Pritzker’s Coat Drive with the help from La Casa Norte

From left to right Sandy Cortez, Abril Pereznegron, Annette Pabello Photo Credit: Alex Lopez

By Yaneet Rodriguez ’18

Monday Dec. 11 through Thursday Dec. 14 there was a Coat Drive happening in Pritzker’s cafeteria before and after school. Can you believe that Pritzker is partnering up with La Casa Norte? Annette Pabello, Abril Pereznegron, and Sandy Cortez, all seniors, are leading the coat drive with the help of Katie Curtin, Journalism teacher.

What is La Casa Norte?

Their mission is to help and serve the youth and the families that are facing homelessness. La Casa Norte provides homeless people with housing, and gives them the service that they need. They want to make a change and with that change transform lives and communities.

What does La Casa Norte do?

It is a housing resource and gives opportunities to youth and families who are at risk/facing  homelessness throughout 43 different zip codes in Chicago.

Their program is transitional and has emergency housing that supports those in need. Their clients work towards a long-term stability and self sufficiency.

“The purpose of the coat drive is to collect coats for families in need that would be distributed,” stated Curtin.

According to Cortez, “A couple of students and I went to do community service, last year in our junior year, at La Casa Norte, around 10 students, we would be cleaning the area in where they would be using. From there they talked to us about the possible donations that we can make. Since then I have been making donations.”

“It had been my first time that I’ve hear about La Casa Norte, I was in one of the advisory announcements”, stated Pabello.

The reason for them only collecting clean coats is because it’s winter and people “need thicker layers” instead of having just sweaters.

The idea of the coat drive came from one of the coordinator from La Casa Norte in which from there Cortez later on brought it back to Pritzker and have that small idea and make it big with some help.

They also had the help from Pam Johnson, Dean of Culture, by getting a “Yes” and asking Josh Sosa, US history/ Classical Literature, “wanted to know if students could do community service hours.” And with Daniel Selan, Calculus/ Algebra II, is going to give a dress down day for any advisory that donates the most coats. The advisory with the most coats per student will get a dress down day.

“We would be collecting donations before and after school,” and will also keep track of who donates from which advisory.

“The goal for the coat drive it’s not to get a free dress down day, is to help people in need, and we hope this would be a great succeed.” stated Cutin.

And if you are interesting in helping the youth and the families in need go and check out their website at And from there you can learn what you can do, to make a difference and to change the community.