It's so easy to talk about shelters and domestic violence and homelessness as these nebulous things, these institutions.
What's so much harder and can be overwhelming is remembering or trying to process that there are people: women, men, folks outside the gender binary, individuals, using these services, and experiencing these hardships. Looking at a shelter's wishlist can be heartbreaking.
But coming together to help out, that's a pretty fabulous thing.
And it just so happens that it is the time of year that you and I come together to support these folks in our communities.
Undies for Undies
For the sixth year in a row, for every pair of underwear you purchase through the end of the year, La Vie en Orange will donate a pair to a shelter in your hometown. With up to 100 pairs of undies being matched, it's a twofer- undies for you and undies donated for another special someone.
It all started in 2011 when I heard about the need through a City Council member's blog post. I thought, "I make underwear. Of course I can help."
I wondered if I could help more than just in Seattle (where I lived at the time), and how I could incorporate it into my business. After poking around a little bit, I realized many women's shelters (and men's and LGBT too) need new underwear to serve their clients.
The idea to match each purchase was born.
Growing as a Giver
In the past, I struggled a little bit with whether to continue the match. I questioned whether it was the best way to honor your support and spend my time.
Coming from a non-profit and social justice background (did I ever tell you I spent years doing peace education work, and then fundraising for immigrants' rights work?), I like to think I'm pretty sensitive to working on the root cause vs. putting band-aids on a situation and, more importantly, considering unintended consequences of any project.
After some soul-searching, and some research into corporate citizenship that's been successful and corporate citizenship whose negative impact has outweighed the positive it set out to do (the bar is just so low, and good intentions aren't enough. A lot of programs that drop big donations in communities are deeply flawed and can harm as much as they help. But it all helps shape why I'm doing what I'm doing.), I decided this is a need I can help meet. With integrity and with the sense that it's truly helping.
And the response from the shelters was enthusiastic.
So this year, it was a no-brainer. I'm just so excited this time of year has rolled around again, and I can't wait to mail all the matches next year! :)
My undies aren't addressing the root causes of homelessness or domestic violence, but it makes sense to use my talents to help make a difference in a small but profound way for each individual who receives a pair. We all know how putting on the right undies can make a day.
I'm just so grateful for your support, and it means so much to me to give back to the individual communities that support La Vie en Orange. I can't wait to make a 2017 donation in your name!
Hopefully you're pretty jazzed about it too. I mean, you already know how great Upitees are. :) So, I hope you'll start your holiday shopping here
, knowing that you're making a difference a)in your loved-one's pants, and b)in your community.
Thank you so much for helping support the life-changing work of women's and homeless shelters.
P.S. Are you a Thanksgiving weekend shopper? Get a preview of the Black Friday
, Small Business Saturday
, and Cyber Monday
deals we'll be running, along with order and shipping deadlines for Hanukkah and Christmas here
P.P.S. Are you in the Ann Arbor - Detroit
area? Wanna come hang out? La Vie en Orange will be at DIYpsi
December 10-11 at the Riverside Arts Center.
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