How We Give
Why Do We Donate Backpacks?
Our founders saw first-hand the educational difficulty that their two children [adopted out of the foster care system] had as a result of their transient early childhood. When you purchase any OAK products, a backpack is given to a homeless or at-risk youth to support their education. The enthusiasm for learning is revived each year when a child receives their new backpack. We donate through two partners:
We work with The Neighborhood Kids, a non-profit organization in Austin, Texas that gives thousands of backpacks to homeless and at-risk youths in need each school year. OAK sales throughout the year contribute to this annual drive. Our donation lightens the financial burden , and families literally camp out and line up around the building to get their backpacks. The enthusiasm and positive feedback from parents + students is extremely encouraging.
We love that The Neighborhood is an all volunteer organization created to bring people together to serve, coordinate activities and pool resources to benefit individuals, families and groups who are struggling and have fallen through the cracks. Read about our 2013 backpack giveaway.
There are more than one million orphans in Rwanda. Many live with relatives, many have established their own homes (child-headed households) and thousands live on the streets. Africa New Life, the organization we partner with, sponsors education from primary school through high school graduation for thousands of students in four communities of Rwanda, Africa. The backpacks helps to further the education of these children.
Concurrently, Africa New Life offers a vocational training program to teach women in Kigali a tailoring trade that will help them support their families. Many of these women are widowed and many are HIV positive. OAK Lifestyle provides work for the seamstresses by sewing the give-away backpacks.