This summer, Stackify partnered with L3 to help Mark Twain Elementary with its local clothing drive. L3 (Love Literacy Life) was founded in 2014 by Kimberley Montini and Sherianne Schow. Kimberley teaches at the school and worked with Sherianne on a solution when they recognized an opportunity to help children who were lacking adequate winter shoes and coats. To address this need, they established L3.
Now, three years later, L3 has expanded their ability to help the over 300 children who attend this school which is located in Kansas City, KS. There is now an annual clothing fair, a food drive, and a classroom supplies donation event for the teachers.
Stackify was fortunate enough to connect with the non-profit organization this summer to donate to and participate in the clothing fair. This event welcomes countless families in the community for a day of clothing shopping – all for free. For the weeks preceding the fair, Stackify team members piled their gently used clothes and shoes in a vacant office. We said goodbye to t-shirts, coats, onesies, and more to help entire families stay dressed.
In July, a group of us visited the school to help sort these donations. We added our dozens of bags of clothes to the already mountainous pile that owed its size to others that have responded to the cause that L3 so passionately supports. That afternoon, we sorted clothes, elbow to elbow with other parents and teachers.
Later that day, Kimberley Montini took our team members on a tour of the school, where we met some of the students. These children were participating in the summer enrichment program, Camp X-Stream. The teachers of Mark Twain Elementary created this program to help keep children from sliding backward during the summer. They recognized that students in economically challenged areas often don’t make up for lost learning, a compounding cycle that can follow them throughout their education. Thanks to this program, the Mark Twain Elementary students showed an 80% decrease in reading loss among those who participated in 2016.
A few weeks later, Stackify joined other L3 volunteers in the massive effort to organize, assist in and clean up the clothing fair. The volunteers had painstakingly arranged tables and clothing racks with clothes according to size, ranging from infant to adult.
It was an exhausting and fulfilling adventure, reorganizing tables that parents and children had rifled over, helping men and women find their kids’ sizes, and meeting other volunteers and their children.
It was an incredible experience to work with L3 and the teachers of Mark Twain Elementary. We at Stackify thank them for this opportunity. We also want to thank Kimberley Montini, Melanie Hart Shashindranath, and Kirsten Hobbs for dedicating extra time to help us get to know more about L3’s mission and the people they help.
For more information on L3, Mark Twain Elementary and how you can volunteer, click here to visit their website.
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