The annual struggle for many families this time of year is preparing the children in the household to return to school. For those that are in single-parent households, low income households, or just those coming from homes where financial literacy isn’t emphasized, the process it takes to best prepare their child for school can be turbulent. 

Many, if not all, families are aware of the prices that come along with this season: new backpacks, notebooks, pens and pencils, calculators, organizers, the list goes on. This past weekend, on July 15th, the Atlanta Hawks Foundation and Chase Bank, recognized these hardships and collaborated to host a back-to-school event at the Summerhill Community Center.

The event featured attractions whole families could enjoy, including games, Atlanta Hawks mascot Harry the Hawk, and an opportunity to meet Hall-of-famer and former Hawks star Dominique Wilkins, who showed up to sign autographs and take pictures with young fans. 

Aside from all the wonderful attractions the event had to offer, Chase Bank and Dominique Wilkins’ real purpose that day was to promote financial literacy among students and their parents. There were also additional speakers, informational fliers, and even a financial literacy workshop that focussed on saving, investing, and managing money. 

Representatives from Chase Bank distributed a thousand free backpacks filled with school supplies and sheets on how to maintain financial health for any and all students and families who came by. The event is part of a multi-year partnership between Chase Bank and the Hawks.

“Some of the pillars that the Atlanta Hawks have are being able to give back to the community and really being true to Atlanta. We align with those priorities as well.” said Chase Bank’s Atlanta Community Manager Matilda Lambert. 

According to Lambert, the Summerhill location is an investment that Chase has made to support the community and increase financial health knowledge. 

“We have a community room where we host workshops, and we invite the community and our nonprofit partners, civic organizations here in the city, to be able to have access to and use that space as well,” Lambert explained.

Wilkins is also familiar with the importance of financial literacy and giving back, having grown up in a financial literacy-challenged community in rural North Carolina. For him, this event was not a publicity stunt but rather a genuine desire to generate more opportunities for his community. 

“The only way to succeed in this world, especially in today’s world, you have to become financially savvy and make sure that you give yourself an opportunity to thrive in life and create different careers for yourself,” said Wilkins. “So financial literacy goes hand in hand.” 

Wilkins has used his platform as a player to put him in a better position to give back, not only from a school or financial standpoint but also when it comes to health and healthcare.

The relationship between the Hawks Foundation and Chase Bank and their value of giving back to the community goes even further than the back-to-school event, as they have teamed up with Good Sports to create ‘Project Rebound,’ which provides basketball equipment and offers health clinics to youth in Atlanta.