On Saturday, September 9, 2017, more than 1,500 male student-athletes representing 64 different Chicago-area high schools, from the city and suburbs, came together to collect 3,000+ jackets in Oak Brook. The goal was to bring attention to National Suicide Awareness Month and also help enhance the lives of those in need with a new jacket prior to the fall and winter months. A jacket is something most take for granted. But to some, a jacket represents comfort and warmth - both physically and mentally during tough times.
The number of jackets represent the 3,000+ high school students who attempt suicide each day in the U.S. (3,470), bringing attention to National Suicide Awareness Month. Chicago’s teen suicide rate is the highest in the nation, according to a recent CDC survey.
The jackets were presented to Franciscan Outreach in Chicago on Sunday, September 17. It is a 257-bed shelter with separate men’s and women’s dorms that has been providing shelter for Chicago’s less fortunate for more than 30 years. In 2016, it provided 119,135 shelter nights, 263,744 meals and an estimated 40,000 showers.
The event was a part of the Making A Difference On AND Off The Field campaign presented by Buddy’s HELPERS and the PepsiCo Showdown.
Below is video of media coverage from the event: