Undies for Everyone (UFE) provides new underwear for disadvantaged elementary and middle school students, encouraging self-esteem, confidence and school attendance.
Undies for Everyone is committed to the self-esteem dignity and success of disadvantaged students in North America by providing them new underwear.
Undies for Everyone also provides underwear to people affected by natural disasters in the United States.
Undies for Everyone began in 2008 when a Houston social worker told Rabbi Amy Weiss that students in Houston had a dire need for underwear.After blogging about this basic need, UFE organized as a non-profit in 2012 and in the first year, 12,000 pair of underwear were donated to HISD.
Distribution to additional school districts followed and by July, 2017 over 500,000 pair of underwear had been given to children in Houston. Hurricane Harvey arrived and after Brene Brown, best selling self-help author, did a Facebook Live video about UFE, 1.5 million pair of underwear for men, women and children arrived at our doors. When it was all over, 2 million pairs of underwear had been distributed mostly to families affected by Harvey but we also sent undies to those affected by Hurricanes Maria, Irma, Florence and Michael. We also sent underwear to those who lived through the California Fires.
Today UFE has expanded to provide underwear to children in 15 school districts in Houston and Dallas with expansion plans in 2019 to Austin and San Antonio. Disaster relief across the US is a new addition to the mission statement.
1. The School Nurse Emergency Underwear Distribution program allows schools nurses in elementary and middle schools to custom order up to 150 pairs of underwear to help children who have an accident at school. In 2018 UFE has served 710 school nurses.
2.The Individual Back to School Underwear Distribution gives underwear to disadvantaged students by partnering with social service agencies and the City of Houston. Children who participate in the City of Houston Back to School Fest, Child Protective Services' Back to School event, Houston Area Women's Center back to School event and the Houston Food Bank Backpack Buddy program. Every child receives a bag of five pairs of underwear.
3. UFE's Volunteer program serves two important purposes. First, all of the underwear that is donated or purchased must be taken out of its package, recycle the packaging and packed into bags of five. This year of 320,000 pairs will be packed. Second, UFE provides opportunities for people of all ages to serve the community by offering packing opportunities at our warehouse or offsite through the mobile van program when organizations and businesses hold a drive and UFE brings supplies for a packing at the organization, religious institution, school or business. UFE has a minimum age of 6 for volunteers, a unique opportunity to teach our children about the importance of philanthropy and giving back to the community. The newest volunteer site is a retirement community where volunteers are excited to be giving back to their community!
UFE is the only nonprofit in the US to solely distribute underwear to disadvantaged elementary and middle school children, we know that the 163,000 children we served in 2018 are benefitting from our service. Because we purposely do not follow individual families after distribution, we rely on nurses and social service partners to let us know that underwear is a greatly appreciated and used resource.
UFE partnered in 2016 with Rice University to explore the benefits of underwear for recipients. The Rice students found that of the schools served by UFE, 74% rely only on UFE for underwear.
We know anecdotally that nurses and social service agencies served are
grateful for the underwear because it is rarely provided.
Goals this year
The goals for 2019 (we are almost finished with 2018 distribution):
Expand distribution to new markets: Austin, San Antonio and Fort Worth.
Expand distribution opportunities in greater Houston and greater Dallas.
Distribute 750,000 pairs of underwear through school nurses and back to school events.