While looking for a new phone case, I recently discovered a Houston, Texas-based website, Mrked.com. What I initially thought to be just cute Apple iPhone cases is actually an intelligently structured business and philanthropy model.
Mrked [no “A”] is the creation of Akil, Shahneel, and Safin – three men who share the common bond of being born to parents who immigrated to the United States. There vision was to create something to not only make their parents proud but leave a positive “mark” on the world. Recognizing that the value of education can greatly influence and effect the direction of ones life, especially that of a young girl’s in an impoverished country, they decided that the customized iPhone cases they produce would give 15% of its proceeds to Room to Read’s Girls’ Education program benefiting young girls throughout Asia and Africa.
Room to Read is a wonderful organization that focuses on literacy and gender equality in education using local staff to teach and run the programs of all effected areas. Since 1998, almost 9 million children have benefited from the programs- over 27,000 of these children were female, and over 1800 schools have been constructed. The Girl’s Education program provides everything from uniforms to books in the hopes to affect statistical life improvements such as a higher percentage of being healthier and improving their earning potential, as well as a lower chance of exposure to diseases. Room to Read has made a positive impact in India, Vietnam, South Africa, MrkeSri Lanka and dozens more countries around the world.
In keeping up with the academic theme of the cause, Mrked iPhone cases are broken into six playful category collections: Varsity, CLASSroom, Jungle Gym, Honor Roll, Double Dutch, and Crayon Box. Designs range from patterned and colorful, to classic and color-blocked- there’s an option for everyone. These cases fit Apples’ iPhone 5s/5 and iPhone 4s/4.
Unless you’re #teamAndroid, I encourage everyone to buy local and support this brilliant cause of buying an item so easily needed to give a gift so greatly valued.