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Student athletes from around Chicagoland take part in winter coat drive


CHICAGO — Winter is approaching and student-athletes from around the Chicago area are doing their part to make sure families have warm coats for the cold months ahead.

“It feels great being able to help the community, help people around me through soccer, and with my teammates, as well as other people from all around the state. It feels great,” volunteer Peyton Johnson said.

The student-athletes, with the help of the group Buddy’s Helpers, collected thousands of winter coats and loaded the gear into a U-Haul headed for distribution to families in Cicero.

“We have families that are going through bad situations, hard situations, hardships,” Ismael Vargas, the Cicero police and fire chaplain said.

Vargas says the donation will go a long way to help people who are unhoused as the town deals with ongoing issues from the devastating flooding over the summer.

“It’s a blessing as we can come and see all these young people not only being champions in the field but also being champions by giving to others who are in need,” Vargas said.

The student-athletes say coming together and doing what they can to help others feels like a win.

“Doing a good deed, it always makes someone feel good, because you’re helping in something, you’re contributing with something that’s on, like, a personal level,” volunteer Federico Alessi said.

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