Local Clothing Drive to Help Build School in Africa

buildOn girls

With all this wintry weather, you may not be thinking about spring cleaning yet. However, spending just a few minutes culling through your closet could not only help you get a jump on clearing out clutter, but could also help fund educational opportunities for children in Burkina Faso.

Local resident Kathryn Barnes has partnered with buildOn, a U.S.-based organization that sponsors service learning projects in America and helps build schools internationally, to raise funds to build a school in Burkina Faso. As part of her campaign, she is collecting gently used brand name and contemporary clothing, accessories, handbags, and shoes to sell on consignment. Collected items will be sold through ModaVive, an online platform that bridges fashion and giving.

Barnes’ interest in education in Africa stems from her experiences volunteering in French-speaking West Africa last winter. “When I returned home I wanted to continue to make a contribution, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where poverty and illiteracy rates are the highest and countries are not keeping pace with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals,” Barnes wrote in an email. 

“I chose to fund a school in Burkina Faso because it is the country with the lowest literacy rate and it’s the country where buildOn most recently began working,” she continued. buildOn impressed her with its track record of building more than 700 schools internationally.

On Wednesday, March 4, neighbors can bring any clothing or accessory items they would like to donate to Barnes’ campaign to the Cityline at Tenley lobby, located at 4101 Albemarle Street across from Janney Elementary School, between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. A list of items and brands that ModaVive accepts is available at their website. All collected items will be sent to ModaVive on March 8 in honor of International Women’s Day.

Up to 50 percent of the retail value of accepted items will be donated to buildOn for school construction. According to Barnes, “to accelerate the timeline for when buildOn chapters like mine will receive the contribution to their school funds, ModaVive is make their cash donation to buildOn chapters prior to the items actually selling on their website.” One hundred percent of the funds received from ModaVive will go to the buildOn campaign. “No amount of the donation goes to administration or any other expense,” wrote Barnes.

Clothing donations are tax deductible and Barnes will be happy to provide donors with a receipt for their records.

To learn more about the campaign to build a school in Burkina Faso, visit Barnes’ project page at https://act.buildon.org/buildabetterfuturekathryn.

photo provided by Kathryn Barnes