What is the D54 Crisis Fund?
The COVID-19 public health crisis and deepening economic crisis had a profound effect on communities across the nation, including ours. Some families in our community are experiencing financial hardships that make it challenging for them to meet basic household needs. Financial insecurity impacts the way students in our district experience the world and can make it difficult for them to focus on learning.
The District 54 Education Foundation started the Crisis Fund in 2020 to provide critical financial assistance to families in the district. Donations made to the Crisis Fund make it possible for families to afford groceries, utilities, gas and other essential items.
How does it work?
The Crisis Fund is operated by the D54 Education Foundation. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization that raises funds to support programs not fully funded by school budgets or tax dollars. The Crisis Fund was created to provide support to families experiencing financial hardships or troubled situations.
District 54 is fortunate to have social workers onsite at schools working directly with students. The social workers provide counseling to students and address issues that may affect academic performance. As part of this process, they assess student needs for things such as food and clothing. The social workers then request funds from the Crisis Fund. The strength of the Crisis Fund is that it allows social workers the flexibility to request funds to support the diverse needs of families across the district.
Impact to Date
Because of the generosity of donors, the Crisis Fund has distributed more than $97,000 to hundreds of District 54 families since March 2020.
“The crisis fund has completely changed the way that we are able to support families. Before the crisis fund, we had to spend so much time (often without success) to find even $30 to buy a student a blanket, weekend food, shoes, etc. Staff consistently ended up spending more of their own money to provide these items for students because the funds weren’t available in the community. I can’t say enough how much staff and families appreciate quick and easy access to a fund to meet basic student and family needs.” – School District 54 Social Worker
I have received the gift card the school has sent me. I really appreciate you and all the other teachers for the help you have given me. And to the social worker. Thank you very much for your solidarity. I really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
District 54 Parent