Equipping Des Plaines Students for a Successful School Year

Aug 9, 2021

Families in the northwest suburbs had the chance to gather, have some fun, and pick up free tools to help children start the school year off on the right foot. The Salvation Army Des Plaines Corps Community Center recently hosted a summer block party, complete with a bounce house, onsite science experiments, and a backpack giveaway for local children in need.

The corps gave away 115 backpacks full of school supplies, including notebooks, folders, pencils, pens, markers, and other essentials. The Salvation Army is working to ease the burden on families after a year that has created economic hardship for so many.

“If we can relieve some worry about all of the things which they have to plan and think about – especially with the school year coming – providing support with the backpacks and school supplies is a big deal,” said Major Tina Stasiuc.

Laura, a Des Plaines resident, brought her two daughters, ages 8 and 9, to the block party. Both she and her husband lost their jobs during the pandemic. She said she is grateful for the school supplies, which will be one less thing for her family to worry about. “They will have everything they need to do what they have to do at school,” Laura said. 

In addition to the backpack distribution, members of the community were connected to information about the Des Plaines Corps’ Hispanic ministries, Breakfast with Baby, and other programs and services.

Mrs. Illinois America, Dr. Chris Baek, a friend and supporter of the Army, donated 10 backpacks filled with school supplies. She said enjoyed the opportunity to help children in the community where she lives.

“I immigrated with my family when I was three years old, and places like Salvation Army were very important as far as us trying to get our feet on the ground,” Baek said. “So, I want to give back to the community as a result of the type of service and support we received when we came to America.”

Corps across the Metropolitan Division will be collecting and distributing additional school supplies in the coming weeks. The Salvation Army teamed up with Walmart again this year for the annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive on August 6-8. Learn more at www.salarmychicago.org/stuffthebus.

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