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Back to School Fairs

Catholic Charities Back-to-School Fairs

Helping Children from Low-Income Households for 30 years!

Each summer, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet, coordinates Back-to-School Fairs to help students and their families from low-income households in DuPage, Kankakee, Iroquois, and Will Counties. The agency began the fairs 30 years ago when they discovered that many families are forced to make difficult choices between buying school supplies and paying for basic expenses, such as food and rent. As the decades have passed, the need has remained great, with thousands of students relying on these services each year.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Back-to-School Fairs will look quite different than in prior years. Instead of everyone gathering indoors to receive supplies and services, the fairs will be conducted as a drive-through. To maintain safe social distancing procedures, participants will remain in their vehicles to receive school supplies. Catholic Charities’ staff will simply place the items to the trunks of cars to ensure no-contact delivery.

The pandemic has seriously impacted the financial, emotional, social, and educational lives of the families served by Catholic Charities. The cost of purchasing school supplies for a family in-need should not be added to this stress. Catholic Charities has witnessed an increase in the number of individuals who need assistance in the past few months. The agency predicts that the fairs will see a record numbers of participants, and they are determined to help each individual in need. It is more important than ever assist students from low-income households to boost their confidence and feel ready to begin the new school year.

As the Back-to-School Fairs approach, please consider making a gift to Catholic Charities to make a difference in the lives of students from low-income households.

To make your gift online, visit and click on “donate” or call 815-724-1140.

If you would like to donate supplies to help the students to attend the fairs, please email Maggie Snow at

2020 Back-to-School Fairs:

Student who live in low-income households are welcome to register to attend the Back-to-School Fairs in their county of residence. This year, each fair requires pre-registration at Each student will receive a ticket and a time to attend the fair. Items distributed to Back-to-School Fair attendees will vary by county.

Will County

  • Thursday, July 30, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Joliet Catholic Academy in Joliet.

DuPage County

      • Wednesday, Aug. 5, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the DuPage  County Fairground in Wheaton

Kankakee and Iroquois Counties

      • Friday, Aug. 7, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Central Christian Church in Bourbonnais


Here’s how many people participated in the  2019  ring

Back-to-School Fairs:

  • Will County: 3,540 individuals served.
  • DuPage County: 3,110 individuals served.
  • Kankakee/Iroquois County: approximately 1,656 individuals served.


Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet, is a faith-based organization providing service to people in need and calling others of good will to do the same.

To learn more about the Back-to-School Fairs and the other programs offered by the agency, please visit