buildOn Chapters Meet “Refashioned” Giving

Kathryn Barnes, the co-founder of the “Build A Better Future” chapter, recently shipped nearly 300 items of clothing from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco. It was worth the hassle though, she notes, since the items brought Kathryn’s team closer to fully funding a new school in Burkina Faso with buildOn.

ModaVive, an online fashion boutique that sells deeply discounted items to raise money for non-profit causes, is also a buildOn supporter. The company invited chapter members to support buildOn through a “Flash Fundraiser” that encouraged people simply donate gently used clothing as a way to support buildOn’s school construction programs.

Chapters, like Kathryn’s, organized clothing drives in their communities and campuses from late February to early March. They sent the items to ModaVive, who will sell the clothing online and donate a percentage of each sale to buildOn. Before the sale, ModaVive announced that they would award up to $1,500 to the three chapters that collected the most items and an additional $1,000 to the chapter that drives the most online sales.

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 12.19.42 PM ModaVive Clothing Dropoff 2

Kathryn (pictured left) with boxes of clothing ready to be shipped to ModaVive’s headquarters. Pictured right, donated items after a successful clothing drive. 

“I love this fundraising avenue because it’s little bit indirect,” Kathryn says. “Instead of just writing a check, people can know that something they want to do anyway – like cleaning out their closet – can have a charitable impact.”

ModaVive staff working furiously to sort the donated items over the last few weeks, but Kathryn’s submissions stood out from the start. For this fundraiser, she collected over 220 items herself and nearly 100 more with the help of friends around the country. 14 other chapters participated and ModaVive recently posted the items online for the sale’s kickoff.

Kathryn found that the most support comes when she is able to show others how easy it is to make a difference from anywhere in the world. She co-founded her buildOn chapter with Ivo de Sanctis, a buildOn supporter from Italy. The pair met while volunteering in Senegal and were determined to keep their commitment to education alive upon returning to their home countries.

“There are assets in all corners of our globe and when people can’t read and write, we all lose,” Kathryn says.

On April 3, Kathryn learned that her efforts were successful. She will receive an additional $1,500 towards her fundraising goal. The buildOn chapters at the College of William and Mary and Northville High School received $1,200 and $1,000 respectively for second and third place in the flash fundraising competition.

It is the constant collaboration of supporters like ModaVive and buildOn chapters that allow us to keep building schools in some of the world’s most economically disadvantaged communities. Supporters can shop ModaVive’s buildOn boutique to continue supporting buildOn’s school construction programs and our chapter’s fundraising efforts.