Sources of Strength Optimizes Student Leader Education | Education


Sources of Strength Optimizes Student Leader Education | Education

From fulfillment to fulfilled: RRD’s ConnectOne Storefront consolidates shipping and management of mission-critical materials for best-practice suicide prevention program

Sources of Strength is a proven program that coaches teens to spread hope, health, and strength among their peers. Founded in 1998 with a vision to “empower a well world,” the organization trains peer leaders from diverse social cliques to change norms of behavior, promote mental health, and prevent suicide, violence, bullying, and substance abuse. In one study involving 18 high schools, Sources of Strength’s evidence-based method demonstrated that trained peer leaders were four times as likely as untrained peer leaders to refer a suicidal friend to an adult.

The increasingly successful program ships resource and training kits to schools across the United States and Canada. From 2020 to 2022, the program expanded significantly, and Sources of Strength now ships up to 65 orders and 200 packages per day during the school year. The program continues to grow, and is now available in English and Spanish in more than 250 elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. 


As the program grew, however, fulfilling orders became a challenge and a logistics nightmare. Shipping items — including heavy, 200-page books — from printing vendors to fulfillment centers was expensive. Storing the kits was also costly.

In Denver, fulfillment coordinator Olivia Darrington unloaded shipments, packed the kits, managed inventory, and carried the 45-pound boxes to the post office and other companies to be shipped. Darrington, who earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies, Intervention and Prevention, appreciated being able to contribute to the mission but felt she could do more in ways aligned with her education and training.

“Doing that every day for two years is hard,” she said. “The materials are critical for Sources of Strength, but I wasn’t utilizing my best skills to impact the mission.” In addition, she was the only one trained to fulfill orders — if she missed work, the orders fell behind.

Darrington proposed a solution and worked with the organization’s leadership to create a multifaceted goal. They aimed to integrate shipping and fulfillment with a single vendor, get training kits more quickly to mental health professionals in schools, and easily track fulfillment and inventory. 

However, the first vendor utilized a ticket system for fulfilling orders and addressing issues. With no direct or consistent point of contact, getting inventory reports and resolving pressing problems took days or even weeks. As a result, Sources of Strength couldn’t easily track orders or inventory and often ran out of materials. After eight months, Sources of Strength was ready to make the move to a vendor that could provide more transparency and a personal touch. 


An RRD client referred Sources of Strength to RRD’s commercial print team in September 2022. Now, Sources of Strength relies on RRD as a single provider to print materials and assemble, warehouse, and ship kits and inventory all over the country. 

RRD created a webhook for Sources of Strength’s e-commerce platform. Now, when an educator requests materials, the order automatically integrates into RRD’s invoicing system. RRD pulls the items, assembles the kits, and ships them directly to the schools within 24 to 48 hours. To simplify and streamline the process, RRD consolidated shipping with UPS using RRD’s discounted rates.  composite of sources of strength guidebook materials

Sources of Strength also engaged RRD’s ConnectOne Storefront, a management tool that connects directly to RRD’s network of print and fulfillment operations. ConnectOne Storefront automatically populates variables on customized documents, determines shipping locations, and monitors low stock and backorder inventory status. Sources of Strength can immediately see when stock is low and replenish materials as needed. 

RRD’s communication prowess has been equally important. RRD created a dedicated team email address to enable effective communication between Sources of Strength and RRD support. Now, when Darrington sends an email, she knows she will reach a dedicated support team that cares. Weekly check-in meetings have also allowed Darrington to put faces to names.

One year into the partnership, Sources of Strength was able to schedule a record number of peer leader training sessions in October 2023 — thanks mostly to Darrington being freed up from fulfilling orders.


Sources of Strength was looking for a partner capable of delivering mission-critical training materials in a timely and smooth fashion. With RRD:

  • Training kits now reach schools in 24 to 48 hours instead of up to 72 hours
  • Stock doesn’t run out — reorder points are set to trigger notifications when stock reaches a certain level
  • Sources of Strength can easily track orders using ConnectOne Storefront 
  • Discounted shipping rates lower operational expenses

Bonus: Darrington, the employee who once worked full-time fulfilling orders, has now been promoted to training program coordinator. She meets with school leaders to assess if Sources of Strength is right for them, then recommends funding resources to help schools pay for the program. She’s also helping create a peer-leader advisory council. She’s finally utilizing her formal education and passion as she helps educate school trainers. 

“This is what fulfills my heart, getting to talk with kids and hearing what helps them in life,” Darrington says. Instead of spending 40 hours a week on fulfillment-related tasks, she now spends 40 minutes. 

“It was awesome to see the hustle on the RRD side to make it work for us,” Darrington says. “RRD is a breath of fresh air.”

Contact Us