Local organizations encouraged to join partner program and participate in friendly competition to drive donations.
LEESBURG – During the 2019-20 school year, Lake County teachers visited the three Apple-Mart locations more than 1,200 times to get much needed supplies for their classroom, for free.
The supplies, which range from paper to colored pencils to technology accessories, are stocked each year thanks to the annual Red for Ed school supply drive, held throughout July by the Education Foundation of Lake County. Additionally, school supplies are provided to individual students at the beginning of the school year, so they have the tools they need for classroom work.
Supporters of this year’s Red for Ed campaign can participate virtually, thanks to Leesburg-based TH@T! Company, an online marketing agency which created the online store: EdFoundationLake.com/red-for-ed-shop.
Visitors to the online store can choose from more than 50 items for purchase which automatically will be shipped to the Education Foundation of Lake County for distribution to the Apple-Mart stores.
A partner program encourages local organizations to reach out to their clients and employees to visit the Red for Ed online shop.
“We are excited about the affiliate program, created by our partner TH@T! Company, which has been a longtime supporter of Red for Ed,” said Carman Cullen, Executive Director. “We knew this year’s campaign would be challenging due to the pandemic. TH@T! Company created the online store and made it so easy for local organizations to sign up on our website to be a partner and help drive donations. Historically, the involvement of local businesses has been a success driver for the supply drive.”
After signup, the partner receives an individualized link to the Red for Ed online store that they can share on their website and through social media. Partners get credit for purchases made with their respective link. The partner that generates the most weight in school supplies will earn bragging rights.
“Partners have access to graphics and other tools to make it easy to promote their participation in the Red for Ed campaign,” said Ken Knorr, CEO, TH@T! Company. “They can also log into their partner area on the website to find out how they’re doing in the sales competition.”
A small number of Lake County businesses and organizations are accepting tangible supplies donated by their employees who customers who may visit their respective location.
Last year’s Red for Ed Campaign collected more than 10,000 pounds of school supplies.
Cullen says the need is even greater because of concerns of potentially spreading the COVID-19 virus from students sharing supplies.
“It is more critical than ever to make sure each student has his or her own tools to be able to succeed in the classroom,” said Cullen.