August 18, 2015
On behalf of our children heading back to the classroom this fall, the YMCA of Metro Chicago thanks Back 2 School Illinois (B2SI) for another successful School Supply Distribution Event and Activity Day. B2SI filled three semi-trucks with school supply kits for this year’s event, held Aug. 12 at the Broadway Armory Park. More than 14,000 kits filled school supplies were donated to the YMCA and other organizations to help underserved students.
“There are currently over one million students in the state of Illinois living in low-income situations,” says Matthew Kurtzman, CEO of B2SI. “With the simple act of providing school supplies, we’re not only able to prepare students for a successful school year, but we can also help take that burden off struggling parents and educators.”
B2SI is especially grateful to its volunteers and sponsors, who work year-round to raise funds and assemble, sort and distribute the kits. The Community Currency Exchange Association of Illinois created B2SI in 2010 and continues to sponsor and support events like this one.
The “Build a Kit” program, new in 2015, matches company sponsors with community partners. Volunteers from Deloitte visited the South Side YMCA in June to put together 2,500 kits. The supplies in each kit vary by grade.
“Back 2 School Illinois makes it possible for children and teens affiliated with YMCAs throughout Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties to start the school year with excitement and confidence because they have the necessary supplies,” says Linda Dean, director of volunteerism, YMCA of Metro Chicago. The Y distributed school kits during the Back to Class Block Parties on Aug. 14-15.
B2SI is the largest school supply distribution program in the state, serving a growing number of community organizations in addition to the Y. B2SI hopes to provide more than 1 million school supplies to 30,000 households by the end of 2015.