(Memphis) Believe it or not some children in Memphis actually miss school because they don’t have a school uniform.
A local designer is trying to stitch out that problem with a new clothing line that donates a school uniform for ever shirt they sell.
Joe Williams started the Agape North clothing line in 2010, and every time they sell a shirt or pullover they donate a school uniform to a student in need.
“I’m from Memphis and my goal is to have every child not miss school because of a uniform. Some children were being truant, and some kids were feeling left out because they didn’t have a uniform that matched,” said Williams.
Williams says he designed the shirts to be competitive with brands like Ralph Lauren and Vineyard Vines, but these threads have more meaning.
“Give a gift that has a purpose. Give a gift within a gift so when they’re thinking about Christmas, if you buy our quality shirts you are giving a gift to a child in your own city,” said Williams.
So far Agape North has donated over sixteen hundred uniforms to schools in Memphis including Grizzlies Prep downtown.
They’re also expanding their reach worldwide by donating over a thousand uniforms to schools in Guatemala.
Agape means love in Greek, and students at Grizzlies Prep directly benefit from the love in Agape North’s mission.
The school’s director Elizabeth Simpson says student’s behavior is affected by the way they dress.
“Some of our families have a number of children so it can be tough to send them to a number of schools and they all have uniforms to buy. So it’s been really helpful to have the support of Agape North,” said Simpson.
Agape North’s logo is a lion because it stands for courage and strength, and Williams says every shirt sold helps build those characteristics throughout Memphis and the world.