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Catholic Charities’ donation center in Lockport has 60 days to find a new home

The Giving Tree is a place for eligible clients to ‘shop’ with vouchers.

For the last decade, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet, has rented space at 3016  S. State Street in Lockport for its Giving Tree program, where eligible clients "shop" for items with vouchers. But the property is being sold and Catholic Charities must vacate the space by July 1. The program is in danger of closing if the nonprofit can't find affordable space.

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet’s donation center is full of merchandise with no place to go.

The Giving Tree, located at 3016 S. State St. in Lockport, is being sold, according to Stephanie Ambrose, manager of development. This means Catholic Charities will lose its lease on July 1, she said.

Ambrose said The Giving Tree has rented this 3,000-square-foot space for at least 10 years.

“We have less than 60 days to vacate the property,” Ambrose said.

The Giving Tree is a place where eligible Catholic Charities clients can “shop” for clothing and household and other personal items for free with vouchers, Ambrose said.

For the last decade, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet, has rented space at 3016 S. State Street in Lockport for its Giving Tree program, where eligible clients "shop" for items with vouchers. But the property is being sold and Catholic Charities must vacate the space by July 1. The program is in danger of closing if the nonprofit can't find affordable space. Pictured are (from left) Giving Tree volunteers  Jan Biller, Steve Johnson and Monica Glynn.

“Maybe somebody is getting rehoused from the shelter,” Ambrose said. “When we rehouse them, they are able to take the voucher to the donation center to get the things they need at no charge.”

The donation center is also a resource for eligible Catholic Charities clients to get toys for children during the holidays, Ambrose said.

“The program started as an emergency clothing closet in the basement of the daybreak shelter,” Ambrose said. “And it has just grown from that into a donation center that serves our entire program, where we’re able to provide items for everybody within the seven counties of the diocese ... it would be a shame for the program to close.”

But the high cost of rent in Will County is concerning, she said. Catholic Charities hopes someone from the community might have space for rent in the Joliet area, she said.

They also hope that owner might rent to Catholic Charities at a reasonable or reduced rate, which also is tax deductible, Ambrose said, since Catholic Charities is nonprofit.

In the meantime, The Giving Tree is not accepting donations for the months of May and June, according to the Catholic Charities website.

Anyone interested in renting to The Giving Tree should contact Maggie Snow msnow@cc-doj.org.

For information, visit catholiccharitiesjoliet.org/ways-to-give/the-giving-tree.