Although it is the middle of summer break, Chase Oaks is ready to come 2gether for Kids to meet the needs of struggling families this school year. Most of us who have kids will wait for the anticipated tax-free weekend to buy backpacks and school supplies. It is also when teachers will take advantage of the back-to-school sales since they use a lot of their money to purchase classroom supplies, including school supplies for their future students.

But not all families and teachers have the money they need to purchase their supplies. Many students will begin the year without all the required school supplies. Many teachers are supporting their families on incomes that match the average starting income for college graduates.

To lighten the load for families and teachers, we are encouraging everyone to come together—whether you are a part of Chase Oaks or a part of our surrounding community—to make a difference in our local schools.

What Is 2gether for Kids?

ac-2gether-for-kids-event-800x4502gether for Kids is an initiative that came out of a desire to help struggling families and teachers in our community. We wanted to provide supplies to help both teachers and students to start the school year with everything they needed to be successful.

One of the first steps to make a difference in our community is to reach out to local schools to build relationships and partnerships. As a result of our relationship with Mendenhall Elementary, we began hosting our annual SchoolZone Store at the Chase Oaks Family Center. We did not just want to host school supply drives and give the supplies to the schools. We wanted to create a place where families can come and shop for their kids’ backpacks and school supplies at an affordable price, bringing dignity to charity and giving ownership back to the families to provide for their kids.

At the end of each school year, we work with the school counselor to identify struggling families. In May, we provide invitations for families in need to the counselor, and she hands them out to the families. Families that are interested in our SchoolZone Store fill out the invitation, turn it into the counselor, and a Chase Oaks representative contacts them to book a date they can shop for their kids.

At SchoolZone, families can purchase all the supplies they need (including a backpack) for just $5. And the best part about our store is the kids can pick out their own backpack! To be able to provide for the kids and teachers, we host school supply drives at the end of summer.

This year, not only are we partnering with Mendenhall Elementary, but we are also partnering with Agape Resource & Assistance Center, Family Promise, and Shiloh Place. This would not be possible without all the generous donations we receive each year.

What Impact Can We Make 2gether for Kids?

Donating school supplies can make a big impact by providing relief to parents, kids, and teachers as they start the 2gether for Kidsschool year. Last year, we had so many generous donations from Chase Oakers.

As a result of everyone’s generosity, we were able to provide supplies for over 350 families and 60 teachers at our SchoolZone Store. Our Woodbridge Campus provided 2,000 composition notebooks for Wylie ISD.

Not only did we make an impact by donating school supplies, but our volunteers also made a difference in the lives of the families that shop at our SchoolZone Store. Our volunteers greeted the families with a smile and helped the families get everything they need. They had the opportunity to talk to the families and build relationships with both local families and teachers.

As we get ready for this year’s 2gether for Kids, we are excited see how many families and teachers we can impact this year!

How Can I Participate in 2gether for Kids?

We are so thankful for all those who participate every year. We could not support our community without you! If you are interested in participating, think of different people you can partner with to make a difference. Invite your neighbors, friends, family, co-workers, or LifeGroup members to join you!

There are a couple of ways you and your group can participate in 2gether for Kids this year.

1. Donate school supplies for our SchoolZone Store.

school suppliesAn easy way to participate in 2gether for Kids is to donate school supplies during our school supply drive. The first step is to look over our school supply list. You can choose a specific grade level and  purchase one or more backpacks filled with the supplies required for that grade level. Or you can purchase any amount of miscellaneous supplies from the list.

Aside from donating school supplies for the kids, you can also donate teacher supplies such as Expo markers, Clorox wipes, card stock, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, paper clips, Post-It notes, push pins, staples, stickers, binder clips, and electric pencil sharpeners. Teachers are welcome to shop at our store as well!

The Legacy Campus will host its school supply drive on the weekends of July 20/22 and 27/29. The En Español Campus will collect donations before and after their service on Sunday, July 22, and Sunday, July 29. For a Spanish version of the supply list, check out En Español School Supply List. The Sloan Creek Campus will host its school supply drive on the weekends of July 21-22 and 28-29. Just drop off your backpacks and supplies at the designated areas at each campus before or after the services.

2. Donate composition notebooks for Wylie ISD.

To meet the unique needs of Wylie ISD, the Woodbridge Campus is collecting composition notebooks for Wylie ISD’s Back-to-School Fair. Wylie ISD has asked for 200 primary composition notebooks and 500 wide-ruled composition notebooks. If you would like to make a difference for the students and teachers in Wylie ISD, drop off your composition notebooks before or after the services on Sunday, July 15, and Sunday, July 22.

For more information, visit 2gether for Kids Woodbridge Campus.

3. Serve at our SchoolZone Store.

Another way to make a difference is to sign up to serve at our SchoolZone Store. Families will be shopping at our store on August 1-4. To make it happen at our SchoolZone Store, we need volunteers to decorate the building, sort school supplies, and work at the store (i.e., greeting and assisting families and accepting payments).

If you are interested in serving at our SchoolZone store, sign up at Chase Oaks Family Center SchoolZone.

We are excited to see how we can build relationships with those in our community and impact the lives of parents, kids, and teachers. We cannot wait to see how many families we can serve this year!