| By Anika Smith, director of programs, Heroes’ Alliance, Inc. |
Heroes’ Alliance is a non-profit organization headquartered in Detroit, MI with a focus on empowering residents of urban areas. We see education as the main driver of both individual and collective empowerment. In 2010, we launched our first educational initiative focused on literacy, recognizing that literacy is the lynchpin for understanding all disciplines. We have since that time expanded our educational platforms to include Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) while continuing to value and promote literacy as a foundational aspect of all learning.
In 2010, Heroes’ Alliance partnered with Gale on our 5th Annual Parental Boot-Camp—a back to school rally that provides resources for both parent and child in preparation for the upcoming school year. Gale donated 500 backpacks to be stuffed with school supplies and given away to children in the community. Since 2010, Gale has donated over 2,500 backpacks toward this endeavor. Gale has also supported Heroes’ Alliance with resource materials for our literacy initiative and laptops that we provided to recent high school graduates for upcoming college coursework. This partnership has been a foundational means to resource Detroit students with supplies and materials necessary for their continued educational success.
As the mission of Heroes’ Alliance continued to evolve, we found ourselves reaching across the globe to support students in need in Merger and Carrefour, Haiti. Since 2013, Heroes’ Alliance has been on the ground supporting various schools and youth organizations in those communities by donating school supplies, speaking to the youth about the importance of setting goals and having a vision for their lives, providing funding to help run their summer youth programs, and sponsoring children to attend school. This year, we are excited to expand our partnership with Gale even further toward a global literacy initiative that will provide reading books and resource materials to these students.
Through this partnership, Gale is set to ship over 588 books to Carrefour, Haiti to help build a desperately needed resource library for New Christian College of Merger and Shinning for God Youth Ministry. Although education is highly valued in Haiti, many children are not able to attend school due to the high cost of enrollment fees, books, and uniforms. Some churches step up to fill the void and provide educational enrichment through their youth ministries. For some, these meetings a couple of hours per day for a few days per week are the only access they have to a learning environment. The resource centers that will be built with the donated books from Gale will be an invaluable addition to these communities.
It is our hope that, through this partnership with Gale, we can create even more awareness concerning the need for literacy intervention both at home and abroad and attract the necessary resources to positively impact the lives of children across the globe. We believe that one organization working alone can make a difference. But multiple organizations working together toward a common goal can change the world. We must unlock the power of us!