When we started filling backpacks in 2011 for under-resourced children we had no idea how huge of a need there is for the towns in The 10 (The Ten: Addison, Bartlett, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Hanover Park, Itasca, Medinah, Roselle, Wood Dale.) We filled 75 backpacks that first year and supplied the demand for two schools in Hanover Park. In 2012, we filled 505 backpacks, partnering with 11 different schools in 6 different towns of The 10, this was very exciting! However, as we started to build partnerships with other schools in our communities we were overwhelmed by vastness of need. After completing Project Just Start in 2012 we started conducting some research trying to determine an estimate of the need for school supplies in The 10. What we found was alarming; about 2,500 - 3,000 under-resourced children will start the school year without the supplies they need. Yes, that is a huge number but we dream of the day when the need is eliminated because people in The 10 have rallied together for this cause.
I know this may seem like a head in the clouds dream or goal and if there wasn't a plan or strategy I would completely agree with you. Which is why this year we are doing things a little bit different. Our main focus for this year is to EXPOSE and ENGAGE as many people as possible to this need.
We will do this with July 5th fireworks for the Village of Roselle and a concert by American English. We hope that as people come to celebrate this patriotic holiday and listen to great music they will be exposed to the need in their own backyard. At this event we will give them an opportunity to engage in the need, people will be able to take a supply list and fill their own backpacks or donate to the cause.
So how can you help?
1. Expose - Invite your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family to July 5th. Tell them about Project Just Start and the purpose behind the fireworks this year. Share this website, Project Just Start on Facebook, twitter, via email.
2. Engage - Fill a backpack with school supplies. In fact fill as many as you can, get creative, have a garage sale or sell some stuff on Craigslist, have a lemonade stand with your kids, talk to your neighbors, host a party, etc...
The only way this reality in our community will be eliminated is by us coming together for this cause.
You can do this, We Are Mission, We Are For The 10!