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United Way Blog

Here’s how you can be like Chance the Rapper

Thirty-thousand Chicago kids are smiling ear to ear today after receiving backpacks stuffed with school supplies thanks to Grammy Award-winning artist, Chance the Rapper.

The 24-year-old Chicago native donated the backpacks to kids along the parade route at the city’s Bud Billiken Parade, an annual event that gets kids psyched about heading back to class.

He told WLS-TV he wants to "make sure everything is a little easier" for students, teachers and parents.

Back-to-school shopping can be challenging for a lot of families across the country. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, parents on average will spend $500 per child this year.

To ease the burden, United Ways in communities coast to coast host school supply drives to give kids in the greatest need the tools they need to succeed.

“During my first year of teaching, I was shocked and dismayed by the number of students that did not have school supplies,” said one Florida high school teacher. “After hearing excuse after excuse, I realized that many of them could not afford them.”

In Fort Pierce, Florida, United Way of St. Lucie County has distributed enough supplies for more than 74,000 kids in the past 21 years. Their annual Stuff the Bus event, sponsored by Walmart, collected nearly 6,000 backpacks, binders, pens and more for local students.

In Wisconsin, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County is providing more than 4,000 backpacks filled with essentials valued at $75 each to local students.

And in the Big Apple, United Way of New York City and FedEx helped deliver more than 1,800 backpacks brimming with supplies to schools last September. Right now, they’re teaming up again to bring even more supplies to students across the city. 

While back-to-school season is the second busiest shopping season of the year, parents shouldn’t have to break the bank to buy these must-haves. You, too, can help make the first day of school a little brighter for kids in your community. Contact your local United Way today to find out how you can get involved. 

Inspired by what you read? Change starts with you. Take action today to make a difference in your community.