Hephzibah Helps Families Start The School Year Right

Free Supplies at Annual Back-to-School Event

Purchasing all the school supplies needed to begin the school year is a financial burden many families simply cannot afford. But, thanks to the generosity of many individual and corporate donors including Avis Budget, Mattress Firm, HCB Health, The Peninsula Chicago, The Beer Shop and UPS, more than 115 children in Hephzibah’s Family Based Services program are ready to start the school year on the right foot.

The free Back-to-School Shopping Day was held Thursday, August 3, at Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park. Volunteers unloaded and organized tables full of supplies and helped as personal shoppers for parents throughout the event. Children in Hephzibah’s Foster Care or Intact Family services, accompanied by their parents/foster parents selected backpacks along with other essentials including notebooks, paper, markers, pens, pencils, folders, art supplies and so much more.

“Our foster and intact families are so grateful for this event,” says Julie Dvorsky, director of Family Based Services. “The transition back to school can be very stressful and challenging for families with limited resources, and this event helps make the transition to school fun and exciting for the kids and it relieves a lot of stress for our families.”

The Back to School event truly makes a huge difference for the many families struggling to make ends meet. At the event, a mother of four young girls shared with staff that her husband had recently lost his job and that they were uncertain how they were going to afford all of the supplies that their daughters needed to be prepared for school this year. With tears in her eyes, she thanked the team for this support, while nearby, her daughters beamed with joy inspecting their new pink backpacks filled with supplies.

Hephzibah is grateful for the many generous corporate and individual donors who provided truckloads of backpacks and supplies to benefit our children and families.

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