BUILD kids need our help this summer.
For two and half months BUILD's communities have been struggling under the threat of COVID-19, a threat that amplified all others: poverty, criminal injustice, underfunded schools; intense pressures to join gangs, sustained trauma, limited access to grocery and tech. BUILD’s mentors and counselors have been lifelines for young people - talking, tutoring, and keeping them off the streets as frustration, confusion and despair grew around them.
After ten weeks of confinement Chicago exploded as we knew it would; Memorial Day was the deadliest since 2015 with 62 shot, 10 fatally. And then on May 25th, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, and the city caught fire. The first weekend in June, 85 shot, 24 fatally.
This was always going to be a tense summer. But now, it's already one of the most devastating and traumatic ever.
We live on the front lines; we know exactly how to help. Our mentors and mental health care teams are holding tight to their young people deep in crisis. Our street violence intervention teams have been out and stretched thin since Memorial Day, de-escalating conflict on every front and keeping youth as safe as they can. And against so many odds, we are doing summer: safe, CDC-compliant in-person summer camps, our community garden, and daily virtual youth programs and activities. Our kids need ALL of this.
Save Our Summer (SOS) for BUILD kids:
Expanded Violence Intervention
• Extended violence intervention team coverage - additional days; longer nights, weekends, afternoons.
• Additional equipment and supplies - clearly labeled and reflective clothing
• Outdoor tents, sinks, bathrooms to maximize the campers we can safely host
• Full CDC and IL Phase 3 COVID-19 compliance: smaller group pods, screening, ventilation, distancing, etc.
• Modifications of Austin HQ building for safe indoor summer use: barriers, safe distance markers, steady cleaning, etc.
• Individual camper supplies and equipment to minimize sharing
• Additional security and staff for screening
• Books for summer reading and free libraries
• Laptops and digital devices
• Home activity and care kits
Our young people are fighting so hard for their own futures, every day. We cannot let them lose the progress they have made; we have to keep them safe. Together, we can help them get through.
Stand up, join us and Be a BUILDer.