IL (September 15, 2004) - The Illinois Department of Children and Family
Services (DCFS) and High Sierra Sport Company hosted a news conference
to announce that High Sierra Sport Company, based in Vernon Hills, donated
500 back packs, duffle/gym bags, and luggage pieces to youth in state
care. Currently, foster parents are given about $20 for items that are
typically not covered by the monthly reimbursements that DCFS provides
to meet the basic needs of children in its care. This leaves many foster
parents grappling with how to finance incidental expenses such as back-to-school
shopping and other events that are important in a child's life.
a holistic perspective, we would love to be in a position to meet every
single need of the children in our care," said DCFS Director Bryan
Samuels. "Fiscally that is impossible. Therefore, we are forced to
make some tough decisions about how to best utilize our resources to ensure
that the Department is preparing these kids for long-term success."
recognizing that items such as school supplies and the occasional new
toy are also an intricate part of a child's growth experience, DCFS has
begun reaching out to corporations, such as High Sierra Sport Company,
to help expand its capacity to cover these "hidden" expenses.
High Sierra and the Department are urging others to come forward to contribute
in-kind and monetary donations for children in need.
conference was held at the High Sierra Sport Company headquarters, 880
Corporate Woods Parkway in Vernon Hills, IL. DCFS Director Bryan Samuels,
High Sierra President L. Harrison (Hank) Bernbaum and D-29th District
Senator Susan Garrett spoke at the event.
are very happy to work together with DCFS on this back-to-school project,"
said High Sierra President Hank Bernbaum. "We know that when children
begin the school year prepared, they are more likely to have a productive
Sport Company was incorporated January 1, 1978 as H. Bernbaum Import &
Export Company by Harry H. Bernbaum and his son, Hank. Its other sponsorship
efforts include partnerships with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team, Children's
Memorial Foundation, Jimmie Huega Snow Express for Multiple Sclerosis,
World Alpine Ski Championships, and the National Sports Center for the
generous donation will be distributed to six DCFS regions. In addition,
luggage will be sent to youth in college, youth scholarship recipients,
and children at the Department's Emergency Reception Center who are waiting
to be placed in foster care.
education as the key to success for children in state care continues to
be a top priority for the Department. DCFS will continue to ensure that
children in its care receive the appropriate interventions along the way,
such as mentoring, tutoring, vocational training and support.
To make donations
for children in state care, please contact the DCFS Springfield Communications
Office at 217/785-1700.
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services