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Catholic Charities’ Back-to-School Fairs Help Students from Low-Income Households

Back-to-School Fair participants in DuPage County moved quickly through the drive-thru to receive their supplies contact-free at the 2020 event. The event will be a drive-thru for the 2021 fair, as well.

Catholic Charities’ Back-to-School Fairs Help Students from Low-Income Households

Starting a new school year should be a time filled with promise, confidence, and excitement. However, for children from low-income households, this is a time that is often filled with stress and worry.

School supplies are expensive, and many families are unable to afford these items without sacrifice. Other children return to school without the necessary supplies. Preparing for the start of a new school year is one of the most expensive periods that parents face during the year. More than 30 years ago, Catholic Charities was made aware of this situation and the impact it has on students and their families.

In response, the agency began their annual Back-to-School Fairs to ensure that no child had to experience returning to school unprepared, which can compromise success, confidence, and creativity.

Catholic Charities hosts Back-to-School Fairs every  August to serve children in DuPage, Iroquois, Kankakee, and Will Counties. Each student receives a backpack filled with age-appropriate school supplies. Registration is mandatory.

DuPage County:

Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

DuPage County Fairgrounds

2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton

Kankakee and Iroquois Counties:

Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021

3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Kankakee High School, 1200 W. Jeffery St., Kankakee

Will County:

Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021

3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Joliet Catholic Academy, 1200 N. Larkin Ave., Joliet

Catholic Charities depends on the generosity of donors to help fund the Back-to- School Fairs. Please consider making a donation to relieve the burden of purchasing backpacks and school supplies from poor families and from the teachers who often spend their own money to ensure that each child has what they need.

To learn more and/or register for a Back to School Fair, please visit:

To donate to the Back-to-School Fair, please visit:

Why are Catholic Charities’ Back-to-School Fairs important?

  • Students need basic supplies and a place to keep everything organized in order to learn effectively.
  • Every child deserves the supplies necessary to start the school year with the same advantages as their peers.
  • Education is one of the most important factors in breaking a cycle of poverty. We must give children from low-income households every chance to succeed at school.

Catholic Charities’ volunteers and staff loaded supplies into the trunks of vehicles.