This month's subscriptions benefit low income students attending the Chicago Public Schools.

 

My family wasn’t wealthy by any means growing up. We were solidly lower middle class, and at times whatever upper poor class is called. We were on food stamps, free lunch, and state health insurance.

Every year when it came time for back-to-school shopping it was a big deal financially for my family. I vividly remember my mom using the K-mart lay-a-way to purchase a lot of our back-to-school clothes when I was younger. My grandma also helped out a lot with clothes and school supplies. I am the oldest of three, and as you can imagine, it’s really hard to shop for three kids. At the time I was in K-12 grade, I remember the bills being like $300-$400 easily for one kid. I can’t even imagine what that would be like now with inflation.

When I was in 7th grade, my sister’s and I moved in with my grandparents – which means all the purchases fell to her. Thinking back to my childhood, I’m still not entirely sure how my family always made sure we had what we needed. I know I was incredibly lucky for that. If not for my grandma, I’m sure my sisters and I would have ended up in foster care at some point.

I can’t imagine being in a situation where you don’t even have access basic school supplies – however there are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. Obviously not all of those kids are school-aged. According to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, as of June 30th 2022, there are 20,696 kids in care which includes Foster Homes, Relative/Kinship care, Group Homes, and an “other” category – I’ll spare you the number details on that category but the other category includes college placement, transitional living, abductions, unknown whereabouts and even death, the latter three are absolutely horrifying to think about and the numbers for 2022 are much higher than I would has guessed – which is equally as horrifying. And those are just the numbers for Illinois.

There are 6,000 kids in Cook County (where Chicago and many neighboring cities are located). In Cook County alone, there are 10,311 children between the ages of 6-17 in care as of the end of June. That’s over 10,000 school aged children, many of whom live with foster parents or in group homes.

 

August Donations: The Chicago Public Schools Supply Drive with Kelly Cassidy

 

Every year, for the last 11 years, Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy has hosted a school supplies drive which benefits the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). For the 2021-2022 school year, CPS had 330,411 enrolled, and they list that 69.8% (or 230,627 students) are “Economically Disadvantaged” which they define as “coming from families whose income is within 185 percent of the federal poverty line”. These are the same students who also qualify for free breakfast and lunch.

Going to school and getting a quality education shouldn’t be subject to if a child has access to supplies. For the month of August (now until the 19th), we will be taking the 10% of subscriptions and purchasing school supplies that will be dropped off at Kelly’s office. I would LOVE to show up with 2 (or more!) backpacks filled with school supplies. 

 

Other ways to help:

In addition to the subscriptions, you can purchase a 3-pack of Book Kitties Stickers and have a portion also go to the supply drive:

1.5” Mini Pack: $2 from each pack sold
3” Pack: $5 Donation per pack sold

 

You can also help by sending supplies directly to me via this Amazon Wishlist: https://smile.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/38EDAS8I0PLU8/

 

Any money sent via Venmo or Paypal to me will 100% be used for supplies:

Paypal: https://paypal.me/kaylapekkala

Venmo: @TinyWerewolves

 

 

August's Sticker and Magnet Designs

This month our subscribers get two mini 1.5” stickers and/or one 3.5” magnet featuring these adorable cats with their books.

 

 

 
STICKER CLUB

CLUB PRICE: $5.00

Includes:

  • One 3” Decal Sticker or Two 1.5" Mini Stickers (per month)
  • Free Shipping

    RETAIL VALUE: $5.75

10% of all subscription sales are donated to our monthly featured non-profit.

 

JOIN THE STICKER CLUB

Magnet Club
MAGNET CLUB

CLUB PRICE: $9.00

Includes:

  • One 3.5” Magnet (per month)
  • Free Shipping

    RETAIL VALUE: $11.75

10% of all subscription sales are donated to our monthly featured non-profit.

 

JOIN THE MAGNET CLUB

COMBO CLUB

CLUB PRICE: $14.00

Includes:

  • One 3” Decal Sticker or Two 1.5" Mini Stickers (per month)
  • One 3.5” Magnet (per month)
  • Free Shipping

    RETAIL VALUE: $15.75

10% of all subscription sales are donated to our monthly featured non-profit.

 

JOIN THE COMBO CLUB