This year, Ivy Storehouse wanted to give back to our youth and our extraordinary cohort of AKA Educators who all faced challenging times during last year’s unprecedented school year due to the impact of COVID-19. It was then that we started dreaming up what is now the #ProjectBackpack initiative. It all began with a vision to design and deliver custom backpacks equipped with all of the necessities students need for a successful school year. We spent months designing pink and green backpacks for both boys and girls and all in demand school supplies. We then used the power of our supply chain and volumes to manufacture the stocked backpacks at a significant discount in addition to bolstering the number of backpacks purchased by Sorority members.
From the color selection of the crayons, to the inspiring quotes on the journals, and the note to students from Sorority members that were placed in the backpacks, we left no stone unturned during the creative process and gave the students our absolute best. After completing the design process, it was time to get you all involved! The second phase of Project Backpack launched during this year’s Christmas in July Sale. During check-out, Ivy Box subscribers had the option to add-on a backpack for $20 to their cart. Since Alpha women are all about community, it was no surprise that many of you decided to purchase a backpack and change a life.
Next, it was time to engage our educators, so we put out a call to action to all of our AKA educators via e-mail and asked them to apply for a chance to become Project Backpack recipients. The response was simply overwhelming! Though Sorority members purchased thousands of backpacks and we bolstered the purchase, the need was so great that all backpacks were distributed within minutes of launching the application process – preference was given to low income Title 1 schools.
In their applications, our wonderful educators wrote about the love they have for their students and the many challenges they faced. Many educators personally supplement students with supplies and backpacks, purchase water bottles for students-as many water fountains have closed in schools as a COVID-19 precaution, and rely on donations to aid in getting students the supplies they need.
While reading the applications, it was very evident that this old saying rings true, teaching is not just a job, it is a calling! We are honored that so many of you have answered your calling and are committed to uplifting the next generation through education.
Though we already knew this, another point that was highlighted in many applications, is the fact that Alpha educators are extremely proud! Many of our educators wrote about how often they tell their students about their beloved sisterhood, its rich history, and the Sorority’s commitment to excellence and service.
Though we would have loved to deliver backpacks to all of those in need, we were able to select institutions from around the nation as recipients, and we began delivering the thousands of backpacks at the beginning of this month.
Project Backpack was an initiative created out of love, and we are truly touched at the overflow of sisterly support that was shown by all of you. To all of the wonderful members who purchased a backpack, you have planted a seed of sisterhood, service, and solidarity that will be embedded into these children’s minds forever. You’re a movement by yourself, but a force when you’re together! Thank you, thank you, thank you for partnering with us to pour back into our youth and the Sorors who educate them! You have shown these students what sisterhood is all about. #wehelpeachother
Due to the great need for school supplies, Ivy Storehouse has decided to keep the program running all year long in order to earn more donations for students. Project Backpack will continue during our annual Pink Friday Sale! Likewise, we are looking to increase the size of the program and add sponsors for Project Backpack in 2022. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you or your corporation would like to get involved and help us create magic for the next generation of innovators and leaders!