charity:water

How to Change the World with T-Shirts

I love t-shirts.

LOVE.

Like if there was a way to calculate how much affection there is in your heart for tangible things, I think t-shirts would have 85% of mine and sweet potato fries and ice cream would have an even share of the other 15.

I especially love t-shirts if they serve a philanthropic purpose. It’s like the double rainbow of shopping. Not only do you get a t-shirt, but you also give a donation to a good cause, and provide a voice for that platform to grow. That being said, as much as I’d like to buy allllllll the t-shirts, I try to make a point to only buy those I really like and that represent a cause I truly stand behind. That way, when people spot my t-shirt from across the street and risk their lives running through traffic to come ask me about it, I know what’s what and who’s who. Plus, in my desire to know the facts in order to share the facts, I’m inspired to actually learn the facts. And the more I learn about the facts, the more I want to change the facts. And the more I want to change the facts, the more I end up actually getting involved in the cause, which is really what the world needs more of: PARTICIPATION!

All that being said however, it can never be overstated how much the small steps count. And by small steps, I mean t-shirts. Yes, let’s go back to the t-shirts. Because t-shirts f*cking ROCK. And t-shirts can change the world.

So right now, as I sit completely unladylike in my kitchen chair, I’d like to share with you some of the t-shirts I own. The little shout-outs I wear across my chest for companies that I love, and I hope will continue to do big things for this world. In my mind, I’m like a walking boob and back megaphone for their cause, and in some ways, I feel like that’s exactly what they need, but can’t ask for in so many words. So consider this your official invitation to be a BoBaMeg (Boob and Back Megaphone)—which I just made up (clearly) but am kind of proud of it because it sounds like a philanthropic character that got cut from the Star Wars series.

*Note: I tried to take pictures of my own shirts, but it was arguably the saddest attempt at product photography I’ve ever seen, so these photos are not mine. I know this will probably be shocking, especially this first one, but I did not in fact have Josh Groban pose in his own company’s shirt for my blog. I’m sure he would though, you know, since we are actually GREAT friends. (Hey Josh!)

 

findyourlight

Find Your Light Foundation: A company started by Josh Groban that is focused on providing art education for children. I’m actually not sure if they are still selling t-shirts, but it is an amazing organization, and being an art student myself, I completely support and understand the benefits of having access to art education, I don’t know where I’d be without it! Prison maybe. Just kidding, Mom. [fylf.org]

 

Shirts_Long_Red_On_Figure_large
The Elephant Pants: An online store that dedicates a portion of its proceeds to the African Wildlife Foundation. Elephants are my favorite animal, so if you sell a product featuring or benefitting them, the chances of me purchasing it start at around 75%. (And they obvi sell more than just pants.) [theelephantpants.com]

 

sgtpeppersfriends

Sgt. Pepper’s Friends: An adoption agency for homeless animals started by Rachel Brathen a.k.a Instagram’s YogaGirl and her husband. I dare you not to adopt one of these adorable animals. [sgtpeppersfriends.com]

 

stand-up-to-cancer-mens-full-logo-mens-black-short-sleeve_640

Stand Up to Cancer: An initiative aimed at raising money for cancer research. Also, if you’re looking for something to JAM to while wearing your t-shirt, look up “Just Stand Up” on iTunes. It’s a kickass lady jam that was created to raise money for the cause a few years back. I’ve listened to it approximately 200 times, most of which I both danced and cried at the same time. [standup2cancer.org]

 

FTEE005S-FEED-the-Children-T-Shirt-Front_main _0

FEED: An organization that raises funds to combat hunger. I found this company when it partnered with Target for a bit and they make great products that raise money for an amazing cause. [feedprojects.com]

 

JoeyJ6-300x200

Children’s Hunger Fund: A Christian organization that packages, compiles, and delivers Food Paks (which can feed a family of 4 for about a week) to impoverished neighborhoods. Great t-shirts and also a great place to volunteer, gasp, in person! It is one of the most enjoyable, rewarding things I’ve ever done. [childrenshungerfund.org]

 

SymbolTeeDarkGrey-10003293-f_1450x1015

TOMS: Based on a simple One for One concept where when you buy one pair of shoes you also donate one to a child in need, TOMS now provides a variety of products (including t-shirts!) that give people access to water, sight, and safe child birth. [toms.com]

 

Z95A3078_1024x1024

charity:water: Raises money both by donations directly to the company and through campaigns run by individuals to fund projects that give people access to clean water. I hosted a campaign for my 25th birthday and it was so exciting! They sent me email updates informing me where and when my funds were being allocated and exactly how many people I was able to provide water to. Can you say H2O-mazing! (Sorry, not sorry.) [charitywater.org]

So if you’re looking for a way to change the world but don’t know how, why not start with t-shirts? Buy t-shirts from your favorite charity. Wear t-shirts to promote your favorite charity. Inquire about t-shirts that advertise a charity you’re not familiar with. Take the little steps and roll with them, because the big ones have to start somewhere.

Connection

Quarter of a Century Campaign

Last year on my birthday, I wrote a blog about turning 24. This one will be about turning 25. DIDN’T SEE THAT ONE COMING DID YOU?! And you thought Gone Girl blew your mind.

I had a number of plans for my 25th birthday, most of which I still plan on completing, however I was anxiously searching for something else I could do that would really commemorate the day uniquely. And after some research, I think I found the perfect solution.

An organization called charity:water provides clean water to developing countries, and gives you the opportunity to raise money for the cause by starting campaigns to commemorate special occasions. For example, one campaign I saw featured was a newlywed couple that asked for donations rather than wedding gifts, and another showed a 5 year old girl named London asking for donations rather than dolls for her birthday. It was truly inspiring to read through the campaigns and hear of all the giving hearts the world has to offer. It was a nice reminder of all the good that people can do, even though the media is determined to showcase the bad.

Upon reading their stories, I really felt drawn to starting a campaign of my own. Can you imagine being 5 years old and having such love for people you don’t even know? I want to leave that kind of mark on the world. And just think, I’ve had access to clean water for all 25 years of my life, while some people have never experienced that luxury once. What a tragedy that is.

So, I’ve started a campaign that I’m calling “Kim’s Quarter of a Century Campaign” and I’m hoping to raise as much money as I can, to help as many people as I can.

You can find the donation page here, the campaign is open until September 30th.

Anything, and I mean absolutely anything can help.

I know it’s hard to imagine how pocket change can make a big difference in the world, but I’m a firm believer in chain reactions that stem from genuine generosity. It feels good to be helped, it makes you feel loved, it makes you want to love.

So for this birthday I want to love, and I’d be so thankful if you did the same. After all, you never know how far a little love can go.