Chicago Housing Authority

July 9, 2021

CHICAGO (July 9, 2021): The Chicago Housing Authority partnered with Operation Warm Friday for Summer Kicks, a shoe gifting event at Fosco Park Field House, where 75 CHA youth received brand-new athletic-style shoes.

Operation Warm, a national nonprofit known for its coat distribution, has expanded its mission to include brand-new shoes for children in need, and opted to partner with CHA to identify youth who could benefit. This new program, aimed to serve children from age two to third grade, offers high-quality, athletic-style shoes that inspire confidence and outdoor play, in a range of colors and sizes for kids and toddlers.

“Thank you to Operation Warm for your many years of partnership with CHA and the countless number of youth and families you have helped,” CHA CEO Tracey Scott said. “Today we started a whole new tradition of distributing shoes in addition to coats. We hope this new effort will be as successful and enduring as the original.”

“Over the last 22 years, our coat distribution has become a bridge between partners, like CHA, and families in need to access critical resources,” said Grace Sica, Executive Director for Operation Warm.  “The addition of shoes gives us the opportunity to make those connections year-round.”

CHA youth residents from nearby Brooks, Roosevelt Square and Loomis registered in advance to receive the new shoes.  The young people also enjoyed a visit from an ice cream truck and Chicago Park District’s Rolling Recreation Program.

Funding for the event was provided by The MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of Illinois. MolinaCares is committed to building stronger communities through improving people’s health and lives.

The partnership between CHA and Operation Warm began in 2008. The very first gifting event kicked off with a few boxes of coats, also at Fosco Park Field House. Over 12 years of partnership, Operation Warm and CHA have gifted over 90,000 coats to 24,000 families.

About the Chicago Housing Authority:
CHA’s vision is to foster strong, vibrant communities throughout Chicago by increasing affordable housing choices for low-income families. The CHA is also the largest rental housing owner in the City of Chicago. It serves more than 133,000 people in 63,000 households across the city through our Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Project-Based Voucher programs.

About Operation Warm:
Operation Warm is a national nonprofit that provides warmth, confidence, and hope through basic need programs that connect underserved children to community resources they need to thrive.  Over the last 22 years, Operation Warm and our partners have used brand-new coats and shoes as a bridge for families in need to access everything from flu shots to new books. 

To make a lasting impact on the lives of children, visit

About The MolinaCares Accord:
Established by Molina Healthcare, Inc., The MolinaCares Accord oversees a community investment platform created to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged populations by funding meaningful, measurable, and innovative programs and solutions that improve health, life, and living in local communities. The MolinaCares Accord funds such measures through The Molina Healthcare Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) established in 2020 by Molina Healthcare, Inc.

Chicago Housing Authority