Help Us Spread the Word: AKA One Million Backpacks

Help Us Spread the Word: AKA One Million Backpacks
August 1, 2016 Yudofsky
In Interview

Yudofsky Fur and Leather has been working with AKA, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, for many years. This organization has grown into an international group with its mission of “serving all mankind”. AKA has been a part of the Louisville community for a significant amount of time.

Yudofsky Fur and Leather’s involvement with the organization started several years ago with its annual local fashion event, Hortense B. Perry Foundation Derby Brunch / Fashion Show. This year, we learned about a wonderful campaign geared at helping young children during the school year. We wanted to learn more about this cause so we interviewed Ms. Wigginton, an AKA member.

Yudofsky: AKA was founded beginning of the 20th century. What can you tell us about the organization and its history?

Ms. Wigginton: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated is an international Greek-letter society, organized at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in January 1908. It has grown from one small undergraduate chapter to an organization with over 983 local chapters.

Y: What is your mission statement? Is the mission as relevant at the present as it was at the inception of the organization?

MW: Our mission is summed up to service to all mankind.

Since 1908, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated has implemented programs of service impacting countless lives in key areas such as education, health, the family and economics. The organization’s community impact and scope have expanded greatly as a result of these service initiatives.

The 2014-2018 Program will focus on Launching New Dimensions of Service.

Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, through local chapters, will have the opportunity to address community needs with programs in traditional and new target areas. The program includes five target areas, one Signature Program and Community Impact Days.

The five target areas are:

  1. Educational Enrichment,
  2. Health Promotion,
  3. Family Strengthening,
  4. Environmental Ownership, and
  5. Global Impact.

Y: Please tell us the size of the organization locally, nationally and internationally.

MW: Locally there are over 200 members in Eta Omega Chapter in Louisville, Kentucky; nationally, we have nearly 70,000 active members, and worldwide 283,000 members.

Y:  How do you find the Louisville community support and the engagement in the organization and its missions?

MW: The Louisville community supports and engages in activities sponsored by Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Members of the community purchase tickets to the Derby Brunch Fashion Show to show their support and commitment to educational excellence and scholarship. The community provides donations such as hats, gloves, socks, scarves, sweaters, and other seasonal wraps for families in need. Businesses and individuals in the community have donated backpacks filled with school supplies to be distributed to schools to support learning in the classroom. Eta Omega also partners with other agencies in the community to provide health awareness in the areas of heart, cancer and mental illnesses. In addition, Eta Omega also implements activities that combat childhood hunger (Blessings in a Backpack to provide food for children to take home), and safe environments (refurbishing playgrounds in schools and parks).

Y: What is your message to young people especially young women in our community?

MW: Our message to young people, especially girls, is they can pursue any career they wish; study hard in high school and apply to colleges and universities that offer the careers they want to pursue; participate in programs that will help them reach their maximum potential; participate in activities that will prepare them for meaningful employment and careers; give back to the community through service, and attend cultural events.

Y: Please tell us the significance of the Derby Fashion Show that Yudofsky has participated in and supported over the years.

MW: Members of the community purchase tickets to the Hortense B. Perry Foundation Derby Brunch/Fashion Show which Yudofsky has participated and supported over the years. This annual fundraiser is significant because the proceeds are used to provide scholarships for young ladies who will be attending colleges and universities. The community can see the service Yudofsky provides to support Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated in its commitment to educational excellence.

Y: This leads us to the final question; please tell us about your next and great vision, the project “Million Backpacks” we are interested and excited to support.

MW: AKA One Million Backpacks worldwide campaign is part of the Educational Enrichment target. The purpose of this campaign is to distribute backpacks to students in need to help them to be ready to learn and experience a successful school year. It is our goal to distribute one million backpacks, filled with school supplies, to students in kindergarten through eight grade during the years 2014 – 2018. Eta Omega Chapter members donate backpacks filled with pencils, markers, crayons, paper, folders, glue sticks, and composition booklets.

Y: Thank you so much for your time, Ms. Wigginton!

Yudofsky Fur and Leather is very proud to be a member of this wonderful cause. We have worked with the AKA sorority in order to provide five equipped backpacks for their One Million Backpacks campaign.