WHAT IS UniCycle?
UniCycle is a school uniform recycling program that orchestrates the collection and redistribution of outgrown, gently-used clothing to provide Standard School Attire (SSA) to Metro Nashville Public School students who need it. Volunteers collect school uniform clothing in participating schools, then redistribute it though a partnership with the Homeless Education Resource Office for families in transition (HERO Program).
Most schools in the Metro Nashville Public School system require Standard School Attire in the form of collared, solid-color shirts and khaki, navy blue or black pants, shorts, skirts or dresses.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Students bring their outgrown SSA items to school and the clothing is corralled in a designated UniCycle laundry basket. Volunteers collect the basket when full and clothes are carefully screened, cleaned, organized and then sent home to students in need via the program already in place through the Homeless Education Resource Office. Efficient collection and redistribution at the school level keeps things quicker and easier for parents and students on both ends of the recycle stream.
HOW DOES IT HELP?
By serving as both collection and redistribution agency and keeping drop off and pick up points primarily in schools, UniCycle takes what is essentially a chore for everyone – cleaning out outgrown school clothing and doing something useful with it on one side, and seeking out and purchasing appropriate school clothing for constantly growing students on a tight budget on the other– and essentially eliminates those items from the to-do lists of everyone. In addition to offering a hand to parents and well-vetted clothing options to students who may have very limited choices, providing SSA to students in need supports the efforts of Nashville’s HERO Program. The program operates within the public school system and oversees school enrollment, school clothing, supplies and other school issues for students who meet government criteria for homelessness. Recycling SSA for some of these students keeps more money in the HERO budget to tackle the program’s critical, worthwhile and high-reaching mission.
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