Updated: Jun 12, 2020
As a child in the 80’s, I would often well up with tears as I came across telethons showing poor, undernourished children from around the world or sick and neglected animals. I remember the Timmy’s Christmas Telethons in particular - children and families who had endured endless surgeries, setbacks, medical scares and unfair circumstances. If the vignettes highlighting these children with their huge fighting spirits and beaming smiles weren’t enough to play “Tears in Heaven” on your heart strings, then I’m not afraid to suggest, you may not be completely human. Needless to say, I donated every time (well, let’s be honest, my mom did at my request). Thanks, Mom!
I have always believed in giving whenever possible to whatever charitable cause speaks to your heart. Homelessness, social services, international aid, animal welfare, cancer research – there are so many worthwhile causes to get behind and only so much money in our pockets (for the average person that is!) I admit, I got caught in the trap during my young adulthood of being associated with dozens of charities. For years, I donated to so many, likely because my info was being shared amongst all the different groups and being the softy that I am, I couldn’t say no to any new charity mail that showed up in my mailbox asking for my much needed donation. The irony here is I was a “starving student” as they say, and although I did have food and shelter, I certainly didn’t have much extra money.
Eventually, I realized that although it felt right to help as many organizations as possible, it also felt a bit “scattered”, and for me, I need less “scattered” in my life and more “manageable”. (This may resonate with you if you also have young kids, a career, a few side-gigs and hobbies and are trying to find work-life balance!) I began by reminding myself that I am not saving the world by donating small amounts of money to 47 different charities every year. I also reminded myself that it is okay to choose causes that speak to me on a more personal level rather than write a cheque every time I hear a sad story. That was a tough one, but here’s to growth and evolution! The result was choosing one organization to donate to monthly with the help of my husband, that we both felt affected our immediate families and many of those around us.
But, of course, it didn’t end there (did you really think I was going to be able to stop at one?) When I decided to start my upcycled clothing and decor business, a video of Scott Harrison speaking about his journey from club promoter to founder and CEO of charity: water had recently caught my attention.
The story of why he made the massive leap from 24/7 party guy to creating charity: water is so inspiring. What struck me the most from the video, narrated by Harrison himself, was THIS statement:
“Dirty water is responsible for more death in this world than all forms of violence, including war. Even if it were a million this would be a crisis. But it’s not 1 million. It’s 785 million people who live on our planet right now without access to clean water.”
I highly recommend watching that video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdBG5VO01e0.
It comes to this - marginalized people in many countries around the world do not have access to clean drinking water and it’s not just making them sick, it’s killing them. Having clean water should be a human right, not a bonus. And when people, especially women and children, are “gifted” with this basic human necessity and it is more easily accessible, they are given other opportunities such as time to attend school and work, as shared in the video.
How does this charity align with Shining Heart Designs?
SHD repurposes fabrics to keep them out of the landfill and also helps to reduce the amount of cheap, toxic, textile dyes and chemicals from entering our water supply. Clean water for every being on this planet, in my humble opinion, is a cause everyone should be fighting for. I’d love to hear what resonates with you!
Keep shining on,