Mercer Island teens use back to school to give back

Mercer Island teens are working hard to continue a special back to school tradition.

It’s not even August but back to school shopping is in full swing.  On Mercer Island, teens have found a way to make some of the money spent on papers and pencils go to a good cause

Ella Veljovich and Katelyn Travis know exactly what Mercer Island middle schoolers will need in their backpacks when they arrive on campus for the first day.  They just started taking orders for school supplies on their website HelpEduc8.

The boxes will be delivered right before school starts at an orientation event on campus.  The pair promises to save parents a few dollars “our total amount that we sell the packages for is always less than if you were to buy it at Office Depot or somewhere like Target” Travis explains.

The amazing part is these entrepreneurs do not keep a dime of their profits.  Veljovich says it’s the reason she wanted to get involved “I think that knowing that we're donating this money and helping kids who are much less privileged than us is really meaningful."

All the money is donated to the charity Save the Children.  “It comes full circle,” Travis says.  “The families on Mercer Island can buy school supplies, that they needed anyway, and give the money back to a charity to provide education and supplies to kids who are in third world countries."

They run it like professionals but Ella and Katelyn didn't start this business, it's been around since 2005.  They're the third generation of Mercer Island students to sell supplies to help other children.

Last year they donated $5,000 to help Save the Children and this year they hope to raise more.  They would love to see other teens at other schools try the same model and sell the supplies to help others.

Next year, they'll start thinking about who might take their spots when they graduate high school.  It's less about finding people who want to run a business and more about finding other dedicated teens with a heart for helping others, who want to join a tradition of caring.

“We hope that whoever we pass it on to next will continue to make it better just add something to it to pass on and on,” Travis said.

To learn more about HelpEduc8:  http://www.helpeduc8.org/

© 2017 KING-TV


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