Education

Filling Kits, Filling Hearts This Holiday Season

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Countdown to Education

On November 1, we launched our second holiday fundraising campaign to increase the number of Back 2 School kits we distribute during the season of giving. The campaign, which will run through the end of the year was featured in an interview on Tasty Trade Chicago by CEO Matthew Kurtzman.

The holiday season has become a busier time of the year for the organization and our goal is to distribute 5,000 kits to 5,000 underserved children. 

One of the many benefits of giving out kits during this time of year is that parents who can’t afford Christmas gifts can use our kit as a gift to go under the tree.

With additional donations, Back 2 School Illinois hopes to add more kits to the end of year distributions. Donating $15 puts a signature Back 2 School kit in the hands of a child in need. Help us reach our goal of 5,000 kits and donate today: www.b2si.org/holiday

A little donation can make a big difference:

$15: Provides school supply kit to 1 Illinois student for the new year
$30: Provides school supply kits to 2 Illinois students for the new year
$75: Provides school supply kits to 5 Illinois students for the new year
$120: Provides school supply kits to 8 Illinois students for the new year
$300: Provides school supply kits to 20 Illinois students for the new year

Upcoming December distribution events include:

  • December 1 - Bartonville Air Wing, Peoria

  • December 2 - Camp Duncan YMCA, Ingleside 

  • December 8 - DCFS Holiday Party, Kroc Center 

  • December 9 – 183rd Wing, Springfield 

  • December 10 - Rock Island Holiday Party  

  • December (TBD) – YWCA Chicago

  • December (TBD) – Youth Hope Moline

  • December (TBD) – Youth Hope Rock Island

Chicago Chapter of the University of Kentucky Alumni Participates in Build-A-Kit Event

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150 Back 2 School Kits Assembled

On October 9, the Chicago UK Alumni Association participated in one of our Build-A-Kit events at trendy new nightspot Eleven Eleven, located at 1111 W. Lake Street in the West Loop. Wildcat Alumni socialized over drinks and light bites as they assembled 150 of our signature Back 2 School kits. 
 
The event was part of the alumni association’s “Cats for a Cause National Service Week.” UK alumni partnered with the Nazr Mohammed Foundation to assemble the kits, which were later given to students at Reavis Elementary Math & Science Specialty School in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood. A highlight of the night was when the group was treated to a visit from Nazr Mohammed himself, a former UK player and 18-year NBA veteran.
 
This Build-A-Kit event represents one of many ways we are seeing increasing support from colleges. Over the summer, we had a group of University of Illinois alumni come together to hold an event, and on December 1, students from Loyola University Nursing School will participate in their own Build-A-Kit event as well. 

Annual “BIG” Distribution & Activity Day Event

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10,000 Kits Distributed

On Wednesday, August 8, we held our annual “BIG” Distribution & Activity Day Event at the Broadway Armory Park. Over 70 volunteers came out to help facilitate the day as 300+ children (from the Vietnamese Association of Illinois, Irving Park YMCA, McGaw YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, Camp of Dreams, and Centro Romero) rotated through a series of six fun and educational activities and received one of our Back 2 School kits. The activities included aerobics taught by the Chicago Park District, giant board games led by the David L. Hoyt Education Foundation, arts & crafts hosted by Kits for Kidz, science & chemical experiments presented by students from Wright College, financial literacy taught by Republic Bank, and an interactive exotic animal show.

We also gave away 10,000 Back 2 School kits to underserved Illinois students. The kits were brought in on four semi-trucks, sorted, and then picked up by staff from 50 area YMCAs to be brought back to their respective locations for distribution to kids before the start of school.

We would like to say thank you to all of the volunteers who came out to make the event run so flawlessly, as the event would not be possible without their help. A big thank you also goes out to the dozens of sponsors including Community Currency Exchange Association of Illinois, Kits for Kidz, MB Financial Bank, Western Union Foundation, Community Financial Services Centers, Electronic License Service, NBC/Comcast/Universal, Republic Bank, CIBC, and CA Ventures.  

We were very fortunate to have 5 of the local news stations report on the event as well as one radio station.  
                                                       
Here is a sampling of the media coverage highlights of the event:

WLS-TV (ABC7)

WBBM NewsRadio

WMAQ-TV (NBC 5)