Members of the Movement: Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate

This holiday season, companies are getting lots of well-deserved attention for sales to support worthy causes. But companies like Patagonia aren’t the only businesses using their selling power for good. Consignment clothing retailers Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate are teaming up with buildOn to construct schools in some of the economically poorest countries in the world.

Through their Charity Fill-A-Bag sale, Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate have inspired their franchises, customers, and communities to support the construction of schools in developing countries. This year, the duo of new and gently used clothing stores are looking to raise an additional $50,000 to build a school in Malawi, where 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. Charity Fill-A-Bag has already had so much success that it has raised the funds to build five schools in Burkina Faso, Haiti, Mali, Nicaragua, and Senegal. But just because 100% of proceeds of the sale go to building schools with buildOn, that doesn’t mean that business isn’t booming.

On average, a store that holds the Charity Fill-A-Bag sale has a return of 65 customers to their store in the future. The average sales from that traffic is more than $2,000—for some stores it has been more than $5,000. “The Charity Fill-A-Bag has amazing financial results for our stores,” Shauna Sloan, Kid to Kid President and Founder, says. “But outside of that, as a franchise-wide sale, the Charity Fill-A-Bag for buildOn is of enormous value. The added value of good PR in the community, involving your customers and vendors in something measurable, lasting, and significant, and the rewards of helping children go to school is actually priceless.”

The founders of the two sister franchises first sat down together in 2014 to discuss using the power of their franchises to make visible positive changes in the world. Even though Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate had been donating to charities for decades, they wanted to do more. That’s when they found buildOn. Since then, Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate have raised more than $196,000 in the name of building schools in countries that need them most.

But how does the sale work? Because Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate are in the business of buying and selling used items (Kid to Kid buys and sells new and gently used children’s and maternity clothes, toys, books and baby gear, while Uptown Cheapskate buys and sells new and like-new name brand clothes, shoes, jewelry and handbags for young adults), the Charity Fill-A-Bag sale allows customers to donate their unbought items to the sale. On the day of the sale, for only $15 customers can fill their bag their bags to the brim with clothing and other items. While all of the proceeds go to buildOn, customers also get a special coupon for 15% off all items in the store, encouraging them to come back in the future. The increased customer traffic on the day of the sale often results in a high sales day, as well.

Although hosting a Charity Fill-A-Bag sale takes a lot of work, customers and staff rally around the opportunity to support buildOn and to come together to make a difference. “On the day of the Fill-A-Bag, we raised $3,000,” says Fumiko MacPherson, Owner of Kid to Kid Summerlin in Las Vegas. “Not bad for one day, but $3,000 can only do so much. As a franchise, in one day we raised $50,000. Together, as a franchise we can raise a lot of money. The Charity Fill-A-Bag sale is a lot of work, but in the end it really feels like we did something good.”

That good feeling isn’t felt just in the stores where the Charity Fill-A-Bag sale has taken place, it also spreads to the countries and communities where schools are built. Please take a look below at a few of the schools that Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate have funded.

22425276240_15088358a8_oStudents stand in front of their new school in Bromba, Mali, that Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate funded. Mali suffers from one the world’s lowest literacy rates at 31.1%, but through their partnership with buildOn, Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate are helping to bring about positive change. 


26360518376_250ab96b69_oThe population of Burkina Faso is 73% illiterate, but these students are excited to break that cycle of illiteracy, as they stand in front of their new school in Zerkoum.  


25577467741_3d27be0dc3_oThese smiling students are sitting inside a school funded by Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate in Keur Djibril Fall, Senegal. Almost half of Senegal’s population is unemployed. 

To visit the fundraising page for Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate, click here.