On August 11, 2021, LIFT-Chicago kicked off back-to-school season with a Back-to-School Block Party at Amazon Books in Chicago’s Southport Corridor. Not only did Amazon Books graciously sponsor this event, but they also had quite a few amazing volunteers from other locations come and help make things run as smooth as possible. With Amazon’s support, we provided Lyft promo codes and gas gift cards to ensure that LIFT-Chicago members who lived in various parts of the city were able to attend. In total, we helped over 68 children and student parents get prepared for the school year!
Our families arrived at the Amazon Bookstore around 9am. Many families arrived early and were able to meet LIFT staff in person (for the first time!) since they started their coaching program virtually. With the assistance of the wonderful Amazon volunteers, the LIFT families participated in a “private shopping experience,” in which they filled up their backpacks with all the school supplies they could want for a successful school year. In addition to pens and paper, each child got a tablet, calculator, lunch boxes, and headphones too. One of our student parents was even able to grab a Kindle to help them prepare for a successful school year. Once everyone picked out their school supplies, families were invited outside to join the block party. The celebration included healthy snacks, giant JENGA, backpack decorating, face paint and music. Despite predicted rain in the weather forecast, our members came out and even busted a few dance moves before it began. We also had special guest Zach Moore, Super Bowl 49 champ and Chicago native come out to show his support and chat with families.
The entire LIFT-Chicago team stepped up to ensure our families would have all the supplies they needed for this year’s back-to-school season. Rolonda for handling all member communication via phone, email, and text to ensure all invited members were prepared for the event; Casey for ensuring that all families completed the publicity release forms and assisting the shopping experience; Rebecca, one of our summer coaches, assisted with the desk on sight to sign up new potential donors.; Sarah for giving the opening remarks and providing additional support during the event.
Thank you to all our families in attendance as well as our friends at the Amazon Bookstore in Southport Corridor who helped to make this event as amazing as it was!