AE X ME COUNCIL ON THE DELIVERING GOOD COLLECTION

Designed by the AExME Council in partnership with Delivering Good, 100% of sales from this collection of tees, hoodies, and beanies will go directly to helping homeless and underprivileged young people near you.

SHOP WOMEN | SHOP MEN

Read on to learn how these AExME Council members collaborated with the AE design team, why youth homelessness matters to them, and how YOU can make a difference.

AE x ME Council Capsule Collection

Delaney Tarr

March for Our Lives Co-Founder, @delaneytarr

Delaney Tarr

Q: What was the inspiration for the collection?

We wanted something that’s not only effortless, but impactful. The QR code really elevates the shirt from just a simple tee to something purposeful. It truly shows how easy it is to make a difference. Just scan and donate!

Q: How did you collaborate with the AE design team?

The AE design team was incredibly receptive to our ideas. Something as small as a color choice is actually a massive point for design teams, and we got to be involved in every decision along the way.

Q: What do you think we should know about youth homelessness?

There’s a lot of misinformation around youth homelessness. It’s usually seen as taboo, without a lot of discussion on what exactly puts teenagers in dire situations. Youth homelessness looks different for every person. It could be your classmate, and it could be the kid on the street. But everyone needs to be treated with empathy and compassion.

Q: How can we support homeless and underprivileged youth in our own communities?

If possible, put your time into volunteering with local shelters and charities that focus on homelessness. Something as simple as an hour of service work can make a world of difference. If time isn’t on your side, a donation is great! Put your money where your mouth is to truly work on holistic solutions for homelessness and poverty. Overall, always focus on collaborative and community-based solutions that really address the needs of their people.

Imani Jai Chisom

Faith-Based Activist, @imanijai

Imani Jai Chisom

Q: What was the inspiration for the collection? 

All the phrases we decided to put on the tees were sayings that we believed would cause people to really get in the spirit of giving this holiday season.

Q: What do you think we should know about youth homelessness? 

Each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness. I think it’s important to let people know that youth homelessness is not always want we may assume it looks like. There are people in your life, that you may interact with every day, who don’t know if they are going to have bed to sleep in.

Q: How can we support homeless and underprivileged youth in our own communities?

I think the first thing that a person can do is look at the local shelters in their area that serve young people and see what the needs of the youth are. Maybe you can donate supplies or your time, but you don’t know how you can help if you don’t ask!

Joseph Touma

Bridge the Divide Co-Founder, @josephmtouma

Joseph Touma

Q: What was the inspiration for the collection?

We created these t-shirts, hoodies, and beanies to empower young people, reminding them that they can make a difference in their homes, schools, and communities. Young people are positioned to make lasting impacts, through actions as big as starting a movement or as simple as being kind and optimistic. We included the QR code so that each item represents more than a one-time donation to Delivering Good. Each time the shirt is worn, the code will spark conversations and inspire many more to make donations to fight homelessness.

 Q: What do you think we should know about youth homelessness?

We often talk about homelessness, but it can be easy to overlook a substantial subset of this population: young people. Believe it or not, youth homelessness affects over 4 million young people across the United States every year. This is a challenge that affects all communities—rural and urban areas see similar levels of youth homelessness, making it a prime opportunity to come together with our fellow Americans to fight this problem.

Q: How can we support homeless and underprivileged youth in our own communities?

The holidays are a time of year when we spend time with our family and friends. It is important to remember those who are less fortunate, who don’t have a family or home to spend time in this holiday season. Also, as we get into the winter months, the elements take an even greater physical toll on the homeless. It’s important to listen to the needs of local homeless shelters, donate what you can, and, if you have time, volunteer or have conversations with those less fortunate. Homelessness can be lonely, so a single conversation can go a long way in making someone’s day. However you choose to support homeless and underprivileged youth, you should know that you are making a difference in someone’s life during this very important time of year.

Edith Cruz

Immigrant Rights Activist, @thatweirdchild__

Edith Cruz

Q: What was the inspiration for the collection?

I think we decided to go for a simple design specifically for the hoodies in order to really keep the whole collection focused on donating through the QR code. For the t-shirts we also wanted to keep it simple but make sure we were also empowering the customers and Delivering Good. Which is how we decided to make the “YOUTH can make a difference” T-shirt. We wanted to make this collection personal for YOU the customers and the communities to which you would be donating during the holiday season.

Q: What do you think we should know about youth homelessness?

I think the very first thing to ending youth homelessness is to acknowledge that it exists and that it affects youth more than other populations. You should be aware that it can be affecting people that you know, and you could have no idea about. You should also try to educate yourself because homelessness can look a lot ways, especially for youth. A high school student could be homeless but still attend classes and sports events and be able to complete their homework. They could look fine in their appearance but in reality, things aren’t as fine as they seem.

Don’t ever say, “Why don’t they just get a job?” This is a big NO, and why it’s important to educate yourself. When someone is homeless that means they don’t have access to a mailing address and most jobs require a home address for you to even apply. And in this era, we do everything through technology so even if they manage to apply for a job without an address, if they were hired, they’d most likely be required to set up a direct deposit account to get paid, and this cannot been done without a mailing address.

Q: How can we support homeless and underprivileged youth in our own communities?

Honestly, by volunteering at shelters. This can be done by serving people food for at least one hour, or literally just going in to talk to the youth and get to know them. Show that you care and acknowledge their existence. It’s important for everyone to feel seen and heard. If you can and have the ability to do so, mentor a youth experiencing these things! Take them under you wing, show them how to save up money, get a job (if possible), study skills, and such things.

A big thing I like to do is clean out my closet every season, because I know I’ll have at least five items I’ve never worn or don’t wear often. I set those items apart and take them to a center that I know will do its jobs of distributing the items properly to those in need. This can be done through so many donation centers. Two that I’ve really been using lately are Delivering Good and my local Kentucky center The Nest. A lot of us have a lot of clothes and other items we can get rid of. Instead of throwing them away, give them to someone in need! Make an effort to find a local donating center near you and donate items every season you can! 

Saaneah Jamison

R&B Artist & Body Positive Activist, @saaneah

Saaneah Jamison

Q: What do you think we should know about youth homelessness?

Youth homelessness is a major problem that doesn’t get the proper attention and awareness it needs. It wasn’t until working with AE and touring Covenant House LA that I was able to find out in-depth how much it’s increasing in our communities. I want people to know how they can be of service to eliminating this issue. Note that youth homelessness has increased for the past two years and is growing. Millions of  youth will be without a safe and stable home for reasons such as physical abuse, human trafficking, sexual orientation, and more.

Q: How can we support homeless and underprivileged youth in our own communities?

We can really make a difference through community investment, by committing to volunteering, and donating to spaces that shelter youth and aid in the development of more safe spaces for displaced youth. Volunteering your time to spend with youth who are in shelters is also another way to contribute because it lets them have hope and feel cared about after enduring traumatic happenings and consistent abandonment.

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