BLU! (clothing store) ( donation campaign)

Taking the excess of my immediate community and transferring it into the hands of the less fortunate across the world

Photo of Ketsia
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Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

04/14/2002

Where are you located:

Jonesboro, GA 30238

Date Started

02/24/18

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

With the same want I might have for the latest iPhone someone else somewhere in the world is in want of something as simple as a backpack.Being brought to the US through nothing but God's grace and the hard work of my mom and dad, it's been imprinted onto me all of my life that no matter how much I feel I've suffered there are people across the world, struggling in ways I will never know.Being aware that there's so much we take for granted , that could make the difference of a lifetime to someone across the world is heartbreaking.But being aware that there's so much that could be done if someone didn't just stop at "being aware" and took initiative, was enough to push me to pursue this. If I notice a problem, see a possible solution and don't respond with action,I in turn feel responsible for the lives that could have been touched.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

The first being the fact that there is so much unnecessary excess in the US when it comes to material things, in this case backpacks. Most kids, students, hikers, travelers, etc will have at least one, to a few backpacks that they don't need or no longer use. The second issue being that there are children all around the world yearning for a decent education ,that don't have the simple tools we keep in excess : a backpack or school supplies.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

I want to Be able to
1.Take thousands of donated backpacks sitting frivolous in many peoples rooms and closets and transport them to schoolchildren in the countries of Angola and Africa,through a backpack donation campaign
2.Launch an online clothing company,in which 50% of all profits will go to the provision of backpacks and school supply packs to schoolchildren in Africa.We will determine 50% of the overall profit from the selling year and with that purchase school supply packs for the bags from the campaign and with the rest purchase premade bag and school supply kits from bluschoolsupplies
3. Be able to successfully market our "BLU" clothing brand, and its message.Blue is the color of education and the main focus of our company SHOPBLU is to raise awareness, while bringing about a difference.We use the color blue to represent the lives of those throughout the world, in poverty who have never received quality education. Motto-
 "We wear blue in awareness of the 263 million children in the world who will receive limited to no access to decent education. We wear BLU in awareness that we can be apart of lowering the statistic" (stats taken from UNESCO institute for statistics)

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

An individual could engage in one of two ways. Either through coming across a school/public facility backpack donation initiative and being encouraged to donate any unneeded book bags. OR by coming across our instagram or online store and purchasing a product. From this purchase 50% of profits will be used to purchase, transport and distribute backpacks and school supply packs to schoolchildren in Africa.In addition to purchasing products someone would also be able to join the patron program,in which they would be able to choose from 1 of 2 choices: to give a certain amount each month to the company/organization in general, and receive a product package,and information of current and upcoming projects.OR become a monthly sponsor to one of the schools in our aid. This person would recieve information about their school, a poster, one free product of their choosing, and monthly discounts.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

We do not only seek to identify and bring awareness to this issue, but we want to allow the customer/contributor to be apart of the solution.The clothing line targets a national and global audience but the donation campaign makes the issue more personal to local communities. There is something in this campaign for everyone.We really want to focus on the fact that EVERYONE can do something, and that ANYONE can be apart of solving the problem. Whether it be through donating , buying or allowing your sympathy or interest to drive you to aid through financial support.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Since our program is in an idea/ early development stage we plan to measure our impact and success through how many backpacks we will be able to collect from the donation campaign and how many backpacks and school supply packs we will be able to purchase and distribute(according to how much of a profit is produced from the clothing line).Our goal is to be able to ship 10,000 backpacks with 10,000 school supply packs over to Africa.Apart from the numbers and figures we also want to see people really involved and interested in this campaign and through our message that "everyone and anyone can make a difference anywhere". We hope to see this manifest through our many online initiatives that will include many things from a weekly "spotlight" story of someone who has made some type of difference in ANY way big or small, to weekly "kindness" challenges.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

So many things we want to accomplish in the next year !!! For the backpack campaign we need to contact the rest of the schools we're interested in working with , as well as set up meetings to plan in detail with each school administration. With the clothing line we are currently searching for manufacturers to produce our designs.Most importantly we are figuring out the logistics behind the backpacks and school supply packs, their storage, overseas shipping and how we will transport them to each school once they reach the African coasts.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

We currently have a nonprofit license, are on board with 6 Clayton county schools(GA) to begin backpack donation campaigns, and a little over $1000 in funding. We are looking to use "bluschoolsupplies" as our supplier for the supplies that we will purchase ,with the 50% of profits from the clothing line.(the name choice was a coincidence)
Needed
1:Website (marketing, information, and sales, donation area)
2: Manufacturers for our initial shirt , hoodie and cap lines
3: Support from Clayton County school district board(GA).(we are speaking with board officials in order to get involvement from as many schools as possible in our first year of school campaigning)
4: A space for storage purposes

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Donations less than $100
  • Donations between $100-$1k

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

There is so much flexibility in partnering through the clothing line!! In the future we plan to integrate other campaigns and initiatives into our focus. We would do this through introducing a new line in which a percentage of those profits would go to whatever organization or campaign we would be working with or implementing ourselves. I personally had loose(and undeveloped) ideas for our next lines to support the building of water wells in certain cities in Africa, and the provision of health packages for women in rural areas in a country, city or region of our choosing ,without access to much needed supplies, but I would LOVE to partner up with other people with a similar mindset and passion for change in producing clothing lines that would aid in funding their campaigns,missions, organizations, whatever it may be!

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Jay Versace

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3 comments

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Photo of Tia Johnston Brown
Team

Your drive shows through so well in your video and what you have written up. I feel so very confident that you will take this idea far. My main feedback is that you start simple and small. For example consider just doing the backpack drive at your school and also raising money to ship the bags in a creative way while also educating your peers. This idea will be most powerful if you aren't just getting youth to buy shirts or donate a backpack but also really live in the shoes of those you are trying to help. Think about having a movie viewing about Angola one night at school and charing $5 to get in, or doing a Skype call with a student there and also charging for the experience.

I'd say, wait on the clothing line for now, but if you are really driven to make it happen start with just a t-shirt. Make sure it not only has your brand but a social message for everyone to see when its worn. Talk to t-shirt companies and ask for pro-bono design support or discounts. You could even go to your local college and find a student majoring in fashion design who could assist you as an internship. Keep pushing this forward. I love it!

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