People, relationships & communities are some reasons why we feel we even fundamentally exist. If we don't do all that we can to make the best of what we are given here on this beautiful earth, it would be difficult for us not to feel as if we haven't done our part in the circle of life... the taking and the giving. This appreciation for earth & all of its creatures is why we so treasure people, relationships & community as much as we do lending great purpose for us to give back--connect--individually as well as through our humble ilovebad endeavor. Hence, all our products are inspired & created with the preservation of nature's balance in mind as well as being functional to serve the needs of the people that cares. And as a people's first business, other than selling products at a relatively lower price, we are also dedicating at least 10% of our profits to the hope & changes we care to see in the world.
Our inspirations to give back as a team began with some 30 happy meals for the homeless in 2010 which we did once a month for a few months. Though happy meals may not be the healthiest choice, perhaps even the most unhealthy some would argue, we wanted to try something different by giving in the way we think they'd want to be given versus the way we wanted to; and who doesn't have nostalgic vibes when it comes to McD's? Then once we started growing a bit more we began giving Vietnamese sandwiches instead--a slightly healthier choice--to hundreds of homeless in downtown Santa Ana which was something new and very enjoyable to them as they made clear that we know! But we too would lose fuel at different times limited in resources as well as getting caught up in the "busies" of our own lives.
Fortunately, our brother hemp enthusiast brand, The Hemp Co-Op, were in a place to inspire more giving as they share in many of the same missions that we do here @ ilovebad. They started to organize bigger community events of giving back to the homeless in downtown Santa Ana & showed us the power of what a larger community could do & how even more fun it all can really be when done together.
Though maybe not the most impact-ful, these events at the very least brought people together, induced smiles & full tummies all around. And after participating in this form of giving for about a year, we felt that we were due for something different so we started to explore other opportunities to give.
After some soul searching, we began assisting & visiting orphanages in Baja California, Mexico with the amazing group, the Corazon de Vida Foundation, who's mission is to care for and educate the orphans (to become doctors / lawyers / engineers / artists / etc) just outside our south border to create opportunities within Mexico so that the kids do not feel as though their only option is to flee to America. With our on-going border issues--though we often feel as if it shouldn't even be there when considering we're all descendants of nature--we felt that it was a great idea and purpose to contribute towards to help the kids as well as elevating the conditions & livelihood of everyone already there. The road is definitely long and uncertain ahead, but to get there, we had to set sail now and we're grateful to be on that path with CDV, despite the outcome.
If you're ever looking to give back & help children through a trustworthy local Southern California organization that has been around for 20+ years made up of over 50 volunteers that dedicate every week to supplying orphanages in Baja with basic needs, Corazon de Vida is an amazing place to start. They organize safe & super fun monthly bus trips to different orphanages where you do crafts, play sports, games & make lunch with the children. It's a very genuinely real but simple eye-opening experience that you'll truly never forget if you've never partaken in anything similar.
Most recently in January '15, we got to participate in an event that The Hemp Co-Op put together at the Town & Country Manor Nursing Home in Santa Ana, Ca. Though most of us had stage fright because that sorta thing is out've of our comfort zone, we still had such an amazing time with music, magic tricks & stories performed by us & the members of the Co-Op. <3 We're super lucky to have such an awesome brother company that allows us to expand & be creative in our missions to give, together.
Additionally, to add to our philanthropic efforts, we've recently partnered up with an extremely talented person by the name of Carmen, who happens to be a senior citizen. Though successful throughout her life from being a prodigy artist to a power lawyer, she had lost track of her finances in her recent years and now struggling to make ends meet in her new home local to us in Long Beach, CA. Having found her through Craigslist to custom make curtains out of a fine hemp suede fabric, we've come to realize that other than taking on freelance jobs to get by, Carmen spends a great deal of time and her knowledge of the law to speak on behalf of Senior Citizens, who's voice and rights she felt was slipping away.
Further, she also spends time representing non-english speaking legal immigrants to get them acquainted and acclimated with their transition into America hoping to aid em swiftly into contributing members of our society. Because of these altruistic passion of hers as well as the connection we've made with her through the beautiful curtain she had sewn for us, we were inspired to make the curtains available for the public to purchase as well as adding other items that she had custom made for our customers. All the profits that we generate from the sale goes towards supporting her day-to-day survival so that she may continue being that voice that strengthens our community.
Though not much, we hope that as we grow, we can bring & inspire more & more people to come together to do more. We're confident that with more influence then, the big change will happen but for now, change begins here and we're happy to at least be a part of it, big and/or small. <3