School supplies

Over 60+ Deloitte Employees Participate in Their 5th Build-A-Kit

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2,000 B2SI Kits Assembled

On Friday, June 7, dozens of Chicago-based Deloitte employees volunteered to participate in one of our biggest Build-A-Kit events of the year: assembling 2,000 of our signature kits. This was a part of Deloitte’s Global #ImpactThatMatters day, where employees around the world dedicate a day of service to helping nonprofits in countries everywhere.

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The Build-A-Kit was held at the Irving Park YMCA. It was an immense task to unload 11 pallets with over 60,000 school supplies, which then needed to be unpacked, sorted, and placed into kit boxes before being put into cartons.

Half of the kits were divided up among area YMCAs: Irving Park, McCormick and Latoff. The other 1,000 kits were picked up by the National Guard, which will be distributed to military families at bases this summer through our partnership with Operation Homefront.

Deloitte employees worked together to accomplish assembling an impressive 2,000 kits. As a result of their hard work, 2,000 more needy children will be heading to school this fall with the tools they need for a successful school year.

‘Win School Supplies for an Entire School’ Contest Launch

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Deadline to Apply: August 1

Do you have a Chicago-area school in mind that you would like to nominate to win school supplies for their ENTIRE student body? Our “Win School Supplies for an Entire School” contest launched on April 1 and is open for nominations. Every year, we choose two Chicago schools to win based on their nominations, which means that every child at the winning schools receives their own Back 2 School kit loaded with the core supplies they need to be successful. 

Anyone can nominate a Chicago school and there is no limit to how many times a school can be nominated. Whether you are a parent, community leader, concerned citizen, student member or faculty, you can nominate a school. 

The deadline to submit applications is August 1, 2019. Students will be surprised with their Back 2 School kits during the first week of fall 2019 classes. 

To download the application or apply directly online, please click here

Another Successful Year for Back 2 School Illinois

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35,233 Children Received A Back 2 School Kit

2018 was another spectacular year for Back 2 School Illinois! We were fortunate enough to distribute over 1,050,000 school supplies to 35,233 children, children from families that struggle financially. As a result, these kids were able to do their school work and feel good about themselves. All of this was made possible by our amazing stakeholders. Without the ongoing support from companies and individuals, none of this would be possible, and no words can express our gratitude.

We want to share with you the recap of our 2018 Back 2 School program, which includes summaries of distributions, photos, press releases, newsletters, media coverage, thank you letters and much more.

We hope that you will take the time to browse through this online version and see all the amazing things we accomplished in 2018. To view, click here.

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)
 

B2SI Hosts “Notes of Inspiration” Happy Hour at Sidetrack

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An Evening of Fun, While Doing Good

On Thursday, February 8, we held a “Notes of Inspiration” Happy Hour at Sidetrack (3349 N Halsted St, Chicago). The purpose of the night was to write notes of encouragement to be included in our signature Back 2 School kits.

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These notes are designed to let the children who receive our kits know that someone is out there rooting for them to succeed in school and in life. Sometimes all it takes is a simple, “You can do this!” or “This is going to be your year!” to get these children excited and eager to take on the school year. 

 

During the happy hour, people conversed over cocktails and snacks while writing note after note! There were laughs and selfies, and everyone enjoyed the time together! We featured a raffle drawing where we encouraged people to follow us on social media and use our hashtag, #b2si, when posting pictures to receive tickets. The prizes were from The Chicago Diner, Wood, and Starbucks.  We were so pleased with the success of the event and over 250 notes written, that we are going to schedule more “Notes of Inspiration” events, though out the year. So, if you couldn’t join us this time around, there will be plenty of opportunities later in the year, so stay tuned!