Community. It’s the reason we created SquadLocker – to help schools and youth sports organizations develop a stronger sense of community through easily accessible, custom decorated spirit wear, uniforms and gear. But sense of community goes beyond your own school or team.
The community where your school or team is located feels a sense of kinship with you, too. They attend your school programs. And your games -- often, even if they don’t have kids of their own. They give to your fundraisers because keeping your organization strong keeps the community strong.
Naturally, you want to give back, to support the community just as they support you.
There are so many great ways to do that. We saw this article recently, and we were immediately inspired for so many reasons.
4 ways to give back to your community through spirit wear
Partnering with local designers to create custom spirit wear
A local company that sells apparel and gifts decorated with colorful original mandalas donates part of their proceeds to help feeds local kids. As a special project, the company created original mandalas for every local elementary school to use on custom decorated spirit wear. Here’s a local business that is supporting local kids in the community in two important ways.
Your school may not have considered teaming up with a local designer for some new artwork, but it’s a great idea, isn’t it? Just think of the possibilities!
You could also enlist a local designer to do an in-school or online talk with kids about what goes into a great design and maybe conduct a little hands-on learning exercise to create a class-specific design.
Fundraising with spirit wear
Fundraising is a mainstay for schools and YSOs, and nothing is more appealing to prospective donors than spirit wear. Rather than simply writing a check (or being guilted into buying candy or calendars they don’t want) friends and fans can get their hands on something that makes sense – great-looking apparel they can wear with pride because it’s decorated to promote their favorite school or team.
In the article we read, the school produced spirit wear collections featuring the new mandala designs. Each school got its own unique collection. And here’s the best part – schools sold the apparel to raise money to support the same meals-for-kids program that their design company supports.
Community support and connection comes full circle. And, by the way, those kids and their special-project spirit wear raised enough money to provide 6,400 meals. We’re pretty sure they will remember that for the rest of their lives. What a great way to teach children about the value of helping others.
School-specific spirit wear designs
Every school or sports organization and team has their own name and logo. Their own mascot. And, often, a slogan or saying that is defines them. These things are designed into artwork that appears on everything from signage to uniforms and spirit wear. But after a while the same old artwork can start to look a tad stale, even if it is imprinted on a hot, new garment.
Freshness is more fun. Nobody knows that better than artists and graphic designers, so the business that created the elementary school mandalas based their designs on Scotty dogs and paw prints – Scotties being the school district’s mascot. Each school got a different doggie design, including a school-specific slogan. That’s the utmost in school pride as well as community pride.
Using custom apparel in coordination with community outreach
What new ways could you use your mascot, slogan or other recognizable icons to create variations on your school or team theme? Who might you partner with to make it happen? How might you use what you create to benefit someone else as well as yourself?
Just a couple of quick thoughts. You could create a special design to:
- Give a shout out of thanks to your community supporters.
- Promote your school’s partnership with a particular community organization. Maybe the kids and staff volunteer to assist the organization in some way. Or volunteers from the organization assist your kids or the school itself in some way.
We’re all in this together, and it’s so inspiring to hear how others are using spirit wear to give back to their community. Send us your story!
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