” Sanchez said. “I understand what it’s like not to have that, and now that I’m in a better position … it just felt right to give it back. It only felt right.”

“Kids deserve a Christmas, especially our Lansing kids. This is their home,” he said.

First United Methodist Church is located at 18420 Burnham Avenue, Lansing, IL.


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.