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Cardinal Blase Cupich Video Appeals to Illinoisans to Help Fund A Child’s Future by Supporting Tax Credit Scholarships

More than $11.5 million has already been raised this year to provide scholarships to 2,100 children.

Chicago - (Dec. 1, 2021) – Today, the Archdiocese of Chicago released a video message featuring Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, and Catholic school families speaking in support of tax credit scholarships.

The archdiocese has raised more than $11.5 million through the State of Illinois “Invest in Kids” Tax Credit Scholarship Program to pay full tuition for 2,100 children from low-income families this year. With more than 4,700 children remaining on the scholarship waitlist, Cardinal Cupich hopes to increase donations as fundraising through a 2-for-1 matching program began Dec. 1 for the next school year.

The Illinois “Invest in Kids” Act, signed into law in 2017, includes a provision for tax credit scholarships. Those who contribute to the program will receive a credit of 75 percent of their donation toward their state of Illinois income taxes and may choose which non-public school receives the scholarship. 

“These donations won’t only lower your tax bill, but can potentially increase your refund, all the while providing a high quality Catholic education to children from lower-income families,” Cardinal Cupich said in the video. “As we still work our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, our Catholic schools have become beacons of hope for families committed to in-person learning. We’ve seen our students thrive socially and emotionally and achieve noteworthy test score gains.”

The video message from Cardinal Cupich is available at

One of the families featured in the video includes the story of Gerardo Valdivia, a father of four children currently attending an archdiocesan Catholic school. Six years ago, fire swept through Valdivia’s Little Village home, severely burning him, killing his wife and critically injuring two of their children. The blaze in the 2600 block of West Cullerton Street garnered national headlines, and  Valdivia and two of his children underwent numerous surgeries.

At the time of the fire, his children were not attending an archdiocesan school, but after the tragic accident and incidents of bullying, Valdivia made the decision to enroll them in an Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic school. His children have been thriving since then and have received tax credit scholarships to help pay for tuition. Valdivia is now a fervent advocate of the program.

“Tax credit scholarships make the biggest difference in the world for low-income families,”  Valdivia said. “I haven’t had to work two jobs, which is something I was used to. These tax credit scholarships are a blessing for our family.”

Donations to the program go through a scholarship granting organization, which receives donations, processes scholarship applications and distributes scholarships to eligible students. The demand for scholarships vastly outweighs the available funds.. There are more than $33 million in tax credits still available as part of this program.

To learn more about donating to a tax credit scholarship visit archchicago/DonateTCS or call 312.534.2617.