It’s been a tradition for many years for Together We Cope to send youngsters off to a new school year each fall equipped with new backpacks and school supplies, a fresh haircut, new socks and underwear, and some incidentals like paper towels, facial tissues and hand sanitizers.

Through tremendous community support every year, TWC’s Back to School program provides these little necessities to more than 1,000 children each August. For a $50 donation, a benefactor can equip one child for a successful start to a new school year. TWC purchases new backpacks for all of the children in the program, as well as boxed sets of school supplies packaged by grade level, and some of the classroom incidentals that teachers request every family contribute. Local hair salons donate coupons for free haircuts for each child, and another drive seeks to collect new socks and underwear.

We’ve found that all children are eager to start a new school year, especially when they are equipped to enter the classroom on an equal footing with their peers. Having that little boost of confidence with new backpacks and supplies contributes to their success with academics.

For many families, equipping their children for the return to school is a financial burden – one that can be especially difficult to meet when the family is facing a crisis such as loss of a job or grandparents trying to raise their grandchildren.

Further information on this year’s Back to School campaign is with Tina Kessens at or at 708-633-5040 ext. 7231. Donations can be made by cash, check, or credit card through our website by clicking the “donate now” button on the homepage. Checks can be sent to Together We Cope, 17010 So. Oak Park Avenue, Tinley Park, IL 60477.