Here at Una, our mission is simple: to create value for our members by providing access to resources they wouldn’t be able to obtain on their own. We strive to create positive change in our local communities in the same way.

We believe all young people should have access to the practical resources they need to be successful which is why our Una Cares initiative focuses on disadvantaged youth in Kansas City, where Una is headquartered. We cannot achieve excellence without serving others and we want to do more than make our members happy. We want to help those who need it most.

Build a future, one classroom at a time

Una recently partnered with Donors Choose to provide much-needed school supplies and equipment for local classrooms. Every year, teachers in the US spend over $1 billion of their own money to provide even the most basic supplies for their students. Donors Choose was started in 2000 by a teacher who recognized the need to support his colleagues and believed people would want to help, especially if they could see where their money was going.

Teachers all over the country are able to list their classroom project on the Donors Choose site. Donors then pick which project they wish to sponsor. Once the project is funded, the Donors Choose staff orders each item and ships it directly to the verified school, ensuring your money is spent exactly how you intended.

Impacting the community

This quarter, Una was able to fund 4 separate projects, allowing teachers in our community to provide equipment like flexible seating options, books and other supplies to over 1,100 students in the Kansas City area. These items are necessary for day-to-day learning and essential for promoting the quality of education the students deserve.

Pedestals for learning

Before, the 455 students in Mrs. Schmohl's class were trying to learn while sitting in broken chairs that would pinch fingers. Other chairs were beyond repair which meant some students had to sit on the floor. Una was able to purchase 34 new chairs for Mrs. Schmohl’s classroom, providing adequate learning spaces for her students in grades kindergarten through 6th grade.

DonorsChoose1 copy

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Una also donated to Mrs. Keran's project to provide flexible seating and other materials for her 20 students with IEPs which help them focus and thrive.

As part of the program, teachers send a "thank you" note to each donor, reporting back as to how their donation has truly made an impact:

Dear Una,

Today we are working on mandatory assessments per our district guidelines. As you can see by the pics, the students are relaxed with their beautiful DONORS CHOOSE seating. I have noticed a remarkable increase in attentiveness with this setting. Therefore, I have also noticed tremendous growth in individual score/ learning/responding.

Thank you for giving my "alternative learning" students a manner in which they can excel.

Thank you for blessing us with your generosity. We are looking forward to a future built on the many learning opportunities you have provided us.

With gratitude,
Ms. Kerans

Bare necessities

When Ms. Bing needed new materials for her bilingual library at school, she posted her project on Donors Choose. With over 600 students in need, we knew we wanted to help. Una was able to provide books so her Spanish-speaking parents could read to their children at home. According to Ms. Bing, these materials will help the students, "celebrate their culture, improve their reading and create an overall atmosphere for learning and growth."

Ms. Campbell-Grammer needed simple supplies, like new pencil sharpeners. In the past, it's likely Ms. Campbell-Grammer purchased these basic albeit necessary items for her 80 students with her own money. It goes to show that no project on Donors Choose is too small; that something as fundamental as a pencil sharpener could lead to an improved learning experience for students.

Want to get involved? Donors Choose is making an impact and is committed to helping students get what they need to succeed. Donors Choose is open to every public school in the country so you're bound to find a classroom in need near you. 

Una is committed to writing a story larger than ourselves. Read more about our Una Cares Initiative here.