The men’s basketball coach at Virginia Commonwealth University, Shaka Smart, and his wife, Maya, mounted an-end-of-the-year fundraising and awareness campaign for FRIENDS Association for Children.

As part of this campaign, the Smarts’ initiated a 30-day online blitz for the month of November through a local start-up company, BonfireFunds.com, selling t-shirts designed by Maya featuring the FRIENDS logo.  The 30-day blitz was a fun way to get local businesses and organizations involved by competing to raise the most funds for the top prize, spending an hour with Coach Smart – a local celebrity in these parts, afforded by his performance as head coach for the VCU Rams.

In total, SHAKA AND FRIENDS raised $30,000 in thirty days for FRIENDS Association for Children, with PeakLogix employees raising $4,438.00 for this worthy cause. Additionally, more than 1,000

FRIENDS t-shirts will go into circulation in the Richmond area this month and each time one of them is worn by a contributor around town, they are continuing to help enhance awareness and visibility for the FRIENDS organization which will help to bolster the operations sustainability.

FRIENDS Association for Children has been supporting success in the lives of children and families in Richmond, VA for more than 140 years.  It was founded in 1871 as the Friends Asylum for Colored Orphans and has evolved to meet contemporary community needs.  In 2013, it is helping hundreds of kids realize their potential through early childhood development, art and music enrichment, afterschool programs, summer camps, mentorship, and parent education.  Through these services, children are gaining the critical literacy and development skills needed to succeed in life and contribute to the well-being of our community.  There is still time to build awareness for this organization that’s helped so many kids throughout its history.  Consider becoming a FRIEND or sharing the news!