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Contribute to the Compassion Fund

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Compassion Fund School Year 2024-25

The Compassion Fund helps students and families facing challenging circumstances through direct monetary and in-kind assistance. Additionally, it directs support to schools and classrooms for academic, facility, social-emotional learning, and wellness resources.

School leaders have referred to the Compassion Fund as "Lifeline" for their communities.

This year for Back to School, we have heard from school leaders about how vital the Compassion Fund’s flexible relief has been during challenging times, and how there is an ongoing need for this support. Families are seeking assistance to provide for basic needs, and schools need extra support in their classrooms. Your generosity, and that of many others, allows us to continue meeting these needs as they arise for CPS families and school communities.

Compassion Fund support includes:

  • Direct financial relief for families facing extreme hardship, including job loss, death of a parent or caregiver, families facing homelessness due to fires or crises, and more
  • School resources such as culturally relevant books, school supplies, classroom updates and calm corners, social-emotional learning supplies, transit cards, and more
  • Creating and stocking Hygiene Care Closets to support student wellness, meeting both physical and social-emotional needs
  • Support for graduating seniors to ease the post-secondary transition––including funds to address barriers on their path to college such as deposits, textbooks, travel, etc. (read about recent recipients of postsecondary support on CFF’s blog)
  • Providing resources and whole-child support for newcomer students – such as newly-arrived migrant students – and others in temporary living situations
  • Support for school communities impacted by neighborhood or household violence

Thanks to your generosity, we have supported hundreds of schools, and tens of thousands of students and families. We will continue together to ensure our families are supported and that students and educators are equipped to succeed.

About Children First Fund

Children First Fund (CFF), the Chicago Public Schools Foundation, is the philanthropic and partnership arm of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). It serves as a knowledge hub and liaison between CPS and its community of partners, securing and organizing resources that advance CPS’ mission to provide a high-quality public education that prepares every child in every neighborhood for success in college, career, and civic life. For more information, please visit or find us on social @ChiFirstFund.

For gifts contributed through the Network For Good giving platform, CFF takes a 50% reduced operational charge (only 3%). This compensates for NFG platform fees and ensures that as many resources as possible will directly reach students and schools.