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Newsletter: March Edition

We Appreciate Teachers Contest Deadline Nears + Our Segment on NBC Chicago

No foolin’! You have until Monday, April 1st to nominate a special teacher for our “We Appreciate Teachers” contest. This is an opportunity for 25 teachers from Illinois to be chosen as standout educators. Winners will be guests at a reception during National Teacher Appreciation Week as well as receive Back 2 School kits for their classroom and a gift basket just for them.

  • Nominate a teacher who has touched your heart and contributed to the community by April 1st.
  • Share this link across your social media channels! You can also text and email this link to your contacts. Spreading the word increases the chance that more deserving teachers receive the recognition they deserve. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those who dedicate themselves to shaping our future.

 May 1st Build-A-Kit Social Tickets on Sale

Reserve Tickets Now

Tickets for our annual fundraising event to support our 2024 programming are on sale now! Join us on Wednesday, May 1, 5:30-8:30 pm, at Artifact Events in Ravenswood for an incredible night of fun and generosity. The evening’s festivities include an open bar, buffet and dessert bar, music, a silent auction, and raffles. You’ll have the opportunity to assemble some of our Back 2 School kits and write “Notes of Inspiration” that go in every kit. And, as if that weren’t enough, we’ve also got a few surprises in store for the evening.

Most importantly, your presence and participation will help ensure more deserving children receive the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Themed Build-A-Kit’s A Hit With Volunteers

Earlier this month, we hosted another Build-A-Kit event in our NorthCenter offices – with a Shamrock theme that also took note of International Women’s Day. Volunteers wrote dozens of “Notes of Inspiration” and put together 300 Back 2 School Kits, which will be distributed later to schoolchildren this summer. It should be no surprise that much of our success is due to our volunteers. We are so lucky to have so many people willing to donate their time to help us out.

Big shout out to the volunteers from The Original Hooters and Bank of America!

  • May 1: Build-A-Kit Social – Artifact Events, 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago
  • August 2: Chicagoland Build-A-Kit & Distribution Event – South Side YMCA, 6330 S. Stony Island, Chicago 

Kit Distribution Partner Spotlight: Chicago Police Department

Almost all of our Back 2 School kits are distributed through partnerships with schools, community organizations, and government agencies. Last year, we added a new partnership with the 19th District of the @Chicago Police Department (CPD), which covers the North Side and is headquartered on Addison Street near Halsted Street. In the words of 19th District Commander Amin Jessani, “Partnership between police and the community is important to ensure all stakeholders are working together to address issues and challenges. Key to accomplishing this vision is for us to build trust between the police and the community through procedural justice and community involvement.” We love working with the CPD because they are not only helping us get our kits into the hands of kids in need, but the partnership is helping to strengthen the relationship between the CPD and our communities.  The three events at which the CPD distributed our kits included the Mary Crane Center, the Linda and Bill Gantz Boys & Girls Club, and Lakeside Square Apartments.  GANZ Mary Crane Lakeside Sq. Apartments Thanks to the residents of Lincoln Park Commons, who funded and assembled the kits. And a special thank-you to Officer Carolina Diaz, liaison for the CPD, for handling the coordination of the events. Her enthusiasm and dedication are infectious, and certainly made everything go smoothly.