Our 2018 Annual Report is online!

a Catalyst grant will provide school supplies

July 15, 2015 | ECF Press Release

Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) announced today the awarding of a $2,500 Community Catalyst grant, to support a partnership between Evanston/Skokie School District 65, COPE (Caring Outreach by Parents in Evanston) and the District 65 PTA Council to provide school supplies for students in need.

This grant helps launch the partnership.

students in need

“With more than 2600 students in District 65 eligible for free lunch, there is a critical need to support families in getting their children off to a strong start this fall. ECF is pleased to award a grant of $2500 in support of this project that augments the efforts of school-based PTAs. We encourage others to join us,” says Sara Schastok, ECF’s President and CEO.

Approximately 36 percent of the district’s students qualify for free lunch. The ECF grant and other funds raised will be used to purchase bulk school supplies for at least 600 students before the start of the school year August 24. COPE is working to organize community support and raise funds, District 65 will source and order the supplies, and the PTA Council will coordinate volunteers to assemble and distribute supplies so all funds raised can be dedicated to the cost of supplies.


District 65 Chief Strategy Officer Maria Allison said “COPE is a great partner for this effort given their tremendous experience mobilizing resources to support children and families in District 65. We are very excited to be working with them this year.”

“We want to make sure every child is ready, prepared and excited to start school on day one”, said District 65 PTA Council President Kristin James.

“This Catalyst Grant from the Evanston Community Foundation not only provides supplies for the coming school year, but also helps establish a partnership to carry the work forward in future years”, said COPE Executive Director Juliet Bond.

ECF VP for Programs, Marybeth Schroeder, said “We are grateful to Northwestern University’s Dance Marathon for providing these Community Catalyst funds to ECF, and are pleased that this new partnership is filling the gap once met by nonprofit KASS (Kids and School Supplies).” Community Catalyst grants are small, discretionary grants that allow ECF a new way to respond to needs in the community as they arise, or advance strategic initiatives throughout the year, to make Evanston stronger.


Individuals and organizations are invited to make donations to help reach this year’s fundraising goal of $15,000 to reach at least 600 District 65 students in need and provide them with the supplies necessary to feel fully prepared to start school this fall. For more information about donating call COPE at 847-905-6332 or email careteam(at)evanstoncope.org. Gifts can also be made on the Give Now page.

about the foundation

The EVANSTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, founded in 1986 with current assets of more than $20 million, helps Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, inclusive, and just community. It builds, connects, and distributes resources and knowledge through local organizations for the common good. The Foundation builds endowments for current and future opportunities, fosters private philanthropy, focuses the impact of collective giving, finds solutions to community challenges, allocates grants, and provides leadership training.