Today, Shane Co., fourth-generation, family-owned jeweler, kicks off its annual partnership with Kids In Need Foundation (KINF). This year's school supply program will be the largest volunteering initiative since the partnership was established in 2020. In the weeks prior to the start of most schools, Shane Co. employees will use employer-paid volunteer days to fill backpacks with essential back-to-school supplies for students attending underserved schools.
"This program is something we look forward to every year because it is a tangible and meaningful way for us to connect and give back to the communities we serve," said Rordan Shane, President and CEO of Shane Co "It is truly incredible to be part of a such a remarkable program. Knowing that we're able to be part of a student's school year to help them succeed is amazing"
Throughout the month of August, volunteers from all 21 Shane Co. stores will pack new notebooks, pencils, pens, and other essential school supplies in individual backpacks for teachers to distribute to students.
"We are grateful for Shane Co.'s continued dedication to creating equitable learning environments through its partnership with Kids In Need Foundation," said Corey Gordon, CEO of KINF. "Each year, they've increased employee and customer engagement in making a difference in their respective communities and inspired a collective passion within their organization for our mission. We appreciate the commitment Shane Co. has made to under-resourced teachers and students in their hometowns."
Funding for the backpacks and school supplies comes from Shane Co.'s most recent donation of $150,000 and an additional $15,000 directly from Shane Co.'s customer giving program. This donation is an increase from Shane Co.'s previous donation of $100,000 in both 2020 and 2021.
Kids In Need Foundation is a national organization that provides the support and tools needed for teachers to teach and learners to learn. Schools set to receive supplies are based in local communities or neighborhoods that Shane Co. stores currently serve and have been identified by KINF as under-resourced. The under-served schools selected for the program have a student enrollment of 70 percent or higher eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The regions to receive school supplies include the San Francisco Bay Area, Atlanta, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Seattle, Phoenix, Sacramento, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Louisville Kentucky, St. Louis, Missouri, Portland, Nashville, and Salt lake City. The collaboration between Shane Co. and KINF aims to create equitable learning environments by supporting schools where the enrollment is primarily composed of students who are Black, Indigenous, and children of color.
- To date, the Shane Co. + KINF partnership has supported 375 classrooms and almost 9,000 K-5 students in under-resourced schools through the Supply A Student and Supply A Teacher programs.
- To date, Shane Co. employees have volunteered over 3,400 hours to fill backpacks and teacher/classroom kits with supplies, handwritten notes of encouragement, and more for underserved schools in local communities where Shane Co. has a presence.
- 6,000 backpacks full of supplies will be distributed to students in August - an additional 1,440 from previous years, supporting 6,000 students and 250 classrooms.
- Shane Co. volunteers will clock in an estimated 1,000 additional hours to fill backpacks and teacher totes.
- 21 schools will receive backpacks in 13 states across the U.S.
By partnering with teachers and students in under-resourced schools, KINF helps create equitable learning environments by ensuring students are properly equipped to learn and empowers teachers by supplying them with adequate resources. Absenteeism, coupled with teacher attrition, are more prevalent in underserved communities. These factors create an Opportunity Gap with lifetime repercussions. Children of color are more than two times more likely to be born into poverty, and they constitute nearly half of all children in American public schools (Source: Economic Policy Institute, 2019).