BYC Donation Drive 2020

The Vernita Gray Council (VGC), an auxiliary board of Howard Brown Health, is hosting its first donation drive, seeking items for Broadway Youth Center. BYC provides basic needs assistance, healthcare, resource advocacy, mental wellness supports, and education/vocational services to all youth who seek its care. BYC is a one-stop shop aiming to make life healthier and happier for young people (12-24) who are LGBTQ, especially young people who are experiencing housing instability. BYC sees anyone, regardless of ability to pay.

With this donation drive, VGC hopes to raise supplies to make over 50 hygiene kits and 100 snack kits for youth. VGC aims to provide essential supplies for youth and small, easily portable gifts for any children.

Members of the VGC have put together so many ways to give! Please join us!

Amazon Wishlist

Are you still strictly at home due to COVID-19? Our members conveniently created an Amazon wishlist where you can purchase items and have them shipped straight to us.

Donation Drop Off

Every Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., staff at Howard Brown’s administrative offices will be on site to collect your donation. This drop-off point is especially critical as BYC’s tented winter location is just outside. Just ring the bell for Howard Brown, and we’ll meet you.

1025 W Sunnyside Ave
Chicago, IL 60640

Donations needed include:


  • Beef Jerky
  • Mini Cereals
  • Juice Boxes
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Granola Bars
  • Instant Mac and Cheese
  • Snack-size Chips
  • Formula (Regular and Soy-based)

Hygiene Supplies:

  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Toilet Paper
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Culturally Affirming Hair Care Items
  • Socks/Underwear/Bras
  • Brush/Comb/Pick
  • Chapstick
  • Razors and Shaving Cream
  • Deodorant
  • Laundry Detergent Pods

Essentials, Games, and Toys:

  • Small Action Figures and Dolls
  • Newborn/Toddler Toys
  • Board Games
  • Card Games
  • Portable Chargers
  • Headphones

Ordering Chest Binders

Want to help young TNB young people affirm their identities? Order a chest binder or a gift card at gc2b.

To ship binders, send to:

Howard Brown Health
c/o Vernita Gray Council
1025 W Sunnyside Ave, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60640

Gift cards are delivered by email and contain instructions to redeem them at checkout. Enter in the recipient email address section at check-out, or you can forward your gift card to BYC staff will distribute gift cards to youth who need them.

Handmade COVID-19 Face Masks

VGC Members have worked with two Hawaiian-based Women-run mask makers who are champions of queer Hawaiians. Both mask makers  

Makana Ola Designs

Click on to their Etsy page and choose the option “Mask Donation Drive for Howard Brown Health.” Homemade Masks will be shipped to Howard Brown at no charge.

A Native Hawaiian businesswoman, Cathy Yago (she/her) named her business in honor of her late grandmother. The name comes from a Hawaiian poem she composed entitled, “Makana Ola” which means “the gift of life.” It is in this way that Cathy pays homage to her ancestors and to the life and opportunity she was given. Please consider donating to this worthy cause to help Chicago’s homeless LGBTQ+ young people and their children. Spread Aloha, not germs!

Pu’uwai Aloha Creations

Click on to their Etsy page and choose the option “Assorted Handmade Wide Pleated Cotton Fabric Masks.” Homemade Mask packages with a handmade gift message inside will be sent to Howard Brown and will have no shipping charges.

Hele mai! Come, check out Tawnya Bagnall’s (she/her) Etsy shop. For eyeglass wearers like her, she knows it can be difficult to find certain mask to not fog up those lenses. Out of the 6 mask styles she has made, her wide pleated masks with a metal nose bridge inside a nose piece pocket has made wearing glasses with a mask more bearable with less to no fogging. Malama pono & mahalo! Take care & thank you for supporting this donation drive for Howard Brown in Chicago.


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