August 13, 2014
The Illinois Currency Exchange Charitable Foundation’s (ICECF) Back 2 School initiative donated school supply kits to 20,000 YMCA children from low-income households to help them start the school year on the right track. It was the largest school supply distribution event in the foundation's history.
“Education is a cornerstone of our society. It’s our responsibility to give every child the chance to get a good education,” says Matthew Kurtzman, executive director of ICECF. “We’re only scratching the surface, and there’s a lot more work to do.”
More than 75,000 school supplies were distributed during an event at the Broadway Armory Park in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood. Approximately 500 students from YMCAs across Chicago enjoyed a field trip to event, where they participated in a range of fun and educational activities throughout the day, including workouts, a demonstration with live bees, nutrition workshops, art projects and science experiments.
This year marked the 10th year of the foundation’s partnership with the YMCA of Metro Chicago. A program that started with 125 backpacks filled with school supplies, Back 2 School is now the largest school supply distribution program in Illinois.
Watch WGN-TV's coverage of the event
The Illinois Currency Exchange Charitable Foundation was created in 2010, by the Community Currency Exchange Association of Illinois (CCEA), which represents more than 400 Currency Exchanges in Illinois. The foundation was set up to manage the ever-increasing size and scope of the Back 2 School program that provides school supplies to underprivileged youth. The foundation’s mission is to create and support educational opportunities that enrich the lives of Illinois children. While the Back 2 School program remains the main thrust of ICECF’s efforts, the organization board of directors is working to add additional programs that fit within the guidelines of our mission.