At TPH Global®, we oversee packaging and display campaigns that go from one side of the world to the other. But one of our favorite projects takes place every year right in our own backyard during the back-to-school season.

The Albany Park Community Center (APCC) in north Chicago provides an after-school program that serves approximately 125 low-income children from one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the United States.

The majority of the children are recent immigrants, with roots that span the globe, including many from Latin America as well as the Philippines, India, Korea, Cambodia, Somalia, Romania, Pakistan and the Middle East. There are 40 different languages spoken in the public schools here. There is also a high level of need. The after-school program is just one of a variety of social, recreational and educational programs the not-for-profit community center provides for neighborhood children and families, including adult education, citizenship classes, job training and family counseling.

School Supply Drive Fills Backpacks, Feels Good

As part of our membership in the Peterson Pulaski Industrial Group, we are thrilled to be able to support the efforts of the community center in providing a safe environment for learning and recreation for these kids. One of our favorite projects is the annual school supply drive that sends the children who participate in the after-school program back to school fully equipped with the supplies they need to start things off right, from kindergarten through fifth grade.

We’ve been participating in the school supply drive for 15 years, but we never get tired of seeing the faces of the children as they dig through their cache of shiny new crayons, rulers, notebooks, markers and other supplies.

This year, we provided 125 backpacks emblazoned with the community center’s logo, helped stuff them with donated supplies and handed them out to a roomful of very excited children.

It’s a project that leaves us feeling as happy as a kid with a new box of crayons, and, as it turns out, that’s not just because it’s a lot of fun.

Research shows that helping others is actually good for your state of mind and your health. Volunteering and making charitable donations are associated with lower blood pressure, lower risk of dementia, less anxiety and depression and decreased cardiovascular risk. It feels good and it’s good for you.

Here’s How You Can Help

The Albany Park Community Center has all kinds of ways that you can help, from donating to volunteering, to signing up for a program under which Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase price when you shop online. Learn more by visiting the APCC website.

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