Kempe was volunteering at her children’s school in 2010 when she was faced with a problem – what to do with excess uniforms that couldn’t be consigned? Atlanta-area private schools repurpose the uniforms they can, but the others are destroyed and discarded. (The problem lies in privacy issues with clothing bearing school emblems.)
“I realized that the school had no way to dispose the clothing they could not release,” said Kempe. “All of these perfectly good clothes were being destroyed for no logical reason.”
Thus became the starting point for Uniform Mission Project. Kempe began the cause in the basement of her Buckhead church, Northside United Methodist. She began collecting and sorting donations and sent her first package that fall to Thompson Falls, Kenya with Kenyan native Charles Wangondu.
“Beth and I were just talking about how we can help,” said Wangondu. “I told her I would be interested in helping because I know some orphanages back home.”
He has since facilitated several shipments of clothing. Wangdonu said the eight orphanages that have received clothes are mostly in areas gripped by the AIDS epidemic and civil unrest, and that new clothes are hard to come by.
“We are very grateful for your generous gift of lovely clothes,” said Pastor Simon Mwaura, pastor of one of the many churches receiving clothes. “The children were so excited especially for the fact that they can wear clothes that look alike! This is because some of them have no brother or sister and the home of the Good Shepherd is the only family they know. In these clothes, they really feel like a family.”
When Kempe began UMP, she intended to send “every day” clothes to children in need. She later discovered that some African schools require children to wear uniforms in order to attend. The clothes provided by UMP may change the lives of children across the globe. If you’d like to help, please visit uniformmissionproject.com.
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Uniform Mission Project is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Founded in 2010 by Beth Kempe, the mission is to deliver school/sports uniforms to children across the globe. The organization accepts donations via Razoo and uniformmissionproject.com. Donations are used for shipping and handling costs.