CHICAGO (WLS) — A holiday party hosted by Chance the Rapper was held Wednesday night at the Field Museum. Guests were asked to donate to help the homeless.
“Being the city that has one of the worst and coldest winters in America, I think it’s important to take some time to appreciate and work with and work for the homeless population in Chicago,” Chance told the crowd.
Chance’s organization SocialWorks was behind “A Night At The Museum.” Several companies and a church teamed up with the nonprofit to make sure thousands of needy students and their teachers have a great night at the event.
“I think it’s fantastic that a product of Chicago Public Schools is giving back to the community, really the world,” said Julie Trejo, Chicago Public Schools teacher.
One company helped donate 4,000 backpacks and thousands of toys.
“We get our people involved, we get our merchandise involved…every resource we have. And when we partner with a group like SocialWorks, we go all in,” said Bradley Nardick, Bargains in a Box.
There was music and dancing and free goodies among the dinosaurs.
While the party was free for needy students, those who can afford it were asked to donate $15 to SocialWorks and winter gear for the homeless. The effort was not lost on even Chance’s youngest fans.
“It means to me very a lot, because he gives people things to those in need and all of that, and it’s pretty good,” Shaylah Clay said.
In Chicago, 82,000 people are homeless, 82 percent of them are doubling up, like couch surfing or staying in a shelter.
“We know that a lot of homelessness isn’t seen, it’s hidden. It’s really important for people to recognize when you see someone on the street that’s just a sliver of the problem,” said Doug Schenkelberg, executive director, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
In fact, 18,000 CPS students are homeless. Statewide, that number jumps to 50,000.