Group creates initiative to purchase T-shirts

Members of the Leadership Blair County Alumni have undertaken a project to benefit students at Penn-Lincoln Ele­mentary School.

Each year, the group searches for a cause in which they can make a difference in the lives of others. In response to these efforts, the alumni created the “Basket of Hope” initiative. During the past eight years, community needs have evolved and so has the program.

In 2019, the alumni switched direction and created a program known as “guaran.teez.”

The goal is to raise funds to purchase 1,600 T-shirts for the 400 students enrolled at Penn-Lincoln in Altoona.

“The LBC Alumni committee explored several ideas for this year and discussed Penn-Lincoln as we were aware that 90 percent of the school is economically disadvantaged. We weren’t sure exactly what was needed, but when we contacted the school, they explained that they were moving to a magnet school focusing on career development and STEAM curriculum. They want to combat the stigma of ‘have’ and ‘have nots’ by having students wear a STEAM T-shirt to school. They also could wear certain colored plain T-shirts,” said Judy Juda, chamber vice president of programming and education. “Our group thought that it would still be the ‘have and have nots,’ so we want to raise enough money so that each student would have a weeks’ worth of T-shirts. Hence the 1,600 shirts.”

Donations to the program will be accepted through Aug. 2. Each shirt costs $5. Each $20 donation will allow donors to “adopt” a child and to provide them with clean shirts throughout the week.

The LBC Alumni will match each donation dollar-for-dollar up to $2,500. Checks should be made to: Blair County Chamber Foundation and can be mailed to or dropped off at the Blair County Chamber Office, 3900 Industrial Park Drive, Altoona, Pa. 16602.