Back 2 School

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.

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! 

Back 2 School Illinois Holds Its “BIG” Distribution & Activity Day Event

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14,000+ Kits Distributed and 300 Kids Enjoy a Fun-Filled Day of Cool Activities

On August 9, we held our annual “BIG” Distribution & Activity Day Event at the Broadway Armory Park. Over 100 volunteers showed up to help facilitate the day as 300 children (from the Carter Boys and Girls Club, Vietnamese Association of Illinois, and McGaw YMCA) rotated through a series of six activities and received signature school supply kits. The activities included aerobics and nutrition taught by our good friends at the Chicago Park District, fire safety courtesy of the Chicago Fire Department, arts & crafts hosted by Kits for Kidz, science & chemical experiments run by students from UIC,  and an exotic animals station.
 
We gave away 14,000 Back 2 School kits filled with more than 420,000 supplies to underserved Illinois students. The kits were brought in on four semi-trucks and then sent back out to more than 50 area YMCA’s.

We would like to say another 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.