Did you know that 7,000 kids drop out of high school every day in America?
Let that sit with you for a second.
1.2 million a year.
That's 1.2 million children who have become 40% more likely to be unemployed. 70% more likely to end up on government assistance.
1.2 million children who have become 8 times more likely to end up incarcerated.
But, more importantly, those are 1.2 million unique, sparkling dreams of a brighter, beautiful future that have moved out of the reach of 1.2 million eager little finger tips.
The cycle of poverty in our country is like quicksand, dragging innocent lives into the dark inescapable depths, suffocating their potential to flourish and thrive. Without access to basic life essentials (food, water, electricity, clean clothing, access to a safe living environment) young students across this country oftentimes have no choice but to sacrifice their education.
Going to school in dirty clothes is not only uncomfortable, but discouraging and embarrassing for students, such as young Vanessa. "When I wake up in the morning and I find I have no clean clothes, I usually just end up staying home" she says.
Whirlpool saw an opportunity to help.
The company has started the Whirlpool Care Counts Campaign, installing washers and dryers in schools where the majority of students live well below the poverty line. Students are encouraged to fill a sack with as many items of clothing as they can, and bring them into school to be cleaned.
The results make my heart sing....and I'm talking like full choir of perfectly pitched gospel crooning angels here (most likely swaying back and forth to the beat in flowing gold lamé frocks).
Schools taking part in the program saw a 93% increase in attendance, an 89% increase in class participation, and a 95% increase in motivation. As the program enters into its second year, Whirlpool has set the goal of setting up washers and dryers in 300 schools across the country, shooting for 30 in this year alone. Way to rinse and repeat, whirlpool!
If you're looking to learn more about the program or the role poverty plays on graduation rates in our country, check out these sites for more information and opportunities to help: