Community, Park Forest

Eight Years of ‘Back to School Angels’ for South Suburban Family Shelter

HOMEWOOD–(ENEWSPF)–August 9, 2016.  This is the time of year when the school supply sale ads start to appear in the Sunday paper.  For many parents, this is a sign that summer vacation has tipped past the halfway mark and that soon it will be time for “back-to-school shopping.”  For other parents, this is a time when they realize they can’t come close to purchasing all of the things on their children’s school supply lists.

Over the past eight years, local “Angels” have adopted the school supply lists of over 350 children who receive services at South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS), an agency that provides services to victims of domestic violence and their children.  Many local organizations and individuals have been very generous over the years with donations for this program, and the agency is hoping people will be just as generous this year.

SSFS director of clinical services, Carol Gsell, states, “Parents are trying to figure out how they are going to find the money to send their kids back to school with the things they need, and the kids are worried about being the only child in the classroom without their supplies when school starts. School supply lists have become very extensive in the last few years with schools no longer requiring just the basic pens, pencils, crayons, markers and notebooks.  Teachers have specific items they need for their classrooms and we want our clients to not worry about how expensive these school lists can be. Many children also need gym shoes and uniforms which our clients just can’t afford to buy. Someone can make a huge difference in the life of a family coping with domestic violence by helping purchase school supplies for these children,” added Gsell.

“We are looking for ‘Back to School Angels’ to adopt a child for back to school supplies,” according to Linda Schmidt, volunteer project coordinator.  “You can adopt a student yourself, or get a group of people together to adopt a student and split the list up.  This is a great opportunity to do community service with your own children because it is something they can relate to and understand.”

Schmidt also states that donors do not have to do the actual shopping for supplies. SSFS is accepting gift cards from office supply stores and retailers where school supplies can be purchased.  Donors can also send a check payable to South Suburban Family Shelter at P.O. Box 937, Homewood, IL 60430.

Those interested in being an Angel or looking to volunteer should contact Schmidt directly via e-mail at: [email protected] or call SSFS at 708-794-2140, ext. 303.

For more information about South Suburban Family Shelter, call 708-794-2140, or