Seattle nonprofit focusing efforts on school supplies for children in need

The Refugee Artisan Initiative’s Back to School Bundles campaign kicked off Monday.

SEATTLE — A Seattle nonprofit is focusing its efforts this week on providing school supplies to vulnerable students and students facing food insecurity.

The Refugee Artisan Initiative’s Back to School Bundles campaign kicked off Monday. It runs through Friday as artisans work to craft 670 bundles of school supplies.

Carmen Brenner, the initiative’s director of development, said she received about 2,000 requests.

The initiative’s staff are “simply shocked” at how many students don’t have access to basic school supplies, Brenner said.

The bundles include handmade face masks, a pencil case, a reusable sandwich bag and a snack bag. The $30 cost is offset by donations.

The Refugee Artisan Initiative works with refugee and immigrant women to train craft skills and business development.

Founder Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman, an immigrant from Taiwan, said she built the Refugee Artisan Initiative to help more women like her make a graceful transition to the United States through education, skills and business development.

Her grandmother supported her family by sewing, and Min-Ming believes refugee and immigrant women in the United States could do the same. There are currently 36 women working at RAI.

According to the organization, it is zero waste. Low-volume manufacturing gives these women the opportunity to start their own businesses and become financially independent while they build a new life here in America.

The artisans handcraft and sew everything from pet beds to purses.

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https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/seattle/seattle-nonprofit-school-supplies/281-7eac392d-a7e6-4c50-ab1e-f33df7b3e4b5 Seattle nonprofit focusing efforts on school supplies for children in need

Alley Einstein

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