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CVS Health presents the Chicago Park District with $20K check at Ellis Park.
CVS Health presents the Chicago Park District with $20K check at Ellis Park.
Photo: Chicago Park District /Irene Tostado

CVS Health surprised Park Kids after-school program at Ellis Park in the Douglas community with a backpack giveaway during check presentation

CHICAGO, IL — As the academic school year commences, the Chicago Park District is excited to announce that it’s Financial Assistance Fund has received a $20,000 grant by CVS Health.  The generous gift will assist in eliminating financial barriers to after-school and summer day camp programs for families in need, and expand on both of the organization’s goals to further reach communities they serve with broader access to more resources.

At the 'Meet & Greet' with some of the 285 Park Kids benefitting from the donation during the Park Kids after-school program, CVS Health presented the Chicago Park District with a $20,000 check and a backpack giveaway in support of the Financial Assistance Fund program

The event held on Thursday, September 7, 2023 at Ellis Park, 3520 S. Cottage Grove Ave., in the Douglas community was attended by CVS Health and Aetna Colleagues, Chicago Park District staff and Ellis Park Kids. 

“On behalf of the Chicago Park District team, and the 285 Parks Kids that will benefit from the Financial Assistance Fund to attend an enriching after-school program in one of our parks, I would like to say thank you to CVS Health for their commitment to our Park Kids, said Joan Coogan, Chicago Park District Chief of Staff. “We are grateful to CVS Health for supporting this cause with a $20,000 grant and back pack donation that will have an overwhelming impact on the lives of many Chicago families facing financial barriers to after-school and summer day camp programs. With this donation CVS Health will help provide youth with access to safe, supervised spaces to complete homework assignments, and engage in fun, extracurricular activities.”

“I enjoyed my time with the youth of Chicago and the staff from the Chicago Parks and Rec Department. It really warms my heart to be able to pour into the students and be a resource," said Charles  Colvin, CVS Health Market Head of Community Affairs. "Community centers like the one at Ellis Park played a major role in my childhood so I understand first hand the importance of the community partnership we have with the Chicago Park and Rec department. I look forward volunteering for the youth and to continuing our collaborations in the city of Chicago.” 

Nearly 10,000 children between the ages of 6 to 12 years old enroll in the Chicago Park District’s Park Kids after-school program. For a reasonable fee, these programs provide kids with a safe, supervised spaces to complete homework assignments, and engage in fun, extracurricular activities. One in five Summer Camp and Park Kids participants receive additional financial assistance to enroll in the programs. In 2022, nearly 5,000 kids benefitted from the support. To date, the Financial Assistance Fund has fundraised twice as much as last year, with a current total amount of $325,000, thanks to support from organizations like CVS Health. This is the first time that CVS Health has worked with the Park District to leverage their resources to help more Chicago kids receive financial assistance for Park Kids and Day Camps. The $20,000 grant from CVS Health will help support 285 kids participating in Chicago Park District youth programs, including summer camps. 

About CVS Health

CVS Health® is the leading health solutions company, delivering care like no one else can. We reach more people and improve the health of communities across America through our local presence, digital channels and over 300,000 dedicated colleagues – including more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and nurse practitioners. Wherever and whenever people need us, we help them with their health – whether that’s managing chronic diseases, staying compliant with their medications or accessing affordable health and wellness services in the most convenient ways. We help people navigate the health care system – and their personal health care – by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. And we do it all with heart, each and every day. Follow @CVSHealth on social media.

About Chicago Park District

The Chicago Park District has served Chicago residents for more than 85 years.  It is a Gold Medal Award-winning organization, which recognizes excellence in park and recreation management across the nation.  For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,800 acres of parkland, more than 600 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, over 75 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertainment programs, please visit or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY. Follow us on Facebook @ChicagoParkDistrict and on Instagram and Twitter @chicagoparks.