Chase Bank Branch in Alta Loma, California and LaMar Daniels, former Branch manager

 This Chase Bank Branch donated hundreds of shirts, blouses and sweaters to IWantToHelpAfrica.Org in 2008/9.

In late 2008, federal regulators seized the nationwide Washington Mutual Bank (WAMU) and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank purchased its assets.  Chase ended up with all of the WAMU logo uniforms — high quality Lands’ End shirts, blouses and sweaters, many of which had never been worn.  With WAMU no longer in existence, all Chase branch banks were directed to destroy their WAMU logo clothing.

LaMar Daniels’ bank branch is close to the home of the Founder of IWantToHelpAfrica, so many of the bank employees there knew all about our work in Africa.  When LaMar began to collect the clothing to destroy it, different employees, including Vanessa Conredi, a friend of IWantToHelpAfrica, encouraged LaMar to contact us and donate the clothing to Africa instead.  He was so inspired when he heard all about our work that he then contacted many other new Chase branch banks in southern California and collected carloads of old WAMU uniforms. This was an unbelievably generous gift by LaMar and Chase, which has been so extremely helpful to so many people in Africa.

The mission ofIWantToHelpAfrica is centered on self-help programs of Africans helping fellow Africans. One of these efforts, and one of the biggest recipients of the WAMU clothing, was the Basizana: Young Girls At Risk project in Zambia ( click on  Our Work In Motion for details). Basizana is a project that helps prevent rape and unwanted pregnancies among young teenage girls so they don’t get caught in a spiral of ignorance and poverty that prevents them from advancing in life.  Every villager who participated in the Basizana construction project, providing locked huts for the girls to sleep in, were each rewarded with two articles of WAMU clothing.

In addition, the entire group of Basizana girls in Maoma village, located in a very remote area in the Western Province of Zambia, received two blouses each to wear as school uniforms. Many of these young girls didn’t have any shirts to wear to school at all, so this gift was enormously appreciated.

WAMU shirts were also given as a reward in the Western Province of Zambia for people who helped make cement building blocks to be used in the construction of an elementary school. (Click on Our Work In Motion for more details.) This is in an area with over 1,200 children, of whom only about 150 students actually attend school because of the great distances for children to walk through with wild animals and dangerous flood waters for much of the year. The government is unable to afford any kind of building project in this area for the foreseeable future.  This gift of WAMU uniforms, thanks to LaMar Daniels and Chase Bank, is helping reward the villagers who are working to build a school for their own children.   This is the kind of project we love to support!  And our hats go off to you, Chase Bank and LaMar Daniels, for supporting this project with your donation of clothing!  What an insightful, far-reaching and caring thing for a corporation to do!