The Austin Ekeler Foundation, ThinkWatts Foundation, and ECOS, the leading green cleaning products manufacturer, donated state-of-the-art washers and dryers as well as ECOS laundry detergent in three Watts School District schools on Giving Tuesday (#givingtuesday).
The initiative will give students in need of clean clothes a way to wash and dry their clothes at school aiming to help address chronic absenteeism and support students with resources needed to attend school. Lack of clean clothes is a major reason why students in the Watts School District miss class, leading to students falling behind in school.
The new washers and dryers will be incorporated into future after-school and elective programs that teach students life skills through a designed curriculum. The life skills programming will range from how to wash and dry clothes to financial literacy, writing a resume and more.
How Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler is working to “create opportunities for people”
Austin Ekeler is a running back for the Los Angeles Chargers, the Greek-American owned NFL franchise. Ekeler created his own foundation in April 2021, hoping that the organization would “help create opportunities for people to fulfill their passions, and ultimately their lives.”
“When I heard that hundreds of students in my local area were falling behind on their education because of something as basic as not having clean clothes, I became motivated to do what I could to help them out,” said Ekeler. “Growing up where I did, I saw education as a way to improve my life and reach my potential. I’m so happy to help reduce a barrier like clean clothes and contribute in a small way to these students’ future success.”
The washers, dryers and ECOS cleaning products were installed at Markham Middle School, University of Pathways Public Service Academy/Drew Middle School and 107th Street Elementary School today as Ekeler, ThinkWatts Founder Brandon “Stix” Salaam-Bailey and ECOS representatives Monika Hanks and Pamela Spyrs toured the schools and met with administrators.
“There are major factors that cause chronic absenteeism especially in under-served communities. Something as simple as a washer and dryer unit to wash dirty laundry can lower those numbers and increase the morale of students. These units aren’t just there for students, they’re there for families,” said Stix.
As part of the donation, ECOS provided over 330 gallons and 150 bottles of plant-powered laundry detergent to the three schools in Watts School District and plans on continuing to support this project in the future.
“The health and wellness of children and our beautiful planet is my passion and the driving force behind our work to bring safer products to families around the world,” said Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks (President & CEO of ECOS), “I’m happy to donate ECOS laundry detergent to schools in the Watts School District to provide children a healthy alternative to clean their clothes.”
Family owned and operated since 1967, ECOS makes plant-powered laundry detergents and cleaners to protect the health and wellness of people, pets and the planet. ECOS cleaners are made in the USA using thoughtfully sourced global ingredients and create the most authentic, sustainable and affordable cleaning products for all. The company is women-owned and led by Greek American President and CEO Kelly Vlahakis- Hanks.