Tag Archives: warm clothing fund

Clothes for Clothes: “Fashion Focused. Cause Motivated.”

The past two fall seasons, Altar’d State’s Mission Monday program has upheld the clothier’s motto: “Fashion Focused. Cause Motivated.” – contributing more than $10,000 to our Warm Clothing Fund, and “standing out for good,” just as the company promises it does.

Every Monday, ten percent of each store’s net sales go to the nonprofit that it is promoting.

How the Mission Monday program works

Each Altar’d State location chooses a nonprofit local to it to be its beneficiary for several weeks to a couple of months, depending on the length of the brand’s current theme. Topics vary from self-esteem, to pets, to cancer awareness, to service men and women, to children, to hunger and homelessness. Every Monday, ten percent of each store’s net sales go to the nonprofit that it is promoting. Literature about the Mission Monday charity is posted at cash registers during its promotion, so Monday shoppers can learn even more about the new life their dollars will find beyond the shopping experience, as one-tenth of that money exchanging hands is going toward a philanthropic cause.

That should really make Altar’d State’s clients shine when they don their new bohemian flare!

Not only does the outfitter provide financial support to charities, but it also offers greatly-needed and too often overlooked manpower; its employees have contributed over 8,000 hours of their treasured time to carrying out community service tasks on a volunteer basis at the nonprofits they benefit.

“Giving back is more than just what we do… it’s who we are.”

And give Altar’d State does! In 2018 alone, the brand donated over $2.5 million to charitable causes through its “Give Back” brands, the sales of which have funded the construction of a number of high schools and community centers in Peru through a nonprofit organization called Coprodeli. The retailer also sponsors 200 children in high-risk areas of the country through the same charity, helping disadvantaged kids to receive nutritional, educational, and psychological support. Altar’d State employees may also choose to sponsor Coprodeli children individually, too.

While the business itself is fairly new – barely ten years old – it has done a whole lot of good in less than a decade.

Each and every day, one percent of Altar’d State’s total profits are directed toward Coprodeli causes. These contributions have also provided computers and books to students, as well as clothes, school supplies, and other necessities to sponsored kids. The “Give Back” incentive has supported relief efforts in times of disaster through the sale of globally-conscious T-shirts for causes, with proceeds being donated for the purchase of supplies in times of immediate need. In addition, members of the Altar’d State home office team have participated in a number of Habitat for Humanity construction projects.

From coffee to attire – but always giving back

While the business itself is fairly new – barely ten years old – it has done a whole lot of good in less than a decade. In November of 2009, the first Altar’d State, which was then both a retail store and coffee shop, opened in Knoxville, Tennessee. The original and lasting mission of its duo of founders, Aaron Walters and Brian Mason, is upheld to this very day: to utilize the retail industry to change the world for the better.

Little by little, the Altar’d State brand personality bloomed into the artful flower that is now poised in the garden of the fashion industry. Today, the company oversees more than 100 boutique stores in thirty U.S. states – each and every location contributing year-round to the efforts of local nonprofits.

Children Incorporated’s local store and great advocate for children is located at Short Pump Town Center in Glen Allen, Virginia. Many kids in Appalachia, our Inner City Division, our Native American Division, and in Altar’d State – Short Pump’s and our own backyard in Richmond, Virginia are staying warm and healthy this winter season because of Altar’d State’s Mission Monday program and the store’s chic, socially-conscious shoppers.

 

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HOW DO I DONATE TO THE WARM CLOTHING FUND?

You can donate to the Warm Clothing Fund in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and make a contribution to our Warm Clothing Fund.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

For most children, winter is a time of joy as they wait hopefully for snowfall and deep freezes. For those without warm clothes, however, winter is a season of cold and hardship.

dscf4483-1That’s a problem volunteers and donors at Children Incorporated have been working to fix for almost 25 years.

Children Incorporated’s Warm Clothing Fund raised $30,000 this year to provide coats, gloves, boots, and other warm clothes to children in need. More than 3,500 children around the United States received items this year, each specifically selected for their own individual needs.

They include children who don’t have sponsors and children whose needs exceed their sponsorship.

“In most cases, we’ve found that the sponsorship funds are stretched to the limit,” said Steve Mitchell, Children Incorporated’s Sponsorship Manager. “Clothes, food, schools supplies, and hygiene items – even for our sponsored children, sometimes it’s just not enough. And unfortunately, there aren’t enough sponsors for every child who needs help.”

“Clothes, food, schools supplies, and hygiene items – even for our sponsored children, sometimes it’s just not enough. And unfortunately, there aren’t enough sponsors for every child who needs help.”

So where sponsorship leaves off, the Warm Clothing Fund picks up. Any child in need, whether sponsored or not, can get brand-new winter clothing, purchased specifically for them, through the fund.

The fund focuses primarily on the Appalachian Region of Kentucky and West Virginia, the Navajo Reservation in the Midwest, and inner city areas of urban centers like Detroit, but it includes other communities around the country as well. Children Incorporated also spreads the warmth in its own backyard, providing winter clothing for students in Richmond City Public Schools in Virginia.

Coming in from the cold

dscf2101The children’s parents sometimes request help – but usually teachers see the need before anyone even asks. When that happens, the teacher talks to our volunteer coordinator at the school. Volunteer coordinators are school employees, such as guidance counselors or resource coordinators, who work with nonprofits like Children Incorporated to get help for individual children.

“In many cases, the coordinator may meet with the family to talk about the child’s clothing needs,” Mitchell said. “Sometimes the coordinator gets to take the child out shopping to pick out their own items. It’s not always possible, but when they can – talk about making a child’s day!”

In other cases, the coordinator selects and purchases shoes, gloves, a coat or a scarf – sometimes all of them – and gives them to the child. The items are always new, and are individually selected for each child, based on their needs.

New shoes – for the first time

Jefferey Jackson, the coordinator at Blackwell Elementary School in Richmond, told the story of a child who was sent to his office with shoes a size-and-a-half too small. He called Mitchell at Children Incorporated and Mitchell told him to use Warm Clothing Fund money to buy the boy a new pair of shoes in his size.

“This young man was extremely pleased when presented with his new shoes. He accepted them with a pledge to always keep them tied properly,” Jackson said. “Not long after our exchange, he returned to my office with a letter of gratitude. In this letter, spotted with tears, he confessed that this was the first time that he has had a brand new pair of shoes that were not handed down from another source.”

“Not long after our exchange, he returned to my office with a letter of gratitude. In this letter, spotted with tears, he confessed that this was the first time that he has had a brand new pair of shoes that were not handed down from another source.”

Zero degrees at the bus stop

In the colder parts of the country, the need becomes even more acute.

Debbie Fluty, assistant coordinator at Sheldon Clark High School in Kentucky, said the Warm Clothing Fund provides boots, coats, and socks for students in life-threatening cold.

“Some have to walk out of mountain hollows to catch the bus because buses cannot get to them. They have to stand in zero degree weather at the bus stops,” she said.

And many parents won’t send their children out into the cold without proper clothes, so when the temperature drops, students don’t come to school at all, said Mary Valenza, coordinator at Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School in Richmond.

dscf4461We know that chronic absences lead to poor grades and poor grades often result in a student being retained,” she said, noting that having a reliable source for coats, hats, gloves, and scarves has made a difference in attendance.

Problem solvers

“The Warm Clothing Fund has been successfully solving that problem for more than two decades, because it’s the kind of situation that really resonates with Children Incorporated donors,” said Mitchell.

“There’s an immediate remedy,” he said, explaining why the fund has been so successful for so long. “A child is cold – they need a coat. It’s something they can wrap their minds around. They think, ‘I can do this.’”

“There’s an immediate remedy,” he said, explaining why the fund has been so successful for so long. “A child is cold – they need a coat. It’s something they can wrap their minds around. They think ‘I can do this.’”

“They can also see the results for themselves”, he said,” since volunteer coordinators send pictures of children showing off their new winter clothing. And since a child’s coat is affordable for most donors, it’s a clear, easy, commitment-free way they can solve a problem quickly.”

“The volunteer coordinators are the ones who know the children best, and who know what each one needs the most- what we provide just depends on the needs of the children,” Mitchell said. “We’re just here to help as best as we can.”

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How can I donate to the Warm Clothing Fund?

You can donate by calling our office and speaking with one of our sponsorship specialists at 1-800-538-5381 or by emailing us at sponsorship@children-inc.org. Also, you can make a donation through our donation portal online.