FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contacts:
– Terry Bean
Operation: #floodOKE is a Multi-Location School Supply Fundraiser Planned to Replace Supplies Lost in Flood
Community Bands Together to Support Non-Profit that Serves
Close to 100,000 Detroit Area Children
DETROIT, Mich — July 12, 2013
On July 10, 2013 Menachem Kniespeck, Founder of Operation: Kid Equip (http://operationkidequip.org) walked into the HQ like it was any normal day. That changed the in an instant. “The minute I walked through the door and I put my foot on the floor it just went, squish!” said Kniespeck. Tens of thousands of dollars in donated school supplies ruined. The biggest problem is that their insurance covers everything but donated items.
Instead of volunteers spending their Wednesday getting ready for upcoming multiple distributions of school supplies, they spent their day ripping up carpet and throwing out water soaked things like papers and books.
Operation: Kid Equip exists to make sure children have the school supplies they need when their parents can’t afford to buy them. Since their inception in 2006, Operation: Kid Equip has distributed tens of thousands of backpacks filled with the basic necessities: pens, notebooks, pencils, crayons, rulers and more to well over 100,000 needy students in the Detroit metro area.
The organization relies on donations, and has great success attracting many corporate partners. This year the shelves were stocked and volunteers were ready to distribute the supplies. But the weather combined with a plugged outdoor drain system had different plans. “Sometimes if something gets wet it can get moldy, we don’t want to pass out anything to the kids that could potentially make them sick,” said Kniespeck.
So now this wonderful organization is looking to create a significant grassroots movement to replace non-usable supplies. In partnership with some local organizations, Stay & Play Social Club, Detroitnet.org and Motor City Connect, Operation: Kid Equip looks to replace what is lost. It is being referred to as Operation: #floodOKE so it is identifiable on social networks.
“The idea is pretty simple,” said Stephanie Puertas, Founder of Stay & Play Social Club, “we want to show the world just how resilient, fun-loving and giving Detroiters really are. So we decided to setup a multi-location event next Wednesday, July 17, where people will be encouraged to donate supplies and grab a drink.”
“It was a real easy decision to support the work Operation: Kid Equip is doing” said David Phillips of Detroitnet.org. “They make a positive impact in so many people’s lives. It just seemed like the right thing to do”.
At the time of the writing of this press release seven establishments had agreed to participate: The first is O’Toole’s in Royal Oak. Donations will be accepted Sunday, July 14 from 12:00-7 pm. The following locations will be accepting donations on Wednesday, July 17 from 6-9. Shark Club in Waterford, Rosie O’Grady’s in Ferndale, Shields Pizza in Southfield, Red Ox in both Auburn Hills and Utica and Main Street Billiards in Rochester. On Thursday, July 18 donations will be accepted at the Black Finn in Royal Oak. We anticipate that other locations will also be accepting donations throughout the week. Follow Operation: Kid Equip on their Facebook page for the most up to date info: https://www.facebook.com/okequip
Here is a list of supplies that can be picked up at Meijer, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target or wherever you would find school supplies: Crayons (16- or 24-packs), Pencils, Pens, Markers (washable), Scissors (blunt-tip), Rulers, Glue Sticks, Spiral Notebooks, Copy Paper, Erasers, Backpacks
Operation: Kid Equip is a 501(c)3 with a passion for giving children the tools they need to succeed in life. If you would like to donate directly to Operation: Kid Equip, you can do so on their website: http://operationkidequip.org/donate. You can also learn more about the organization there.