Baseball Card Donation Complements White Sox Program at CPS School

Communities In Schools of Chicago
3 min readMay 17, 2024


Backpacks. Pencils. Toothpaste. Deodorant.

These are all essential items that young people need to start their school day on the right track, equipped with the tools they need to learn and grow.

Our team at CIS of Chicago works with corporate partners, community organizations, and individuals to source these items and get them to the students and families who need them most.

But when we heard from a local family that they had baseball cards they wanted to donate, we knew that these would put a smile on our students’ faces — and sometimes, moments of delight and unexpected joy, like receiving baseball cards with your favorite MLB players, make a real difference in a young person’s experience at school.

Travis Miller and his son, Drake, helped bring this delight to Chicago students when they generously provided a baseball card donation of 300 packs, 10 cards to a pack, at the beginning of the school year. “My son was so excited when I told him that [CIS] wanted packs of his cards to give to other kids that he immediately started sorting and making packs with cards he thought the kids would like,” Travis said.

In the fall, packs were distributed at one CIS school, but throughout the remainder of the school year, our School Partnership Team sought other ways to tie the baseball cards to relevant enrichment programs happening at CIS schools. Last month, that connection came to life.

Associate Director of School Partnerships Clare Spaulding thought that the Chicago White Sox “Southpaw Strikes Out Bullying” program could be the perfect fit for distributing the cards. Not only did the program include a visit from White Sox mascot Southpaw; it also demonstrated positive ways that young people can prevent bullying and stand up for others in an interactive presentation.

In April, Palmer Elementary School on the Northwest Side scheduled an in-person visit from Southpaw. When School Partnership Specialist Marlena Becker reached out to the school with the idea of distributing the baseball cards, their school leaders responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!” within minutes.

Southpaw incorporated the baseball cards into his Palmer Elementary School presentation as an incentive for student participation, and the remaining packs were distributed to all students who attended so they could have a memento of the assembly.

The baseball cards added a unique takeaway to an already informative program, and the CIS team was delighted to create this connection between Drake Miller, a young baseball fan with a generous spirit, and 300 Chicago students who experienced a happy, unexpected moment during their school day.



Communities In Schools of Chicago

Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.