30th Annual DuPage County Back to School Fair

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COVID-19, remote learning, school start dates pushed back…none of those factors stopped Catholic Charities DuPage from putting on its 30th annual DuPage County Back to School Fair.

Back to School Help

This annual summer event is a major countywide effort to help low-income families access important services to begin the school year on a positive note. While necessary modifications gave the fair a different look this year, organizers and dozens of volunteers were once again able to provide thousands of community members with back to school supplies and food items.

Safer Setting

“This year is obviously a little bit different,” said Director of Community Services Amy Lafauce. “For the safety of the participants and the staff helping carry out the fair, we decided to move to a no contact, drive-thru type of event this year. This is also the first time we did a pre-registration online for the event so we knew how many households and people would be coming, making sure we had enough supplies for everyone.”

Held at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton, this year’s drive thru and no contact delivery system actually streamlined the process, allowing families to receive their supply packs and food boxes with minimal wait time.

Positive Response

“We’ve actually had a great response from the participants,” noted Lafauce. “They were very thankful that we were even holding the fair and thankful that they didn’t have to stand in line and were able to feel safe. But they were still able to receive the school supplies and the fliers and pamphlets from over 90 different agencies in DuPage County.”

While the usual sights of backpacks, free haircuts and vision screenings were absent this year, the spirit of helping the DuPage County community remained as strong as ever. For Naperville News 17, I’m Justin Cornwell.