Making a small difference can raise a larger-than-life event to new heights. Breaunna Young is an entrepreneur in the School of Enterprise Marketing (SEM) at New London High School. The SEM program challenges students to use their interests to develop a marketing plan.
Young made things happen by following her plan to support the national Coats for Kids program.
“First, I did some research about the national model and fine tuned it for the size of our community,” Young said. “I found the national logo online, which I could use. This was approved by Mrs. Gwidt.”
The Coats for Kids national program runs from Sept. to Nov. 1. These items include not only winter coats, but also hats, mittens and boots.
“Starting this idea was hard at first,” Young said. “I had never organized an event before. But then things started happening.”
She concentrated on spreading the word about her Coats for Kids campaign. Young used the school website and a district-wide Thursday newsletter to communicate to the school population. She said these coats go to needy families in this area, who, without this coat drive, may go without protective winter clothing.
In an effort to increase the number of donations, Young provided challenge ideas to schools. At some schools, classrooms competed for incentives and at the high school teachers competed in order to wear jeans on a Friday.
She picked up contributions from each school. With a price tag attached, nine coats were new. Others needed a gentle washing to bring them back to ‘good as new’ condition. Eighty-eight coats, 27 hats, 19 pairs of boots, 20 pairs of mittens and 11 scarves brought Young’s Coats for Kids campaign a total of 165 items. Readfield Elementary was the main contributor of winter items.
Adding to the successful outcome, Young was surprised and extremely thankful when Northern Electric donated $500 to use for the purchase of new coats and winter wear.
She took the Coats for kids items to the Salvation Army Bread of Life building located in Franklin Park. Volunteer June Sewall sorted the donations into boxes for people to take and use. Some of the items went to the Community Cupboard, located at the Washington Community Center.
Director of the SEM program, Missy Porath is proud of the work Young accomplished.
“Breaunna took the lead on the entire project without much guidance from me,” Porath said. “She really thought out all the steps of the project such as who to collect from, where to collect, how to promote the campaign. She made sure the donations stayed within our New London community. I am very proud of her work ethic and I know she learned a lot about helping the less fortunate.”
Young is thankful to all the New London families who donated to her campaign.
“It is gratifying to know that the community saw my project as valuable and worth giving to,” Young said. “I was happily surprised at the amount of donations. This project wouldn’t have been possible without the support from our community and for that I couldn’t be thankful enough.”