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District and Foundation work to help those in need

D214 students organize donated clothing items in the "clothing closet" for families in need. They also run a food pantry as a service project for their sociology class.

Published November 21, 2023

During the pandemic, many families in District 214’s local communities found themselves in difficult circumstances. Families lost jobs, lost housing and incurred unexpected medical costs.

The District 214 Education Foundation responded by creating 214 Cares, an emergency financial assistance program to help students and their families with urgent needs. Donations are used to help families cover the costs of rent or temporary housing, provide gift cards to local food stores, and to help stock the food pantry and clothing closet at the District’s Forest View Educational Center.

How important is this program? Says Foundation Executive Director Michael Happ: “During the COVID crisis, our communities showed their true character and compassion, rapidly contributing more than $100,000 for those who desperately needed support. But while the urgency of the pandemic has faded, the needs of our friends and neighbors have remained just as pressing. By continuing and expanding the 214 Cares program, powered by the tremendous generosity of our donors, the D214 Education Foundation is able to stay responsive to the vital needs we see every day.”

The urgent need: Current requests from families exceed what the Foundation has in available funding. The Foundation has set a goal of raising $25,000 to fill that gap.

How can you help? In this time of giving thanks, please consider a gift to help our students and neighbors in need.

To make a donation, click HERE. You can make a difference this holiday season.

What they’re saying: Read the Daily Herald story HERE.