Many of our schools will have their spring break or some time off for Easter in the coming days. I am hopeful our schools’ principals and teachers will find some time to recharge. They continue to go above and beyond to meet the academic and social emotional needs of 20,000 students who will forever be impacted by this crisis.
While each day continues to bring with it incredible challenges, I also believe that there will be changes for the better. Among other things, I hope that despite our social distancing more people will actually know how cared for they are, that we will have a keener understanding of what a gift our daily experience is, and have a greater respect for our front line workers and service providers.
Here at Big Shoulders Fund, it was another busy week as we work to support our students and schools in this new reality. Many of you support our scholarship programs and so I wanted to let you know that last week we made our second semester scholarship distribution – distributing $2.9M in scholarships to 2,925 students. In addition, we continue raising funds to award Tax Credit Scholarships for next year. Thus far, we have awarded $1.26M to 155 students for the Tax Credit Scholarship Program for the 2020-21 school year. That support has never been needed more, and we will be awarding additional scholarships from the Big Shoulders Fund COVID-19 Emergency Fund soon.
Below are a few more updates from the week. I thank each of you for your support of Big Shoulders Fund's mission, and wish you a healthy holiday weekend.
My very best,
President & CEO
Our Lady of Guadalupe School in South Chicago.
Academy of St. Benedict the African in West Englewood.
Leo High School in Auburn-Gresham.
St. Margaret of Scotland School in Washington Heights.
Accessibility to food continues to be a challenge for families and we are working with a variety of great partners to help meet this need.
Our partnership with schools and local restaurants, with support from the Lavin Family Foundation, continues. 14 Big Shoulders Fund schools have distributed nearly 4,000 meals through this partnership, and the program will continue for the foreseeable future.
Vital Protein donated 1,290 bottles of water per school to 5 different schools.
Home Run Inn has committed to donating 10 cases of pizzas per school food distribution site
Big Shoulders Fund has ordered 3,300 masks for schools to use for food distribution.
Mayor Lightfoot heard about the program too! Click here to view the City of Chicago's social media post highlighting St. Ethelreda School and Eat and Run Restaurant's efforts.
Big Shoulders Fund Stock Market Program Teacher Volunteers Tim and Raefe from Frontaura Capital met with their St. Nicholas Cathedral School eighth grade class via Zoom. Students learned about the economic impact of Covid-19 and how we can use this experience to help make financial decisions in the future. There are many ways to volunteer virtually. Click here to learn how you can #LeapIntoAction with e-volunteer opportunities and contact Sam Rodriguez to learn more.
While school buildings are closed, learning and academic opportunities continue. In last year's annual report we featured Holy Trinity High School Student and Former Big Shoulders Fund Staddle Camp Junior Counselor Susi. This week Susi pitched her business concept for Collect Buddy, a pet waste solution, in her NFTE Corporate Experience classes. Click here to watch!
Like many other Big Shoulders Fund schools, St. Catherine St. Lucy School created and gave out e-learning totes, books, and supplies to families this week.
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with stories like these and more!
Support to Schools
This week principals and marketing directors learned creative ways to engage current, new, and prospective families through social media in support of their enrollment marketing strategies.
Auxiliary Board's Virtual Town Hall Meeting
The Big Shoulders Fund Auxiliary Board is staying connected to help support our mission and our network of schools. This week they held a virtual Town Hall meeting, attendees raised $350 for our COVID-19 Emergency Fund and made graduation cards for our eighth graders! Click here to learn how you can #LeapIntoAction with our e-volunteer opportunities.
Ways to Donate
Big Shoulders Fund COVID-19 Emergency Fund
To date, Big Shoulders Fund's COVID-19 Emergency Fund has raised more than $600,000 from 138 donors against a $3 million goal. Thanks to all who have donated. We can provide a peer to peer fundraising platform for those who would like to work towards a goal with their own networks. Please contact Amy Drozda if you are interested in setting up your own fundraising page on our website.
Tax Credit Scholarship Program
Make a donation to Big Shoulders Fund and receive a 75 percent credit for it on your 2020 Illinois state income taxes. More information is available here. Please contact Amy Drozda with any questions.