Unleashed Spirit Wear has donated $79,000 worth of screen printing equipment and inventory to Melissa High School.
Unleashed announced in late August that it was closing its doors after six years as a local screen printing business. Owner Angela Anderson has worked closely with the district and its programs over the years, designing custom shirts for faculty and producing Melissa Cardinal spirit wear.
Anderson approached Melissa High School principal Kenneth Wooten last month about donating Unleashed’s operation to the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. The donation includes materials and equipment for screen printing, embroidery, and digital printing.
The retail value of the operation totals at around $64,000 worth of equipment and $15,000 worth of apparel, vinyl, and other stocked material.
Ultimately this donation will lead to the creation of new courses for Melissa High School students in the areas of design and printing, giving students the opportunity to learn another trade.
“I know there are lots of students who are very artistic and creative,” Anderson added. “Students would have the ability to create from the design phase all the way through to the actual production piece of it.”
Anderson noted three deciding factors in choosing to donate the Unleashed operation to Melissa Schools: cost savings to the district, strengthening the Melissa Cardinal brand, and generating additional revenue for the schools.
“One of the first things that we looked at was being able to reduce the cost to the district,” Anderson said. “Having the ability to print in-house would be a huge cost savings.”
Anderson added that printing school materials in-house could aid in maintaining a cohesive brand identity at Melissa Schools.
“It also would create consistency in ensuring that what’s being printed for the school, that has the school’s name on it, is a reflection of what the school has identified as the logo or mascot … we have a Cardinal head that is our official Cardinal head.”
“The third thing was actually being able to bring in revenue,” Anderson said. “Being able to work with the PTO, the Booster Club, and even other local organizations and businesses to bring their printing in.”
Principal Wooten added that Melissa High School is in the early stages of determining exactly how and when this donation will be put to use – and the CTE courses that could be added as a result – but the brainstorming has already begun.
“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to increase the offerings for our students in our Career and Technology field,” Wooten said. “To have this type of equipment donated, it’s saving the district so much money upfront, because that is usually the greatest challenge. Any time you are going in and implementing a new program, the district has to put money upfront, and this donation allows us not to worry about that. That is a blessing for all of us.”
Media Contact: Maddie Coe, Community Relations