At Boutique Academia, we care about giving back to the community. As humans, we are all in this life thing together, on a pale blue dot, floating through space. So when an opportunity arose recently to help provide school supplies to refugee schoolchildren, the choice was obvious.
I heard about Lifting Hands International through a dear friend whose sister, Hayley Smith, is the founder. You can read more about how Lifting Hands International originally started on their blog, but here's a quick excerpt:
"That day is when I decided that something had to be done about this. I came home determined to simply send a shipping container full of clearly marked, organized boxes full of things camps actually need in a hurry. ... A lot has changed since then. LHI has spent thousands of generously donated dollars on emergency aid on the ground in Greece and France. We have sent a second container to Lebanon. We have paid for two additional containers to be sent from collection teams in UK to camps in Greece. We have a team of full-time volunteers working in a refugee camp in Greece. I have met with members of the Greek parliament to discuss how to better serve refugees there. I have met with the State Department in Washington DC to discuss the plight of refugees in Greece. We have an army of volunteers providing support to refugees getting resettled in the Phoenix, Arizona area.
The current refugee crisis is alive and well, and it is called a crisis for a reason: It is driving wedges into politics worldwide. It is closing borders. It is causing a huge shift in foreign policy. It is changing history. It is challenging peoples' beliefs and motivations. It is huger than I can express in words. We haven't seen an exodus of refugees this large since World War II. It's massive. We cannot afford to stand by and watch, because it will effect us sooner or later. Will we be willing and ready, or will we close our eyes and pretend it's not happening? It is as simple as that."
Right now, Hayley and her team of volunteers are gathering essential school supplies for refugee schoolchildren. They are engaged in assisting Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, and also refugee families in Somalia.
For the next week, Sep 14 - 21, a full 10% of all retail purchases through Boutique Academia will be donated to this effort. I've researched post-back-to-school sales, and have found some excellent deals. As a business, I can also leverage wholesale pricing to make donations go further. For instance, the average purchase through Boutique Academia is $35. With the 10% donation from a single average transaction, 14 children could receive lined paper notebooks.
I've watched my three children go back to school this month and, as a mother, I am so grateful for the educational opportunities they have. I know that my own education shaped me into who I am now and gave me the skills to succeed. Every child deserves that.
So if you have been thinking of making a purchase through us, now is an excellent time. Get something for yourself, a gift for a friend, a token of appreciation for a teacher, or all three... and help us help refugee children go to school. Thanks for your support, and here's to women in science!
-- Maile Urbancic, Founder
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