Bay Shore’s Steven Juergensen always knew he wanted to make a difference in the world, he just never knew how.
That was until a friend of his told him about a nonprofit in Ghana called the GodFreds Foundation.
The GodFred Foundation — co-founded founded by Ghana native Fredrick Benneh — helps build schools in rural parts of the African country, where teachers are sparse and supplies are limited.
Juergensen was moved by the cause and soon reached out to Benneh.
On a video call he asked, “Anything I can do to help, Fred?”
Benneh responded by saying his teachers — who only have a middle school education — needed teaching certificates, which cost about $400.
To raise the money, the West Islip High School graduate’s immediately thought about selling clothes.
“I knew we could purchase products for cheap and sell them at a profit,” he said.
In 2017, he co-founded Threads for Education, an online apparel company that would donate 50 percent of its profits to organizations such as the GodFred Foundation.
Since its inception, Threads for Education has certified six teachers for Benneh’s schools in Senase, Ghana. The company has also donated enough money to supply wifi for an African school, donated two school buses, and give 100 backpacks and other school supplies.
Additionally, each year, the 24-year-old’s company sponsors a volunteer trip to help the schools.
“I am so grateful for everything we’ve been able to do so far,” Juergensen told GreaterBayShore.
As far as his clothing goes, Threads for Education sells a mix of shirts, pants, hats, and hoodies, all adorned with inspirational sayings like “Be the Change.”
Most of the concepts come from the Mount Saint Mary College graduate himself.
“I just sit on my computer and come up with a bunch of designs,” he said. “If people like it we kept it, if they didn’t we were on to the next design.”
At first, it was a slow grind, only selling $100 worth a merch a month, but now, he says, his site sells around $1000 a month.
“I want to keep growing this so it can become sustainable, so we can continue to help others,” he said. “My goal is to help other places in need, including areas in the U.S.”
to buy merch
To see Threads for Education’s merch, click here.
Top: Threads for Education co-founder Steven Juergensen in Bay Shore.