News / 8.22.18

Back 2 School with the ECF

175 school supply kits provided to foster children

Last week, members of the Epstein Community Foundation (ECF), our employee-run charity, assembled 175 school supply kits to be distributed to foster children by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

For this effort, the ECF worked with Back 2 School Illinois, a nonprofit organization that was formed in 2010 and helps deliver free school supplies to children in need. To contribute, Epstein purchased their signature “Build-A-Kits,” which contain core school supplies. The assembled kits are then circulated to children through Back 2 School’s partnerships with community and government agencies.

“Our mission is to create and support educational opportunities that enrich the lives of Illinois children,” Back 2 School officials said. “Education is the cornerstone to our society. We need to step up to help fill the gaps of a poor state economy, challenges to our schools and the fact that over one million of our children live in low income or poverty conditions.”


According to Huntington Bank’s 2017 Backpack Index, the average cost to send a child back to school in the fall, with supplies, uniforms, fees and equipment, was $662 for elementary school, $1,001 for middle school and $1,489 for high school. To learn more statistics, click here.

To date, over 4,753,760 school supplies have been given through Back 2 School’s program.

The ECF members who participated in this event included: Criss Paccione-Anderson, Jake Effinger, Tim Gall, Tom Smiles, Monika Ciesielska, Christina Stoczynski, Noel Abbott, Matt Helfenbein, Tom Suarez, Bob Helmer, Judy Sells, Olivia Corcoran, Hisham Odish and Madeline Maldonado.

Thank you to our wonderful volunteers! Your efforts helped prepare 175 kids for success this school year!