Austin’s Lewis School celebrates with help from Chase and the Law Project

Lewis Elementary student Kayla Hines

JPMorgan Chase volunteers partnered again with the CCH Law Project to host an after-school holiday party for 122 children at Lewis Elementary School, located in Chicago’s West Side Austin neighborhood.

This marks the third year that we co-hosted a holiday party at Lewis School, this year for the 2nd and 3rd graders. Chase sent 40 bank staffers to lend a hand Tuesday! Together, we served pizza and cupcakes, ran games including Bozo Buckets, helped the children with craft projects, and distributed gift bags for children to take home.  

The party is one of many outreach events hosted through the year as part of the initiative, Every Child in School, Every Day. Supported by generous grants from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the project seeks to foster school enrollment for homeless and at-risk children who live in Austin or attend one of its 26 Chicago Public Schools. Lead liaisons are Chase’s Donna Jackson and Sharlita Davis, a CCH board member who works as a paralegal with the bank’s IP & Technology Law Group.


Chase volunteer Deb Kuhn at the face painting table.

“It just feels good,” said Nika Hawkins, a Chase staffer who has helped at all three holiday parties. “(The kids) are always so excited.”

Ida Riddle, who works in Business Banking, said she was inspired after learning about the high number of homeless children in Chicago Public Schools (which last school year identified 15,580 homeless students).

“I like the fact that Chase will allow us to come out here and do outreach… It makes you feel like you’re really contributing.  I want to give back because I’m thankful to God for what I have,” Ida said.

Deb Kuhn, a first-time volunteer from Human Resources, said, “There are basic things – food, clothing, and shelter – that some of these folks don’t have. I want to share that… I have a heart for kids and for folks that might be struggling in ways I don’t know.”

Mary Bird, an Oak Parker who directs public service programs at Loyola University School of Law, brought two student volunteers to distribute school resource information to parents. Bird ran one of the art tables for the children.

“All adults should spend a day at an elementary school holiday party. I am so happy that Lewis School let me come to theirs,” Mary said.

Many thanks to the Lewis staff, and the volunteers from Chase bank and Loyola law school, for the time and energy they gave the children at Lewis Elementary!

Many thanks to all of the volunteers!

– Article by Claire Lombardo, paralegal

– Photos by Jaime Michelle Schmitz