When I was able to monetize this website back in 2011, I was thrilled to be able to sign up to sponsor a child through Compassion International due to the earnings from the site.
I shared that with blog readers because I thought it was important for the readers to know that they too were contributing to the support of this child through visiting my website! My only revenue stream back then was being paid monthly from small shops that had an ad on the sidebar, so high website views were what I needed to stay valuable to those small businesses who wanted a feature on my site!
Since that time, and as my business has grown, I’ve found numerous additional ways to give back. I’ve donated earnings from Poshmark sales, sent boxes of items to a company who ran a closet consignment sale, set up automatic monthly donations to causes that are near to my heart (you can read about that here), and much more.
I’ve also taken you along with me and the kids when we drop off donations. We enjoy getting them involved as well!
There have also been various other ways that my family and I have given back that haven’t been published. We bought a car from a former neighbor and donated it, and for a long time, I’ve been able to gift products or gently used baby items to a pregnancy support home in my area.
Giving back is important to me, and it’s also important to me that my heart for giving back is accurately conveyed when I speak about it. I would never want to come off like I’m looking for affirmation for what we do, as it’s something I would continue to do whether I had a public life or not!
The thing is though, this year I want to be a little bit more forward and open about the cause I’m choosing to focus on because you are a part of it.
My business operates in a way that your views, clicks, activity, etc. provide me with income. If no one is looking at my website, then there isn’t any value to placing an ad on it.
My hope is that when you come here, you gain something because I work hard to provide relatable, educational content for you to consume at no charge!
Throughout my life, the causes and missions that stir my emotion have changed as a reflection of where I am in life. Before children, I felt drawn to supporting cat rescues and volunteering to help clean the cages for the cats at PetSmart.
Before I was married, when I was single in college, I volunteered to lead a craft activity for an after-school program.
Since having small children, Justin and I have given financially more than of our time, simply due to the challenges of finding childcare, but we both agree that it feels different (more impactful?) when you give your time and energy to a cause. I know very well that both things matter, but the effect it has on you is different.
So, last year when COVID19 caused the world to essentially shut down, there were innumerable ripples that caused difficulty in so many aspects of life. The one that made my stomach flip, though, was thinking about all the children who were not able to get lunch anymore at school since public schools closed down.
Thankfully, it didn’t take long for organizations to pivot and create drive-through lunch programs for families who receive lunch for their kids at school. And as I’m certain many families were able to receive lunches, I’m also sure there were some that weren’t able to make it to the pick-up for a number of reasons.
So hunger-relief is a cause that I feel deeply convicted to do something about. I was thrilled to hear that Home Chef, a long-time partner of mine, collaborated with Feeding America to support hunger-relief. I am proud to be working with a company that aligns with my convictions as well!
There are also local organizations that I/my business supports and I am hopeful that when volunteer restrictions are lifted I will be able to participate in some in-person giving back this year.
Brown Bag Ministry is a local cause where kids and I dropped off items in December so they could fill bags with essentials and hand them out to homeless men. They also have a weekly time where they fill over 1k lunch bags to hand out at various sites in my area. It is my plan to attend one of those Saturday in-person events as soon as I can. I believe they have opened up spots for volunteering now, with safety precautions in place, of course.
One thing I would love to do is partner with Feeding America or a local hunger-relief organization to raise money. I have absolutely no idea how to do that, and Amanda and I started that process last year only to run into a few legal constraints.
What you can expect from me going forward is that I will regularly share about this cause being something I support, and I have such gratitude that your support of my business allows me to give back.
When I’m able to get on the schedule and volunteer in-person at Brown Bag Ministry, I’ll tell you about it! And if you have any affiliations with local hunger-relief organizations, I would love to hear about those so please e-mail me or leave a comment below.