THINGS for WINGS Clothing Drive

At Links Technology we give back to the community every holiday season! In years past, we have raised money, collected pantry food items and even have packed food at Feed My Starving Children. This year we decided to run a THINGS for WINGS Donation Clothes Drive.

WINGS was in need of:

  • Men’s clothing
  • Women’s clothing
  • Children’s clothing
  • Shoes
  • Purses, handbags, and bags
  • Jewelry
  • Hardware
  • Linens (blankets, sheets, towels, comforters)

WINGS provides a pathway to independence for adults and children who are escaping from domestic violence and abuse. Their goal is to provide the tools and support necessary to ensure that survivors can escape their abusers and begin building new, violence-free lives. They oversee safe homes, shared homes and transitional housing in and around the Chicagoland area to help end the cycle of violence.  WINGS breaks the cycle of domestic violence, and has been the leading advocate in the Chicago area for 38 years. WINGS is also the largest provider of domestic violence services in Illinois, with housing, counseling, emotional and career services. WINGS is a rescuer. They provide a safe place for individuals and families in distress while restoring happiness and dignity.

For our clothes drive, we collected gently used or new men, women, and children’s clothing, shoes, accessories and linens. All of our employees looked through their closets and dressers and picked items to donate. We are so happy to report that we collected a total of 42 bags of accessories and clothing! Our donations will help WINGS achieve their mission to provide housing, integrated services, education and advocacy to end domestic violence.

WINGS provides survivors the following services:

1. Safe Housing

WINGS has 33 safe houses they can offer victims to stay at. These safe houses are located in and around the Chicagoland area. Victims can stay 89 to 120 days depending on which shelter location. WINGS also can provide emergency shelter for those who are fleeing violent situations. There are two emergency shelters which can hold up to 85 people each night and they are located in the northwest suburbs and on the southwest side of Chicago.

WINGS provides transitional, permanent and rapid housing. They have 151 houses and apartments in the Chicagoland area. WINGS goal is to have their survivors thrive and move forward while helping provide them with the tools they need to succeed. These participants are offered assistance with housing costs, help finding jobs and counseling.

2. Counseling & Planning

WINGS provides mental health counseling to help victims cope with their trauma with domestic violence as well as any other mental health issues they may be facing. Counselors focus on using “strength based” training which allows victims to help focus and play on their strengths. WINGS helps these victims plan their next moves and steps with providing help in housing, legal assistance, job searching, and job skills training. This program is a two-year program to make sure they can get back on their feet and succeed.

3. Mentoring Program

WINGS provides a mentoring program for all the individuals who complete the two year program. This is an ongoing support type of program. This program offers help in ALAS, career services, project lifeline, and survivor lifeline. ALAS (Advocating for LatinX Achieving Self-Sufficiency) serves men and women by providing support groups, parenting groups, and English classes. Career Services provides women with vocational counseling, referrals to education, training, and mentorship to help create a plan to increase income and work. Project Lifeline provides women who are homeless with the WINGS housing programs and counseling through WINGS. There is a minimum of 6 months required for this program. Pilot Program is a program that matches intimate partner survivors with mentors who are leaving shelters and going to the Rehousing Program.

There are many ways to help support WINGS, like:

1. Financial Supporter

If you or your company is in a place where you can donate a monetary donation to charities, consider donating to WINGS! WINGS helps hundreds of people impacted by domestic violence each year. Any bit goes a long way in helping the families WINGS serve.

2. Volunteer

WINGS is in need of volunteers at their logistic centers, safe houses and resale shops. Many volunteers also help with fundraising events and help make these events successful. WINGS also loves to partner up with Eagle Scout troops and Girl Scout troops.

3. In Kind Program Donations

In Kind Donations can be any cleaning and hygiene products. These products are much needed and play a big part in the work that WINGS does. WINGS relies on a wide range of these goods throughout the year.

4. Attend Their Events

WINGS conducts several different types of events. They host different walks/runs, workout classes, fundraisers, donation parties/drives, golf outings, balls, casino nights, and etc.

5. Donate to Their Retail Shops

WINGS has three different resale shops throughout the northwest suburbs of Illinois area. These shops sell gently used clothing, housewares, accessories and furniture. All the money from those resale shops is used for their programs and services. Donations can be made at each one of their resale stores. They are located in Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, and Niles. Donations can also be made at their Logistics Center in Elk Grove Village.

6. Host a Clothing Donation Drive

This is exactly what we did at Links this holiday season. David who is the COO of WINGS, helps set up the drive with you. He sends you all the information and flyers that you can use. The drive is really what you want it to be. You get to pick out the time and dates that you run the clothing drive. We had out drive with our employees, friends, and networking partners. Our coworkers shared the news with their customers and families as well to help collect more donations. We collected at our office and then coordinated with David to have a WINGS truck to pick up our donations. 

If you are looking to help support WINGS visit their website: https://wingsprogram.com/ or if you would like to host your own THINGS for WINGS Clothing Drive reach out to David Kahan at dkahan@wingsprogram.com.