Chicago Park District Launches 2nd Annual Operation: Help a Hero


The Chicago Park District will launch its second annual Operation: Help a Hero on May 29, 2017, benefiting homeless veterans across Chicagoland.

Operation: Help a Hero is an effort to help homeless veterans acquire basic necessities needed to maintain their homes. In the United States it is estimated that there are over 39,000 veterans who are homeless. When veterans are placed in permanent housing, they often lack the basic essentials to help maintain the homes.

The Park District is asking Chicagoans to help provide these materials for veterans as a small gesture of thanks for their service and sacrifices. Anyone who would like to donate items can visit aldermen’s offices and parks across the city. A map of locations can be found here.

“The Chicago Park District is very proud to be bringing back Operation: Help a Hero” said Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly. “This is just a small way we can help the veterans who have served and made sacrifices so we can enjoy the many liberties this country provides.”

This year the Chicago Park District is teaming with the American Red Cross to help collect items from the parks. The collected items will be delivered to the Jesse Brown VA Hospital and distributed to veterans in need. Last year over 500,000 items were collected and the Chicago Park District is looking to match or beat that number this year. Please see below for a list of items that are requested. Only new unused items will be accepted. Donations will be accepted starting May 29 and until July 4.

Operation: Help a Hero began as a partnership between the Chicago Park District and Military Outreach USA. The program expanded city wide and into aldermen’s offices thanks to the efforts of Alderman O’Shea of the 19th ward.

Items being accepted

Personal Hygiene

Kitchen and Cleaning

Bathroom and Misc.

Bath Soap

Kitchen Trash Can

Shower Curtain



Toilet Paper


Pine Sol



Dishwashing Liquid

Toilet Brush

Shaving Cream


Toilet Bowl Cleaner



Bath Towel



Wash Cloth

Hair Brush


Smoke Detector Battery

Nail Clipper


Flashlight with Batteries



Garbage Bags

Tooth Brush

Paper Towels

Laundry Detergent/ Basket



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