Apex CPAs & Consultants Raise Over $30,000 in Sixth Luggage of Love Campaign for Kane County Children in Foster Care
(St. Charles, Illinois) December 14, 2020—In its sixth annual Luggage of Love fundraiser, supported by dozens of generous clients and friends, Apex CPAs & Consultants raised over $30,000 to provide gift-packed suitcases to Kane County children entering foster care. Apex managing partner James Chakires, who founded the Luggage of Love campaign in 2015, presented the donations to Gloria Kelley, CASA Kane County executive director, at a recent donation drop-off event. This year was a momentous year, pushing donations to date to over $100,000 with 100% of the proceeds going directly to benefit children in the Kane County foster care system.
The donations included a collection of new suitcases already packed with items such as blankets, toiletries, clothing and books, along with cash to purchase more. The need is great, CASA Kane County serves over 500 children each year in abuse, neglect and private guardianship court. They have seen a drastic impact on cases which have risen to over 300% since the start of the pandemic.
Foster children frequently have few belongings; just a couple of outfits, photographs, and a stuffed animal or toy. When they are moved between families, these children are often forced to carry their few keepsakes and belongings in plastic trash bags. Carrying their items in bags can be embarrassing and yet another reminder of how little they own.
“Can you imagine being in that situation? These children are removed from their homes through no fault of their own, sometimes due to abuse or neglect and other times due to a parent’s death or illness. These children are already traumatized, and now they have to leave behind everything and everyone they know. That is why I feel Luggage of Love is such a worthy cause,” remarked Jim Chakires, who serves as Vice Chair of the Executive Committee for CASA. “By giving a child a new piece of luggage to protect their precious belongings, we give them a booster shot of dignity and hope.”
“We can’t thank Jim and Jessie Chakires enough, along with their staff, clients, and friends who donated to the Luggage of Love campaign, for their generous outpouring of support,” said Gloria Kelley, Executive Director of CASA Kane County. “These seemingly simple items are so meaningful to the children and really make them feel valued and loved. After this year and what they have been through, their confidence and trust need to be built back up. This is a great way to show them that there are people who care about them.”
CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. CASAs are all volunteers from the community who, as the name suggests, advocate for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Whereas DCFS social workers must often handle 20 or more cases at a time, a CASA volunteer is responsible for just one case at a time. A CASA ensures that each individual child’s needs are heard and addressed throughout various court hearings and moves from one residence to another. Being able to give a child a suitcase full of gifts is one small way a CASA can help ease a child’s transition into foster care.
About Apex CPAs & Consultants, Inc.
Apex CPAs & Consultants, Inc., is an innovative accounting, tax and advisory services firm focused on the overall well-being of growth-minded business owners. Apex is a licensed CPA firm headquartered in St. Charles, IL with offices in Phoenix, AZ. For more information, visit https://www.apexcpas.com/.
About CASA Kane County
CASA Kane County is a nonprofit organization that prevents children from falling through the cracks of the child welfare system. This is done by providing each child with the voice of a well-trained volunteer advocate. For more information, visit http://www.casakanecounty.org/.
Apex CPAs & Consultants