ENGLEWOOD — Students at Perkins Bass Elementary won’t have to worry about school supplies this year, thanks to a little help from Kimpton Hotels and the Daisie Foundation, a non-profit organization created to help women and children in underserved communities.
The two organizations teamed up to host a backpack drive to make sure the school’s 391 students are prepared for their first day, but they’re asking Chicagoans for a little help to get them across the finish line.
All four Kimpton Chicago hotels aim to collect 500 backpacks filled with supplies. Kimpton Cares and the Daisie Foundation have also launched a GoFundMe campaign for donors who want to help with other supplies, raising $2,330 since May.
“I wanted our employees, our vendors, our corporate partners to be able to invest in something that we could actually see come to fruition in our community,” said Dina Niekamp, director of sales and Daisie Foundation board member. “For our employees who may or may not be in the position to give themselves, it was really important to me that we did this together and we saw the results come together.”
The Daisie Foundation previously partnered with Bass Elementary Principal Carolyn Jones in December to surprise students with a holiday luncheon and Christmas gifts.
To help the cause, local artist Jason Farley has created a one-of-a-kind artwork inspired by Bass students valued at $1,600 that will be auctioned off at the end of August, with proceeds going towards the drive. The piece is currently hanging in the lobby of the Kimpton Gray Hotel, 122 E. Monroe St.
“When my family moved from Detroit to Gary, Indiana, I saw the impact of poverty on society and the stress it places on families first-hand,” said Farley, who will help to deliver the backpacks. “Small contributions can generate hope and create change.”
Farley will also be creating a live on-site installation at the school with the help of a few students.
Organizers are still looking for school supplies to be donated in bulk (500 of the same item) to ensure that each student gets what they need, and volunteers to help with distribution.
Money raised from the GoFundMe will go towards the purchase of 504 3-ring binders (1 inch, clear plastic front and inside pockets), 500 backpacks, 1,062 boxes of tissue, 1,900 Elmer’s Glue Sticks, 1,248 spiral notebooks, 1,372 pocket folders, 562 canisters of bleach-free wipes, 62 seventh-grader TI-84 Plus calculators, and 62 eighth-grader TI-84 Plus calculators.
To find out how you can help, contact Dina at firstname.lastname@example.org.