Every day in the US, more than 4,000 students drop out of school because of the lack of clean clothes. They don’t have enough confidence to connect with their peers and teachers in class and are afraid of being taunted by their classmates. Hence, rather than feel uncomfortable in school, these students without clean clothes would simply stay at home resulting in the increase of non-attendance.
With the goal of providing students with clean clothes and reduce non-attendance, the school needed to boost the confidence and desire to connect with their classmates and teachers in a classroom. In the efforts to quantify the problem and work towards the solution, Whirlpool launched the Everyday – “care count” program. As part of the program, Whirlpool and DigitasLBi installed washers and dryers for the disadvantaged kids in school districts – one in Missouri and 17 schools in California.
After over a year, the school identified students spending about six more days in school as compared to the previous years. The school also identified children with the need for clean clothes and more than 90% of the kids increased their attendance. Moreover 95% of the participants showed motivation in class and participated in extracurricular activities. What’s more, their peer interactions and test scores also improved to a great extent.
According to Martha Lacy, principal at the David Weir K-8 Academy in Fairfield, California, “Up until this year,” despite programs providing kids with better nutrition and social services, “we’ve never ever had anything that would address having clean clothes.”
Whirlpool senior brand manager Chelsey Lindstrom, notes, “We originally set out to impact attendance rates. But what we saw was that the program impacted so much more. When we all care cooking, cleaning and washing, every day, we believe we can change the world.” This is the power of these simple acts.