As more and more tattoo shops come into existence, more and more tattoo artists are finding ways to take the public's love of skin art and put all that ink to good use benefiting their local charities and favorite causes. Tattoos have played a part in fundraising for military veterans in the UK, brought some color to animal rescue efforts in New York City and worked to dissuade people from wearing fur as part of PETA's "Ink Not Mink" campaign. After putting tattoos to work to benefit some Memphis gradeschoolers in 2009, a local tattoo shop has revived the event again this year.
Big Jay and his House of Ink is where "Backpacks for Tatts" is based. Last year, tattoo artist Jay Baker had the idea of offering a deal to his tattoo customers in exchange for them buying a backpack and filling it up with school supplies. What the tattoo customers gets in exchange for their donation is a discount equal to the average cost of the school supplies. The donated and packed backpacks then went to a local elementary school where teachers and students were gifted with the much-needed supplies.
No one was sure just how the event would do, and all were pleasantly surprised when the first year total came to 300 backpacks/tattoos. For 2010, organizers are hoping they can double that total.
If you live in the Memphis area and would like to participate, Backpacks for Tatts is going to be happening on August 4th, 5th and 6th. What you need to get is a child's clear backpack (without wheels or rollers) and fill it with the specific list of school supplies, or you can donate a new school uniform for either a boy or a girl. Bring the packed backpack or uniform to Big Jay's House of Ink Frayser Blvd location, and you will receive your tattoo discount. Only donated items that meet the specific requirements will earn the tattoo discount.
For more information, and to see the list of school supplies needed, you can check out Big Jay's House of Ink MySpace page.