Equipping Students – and Parents – for a Successful School Year

Aug 2, 2019

While the start of a new school year brings excitement to most students, it can signal anxiety for parents, especially those who are struggling financially.

Parents have to pay for school supplies, which is no small thing considering there are 14 items on the Chicago Public Schools list – for each child. Kids often need new clothes, school uniforms or sports equipment. Most schools require a physical or other health screenings. And all of this falls on the heels of parents paying for summer camps or daycare, or working less hours over the summer months to care for their children themselves.

With all of these expenses hitting at once, parents face difficult decisions: pay rent or pay for a school physical, buy groceries or buy the school uniform, send their child to school hungry or without the needed supplies.

At one Salvation Army back-to-school fair, an officer learned how vital assistance is at this time of year: “One family pulled me aside and told me how important the school supplies were to them. The mom said she couldn’t buy food, much less the school supplies.” 

Recognizing this pressing need, Salvation Army corps community centers throughout Chicago, northern Illinois and western Indiana offer events to help financially strapped parents send their children back to school with all they need to focus on what’s most important: learning.

These distributions offer us the opportunity to connect with families in need and let them know of other ways we can help throughout the year. That was the case for the struggling mom at the back-to-school fair. “We connected her to our caseworker, who assisted her with groceries and clothing for the children. They also came for Angel Tree at Christmas,” the officer said. “This family has become part of our women’s ministries and after-school programs as well.” 

Our faithful Salvation Army friends and supporters make this needed difference a reality for Chicagoland’s kids every August – and enrich the lives of families in need throughout the whole year. 

Want to attend one of our school supplies distributions? Find the nearest one on the list below. 

Crystal Lake Corps

  • August 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • August 10 from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Evanston Corps                  

  • August 6 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • August 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
  • August 8 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Gary/Merrillville Corps  

  • August 12 at 3:00 p.m.

Joliet Corps                        

  • August 10 from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m.  (Carnival & Distribution)

LaVillita Corps                     

  • August 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Lawn Corps                          

  • August 31 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


  • August 13, 14 and 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Midwest Corps                                   

  • August 31 from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m.

Norridge Citadel Corps

  • August 24

Oakbrook Terrace Corps               

  • August 14 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Red Shield Center (Englewood)                

  • August 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Templo Laramie (Cicero)

  • August 9 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Every new school year brings a big financial burden for families in our area. 

We couldn’t provide these wonderful summer programs and assistance without our Bed & Bread Club members.
Your help provides crucial services and enriching summer programs to kids in need. 

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