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Shades for Schools

Project part of Spread Goodness Day effort

Anna Dravland, creator of Spread Goodness Day, wears shades with local elementary school students.The Shades for Schools fundraising campaign is underway for Spread Goodness Day. People can support the project via various fundraisers through Feb. 21. (Photo courtesy of Anna Dravland)

MARQUETTE — In this case, “throwing shade” is not a bad thing.

Spread Goodness Day, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by Marquette resident Anna Dravland, will celebrate its third year on March 13. This year, the Shades for Schools fundraising goal is $20,000, with the deadline Feb. 21.

Dravland said she has received requests for over 5,500 pairs from places as far flung as Michigan, Los Angeles, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Illinois.

“It’s a little overwhelming,” she said. “It’s amazing, though, because these are people that are actively looking for ways to engage with goodness with their students. They’re planning goodness projects, and they want to be a part of this movement and this energy of positivity that we’re putting out.”

Dravland, who is disabled after suffering a brain injury in 2017, still manages to be involved in her project, but she can’t do it all alone.

Spread Goodness, she said, also helps other organizations such as the Women’s Center, but relies on donations and sponsorships.

“We have volunteers and one brain-injured person with a big dream,” Dravland said.

Schools have been involved in the movement too.

“For the first two years, what became very clear very quickly is that the kids in the schools were the ones that were really taking it to the next level, and they were really engaging with it,” Dravland said, “and they were contacting me to get shades or see if they could discounts or buy them.”

She was pleased with the good efforts coming from the schools.

“They felt like they were part of something, which they are,” Dravland said.

Taking part in the Spread Goodness effort again is Alyssa Erspamer, who said one of Dravland’s goals this year is to get sunglasses to as many students throughout the United States as possible.

Erspamer wondered how she could help raise money for the cause.

“I’ve been writing songs for the last couple years,” she said on Wednesday, “and I just brought one to Anna today that we think could be a good way to spread goodness and maybe sell the song for people to help fundraise for a school to get sunglasses.”

Through Feb. 21, people can support local fundraisers, create their own or simply make a donation.

Midtown Bakery & Cafe and Jackson’s Pit, both in Negaunee, are selling Spread Goodness Day donation cards for $1 to raise money for sunglasses for students at Lakeview Elementary School in Negaunee.

Outlanders restaurant in Marquette will donate a percentage of proceeds to raise funds for students at Cherry Elementary School in Harvey.

People also may shop for Shades apparel in store or online at Getz’s Clothiers and LoyalTees, both in Marquette, and donate through Shades for Schools Facebook page.

“We want these kids to grow up feeling powerful and like they can change the world, because they can,” Dravland said.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.

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