A few months ago, while speaking at a career night at an after-school program in the Pico-Union area, we met a high school student named Yocelyn Moran. After the talk, Yocelyn introduced herself to us and mentioned that she was part of a service club, Le Fe, at her school, and was inspired by Yoobi’s mission to ensure all kids have access to school supplies. She told us that she had gone to Union Ave. Elementary School, and that many kids who went there were struggling with poverty, language, and few had school supplies to call their own. She asked if Yoobi could give the Le Fe Club a few supplies to donate to Union Ave. We then asked why she thought it was important for kids to have access to school supplies. She responded that it was important to understand that there are different ways of learning, and that “we have to engage students in activities and bring back creativity” in order to identify how each kid learns best. We couldn’t agree more. So we picked up the phone to find out more about Union Ave….
Fast forward to January 12th, 2017. After connecting with Union Ave.’s Principal, Ms. Herrera, who told us about the struggles her students faced every day, and the amazing work her teachers and staff were doing to support them, the Yoobi team arrived on campus that morning so see if we could bring some sunshine into an otherwise cold and rainy day. We opened up the day with a fun assembly for the kids, getting them excited about the supplies they were about to receive. Following the assembly, we took Yoobi Classroom Packs filled with pencils, markers, crayons, glue sticks, rulers, folders, etc. to each of the school’s classrooms, providing over 1350 elementary students with brand new school supplies. For some, it would be the first time they could call a school supply their own. We spent time coloring with the kids, then, fighting tears, we thanked the teachers in front of their kids for all that they do for their special ones.
Yoobi has given over 2.1 million kids in the US free sets of school supplies since our launch in 2014. But for the Yoobi team, based in LA, giving in LA brings it all home. There is something remarkable about knowing that we are impacting the lives of those we call neighbors. Even more remarkable is that over 1300 kids were impacted because one girl, Yocelyn, dared to dream about making a difference.