Mark Schmeltzer, Director of Communications


CHICAGO, March 1, 2018—Volunteers will again be out in force on Chicago-area street corners and St. Patrick’s Day parades throughout the month of March, collecting donations to help Mercy Home for Boys & Girls give at-risk children a safe place to live, therapy to heal from the trauma of abuse and neglect, and tools like education and job skills to help them build independence.

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls’ March for Kids campaign is the public’s chance to help children break the cycle of abuse and neglect.

The campaign will feature teams of street volunteers collecting donations to Mercy Home and handing out Mercy Home Shamrocks as a way of saying ‘thank you.’ Donations like those generated by its March for Kids effort supply Mercy Home with 100% of the funds it needs to care for children.

Clad in their signature green aprons, Mercy Home March for Kids volunteers can be found at Chicago-area St. Patrick’s Day parades and celebrations including:

  • South Side Irish Parade, Sunday, March 11
  • Chicago’s Loop, Friday, March 16
  • Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Saturday, March 17

Additionally, volunteers are organizing donation drives at area businesses, churches, schools, and community groups.

Throughout the month, Mercy Home’s web site will accept contributions to the campaign that will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous donor. The effort will be highlighted on March 16 during a special “Giving Day” at

Celebrity spokesman Bill Rancic is also helping Mercy Home get the word out through media appearances and his RPM Steak and RPM Italian restaurants in Chicago will feature special menu items during the month of March that raise funds for the Home.

Mercy Home’s Associates Board will officially kick off the campaign with a party at Butch McGuire’s, 20 W. Division Street, Chicago on Saturday, March 3 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Proceeds will benefit Mercy Home’s March for Kids.

Mercy Home is calling on all interested volunteers to help make this effort a success.  Any individual, business, or group can help provide a safe and supportive home for children in need just by signing up to be a Mercy Home March for Kids volunteer. It’s a fun and unique way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, complete a Lenten, school, or family service project, or organize an office team-building initiative. Go to to sign up, or call (312) 738-9592.

Mercy Home President Rev. L. Scott Donahue praised supporters for the impact they have on young people who for more than 130 years have come to the Home’s “Old Oak Door” in times of crisis. “I see children who’ve endured terrible hardships in their young lives,” Fr. Donahue said.  “Yet I’m always inspired by their resiliency and by the amazing things they can accomplish when they have the right care and encouragement—the kind that’s only possible because of generous donors throughout the country who share their gifts with our children and help us bring healing and hope to into these young lives.”

Mercy Home’s March for Kids has been held every year in Chicago, under different names, since 1996. For ten years, it was known as Shamrocks for Kids before being rebranded and expanded in 2014. Today, Mercy Home’s March for Kids involves significant promotion from media and corporate partners, involvement in several area parades and events, fundraisers in restaurants and other business, and a street team approaching 1,000 volunteers who collect donations.

About Mercy Home for Boys & Girls

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls has been a solution for kids in crisis since 1887. Through its residential, aftercare, and mentoring programs, Mercy Home offers a safe home, emotional healing, education, and life-changing opportunities for more than 700 young people every year. It gives children who have suffered abuse, neglect, poverty and even abandonment the therapeutic, academic and vocational support they need to heal from the traumas of their pasts and build success for their futures. Mercy Home is 100% privately funded and operates at three locations in Chicago – a home for boys in the West Loop neighborhood, a home for girls in Beverly, and a home for AfterCare residents in South Shore.


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