About the Charities Supported by Makeshifter--December 2017
Every year around the holidays, I choose two charitable organizations and donate 5% of Makeshifter's revenue from December. The holiday season is my busiest sales season, so it's easier to set aside a little something for those who are doing great things to help others. I like to pick one local Portland charity, and one national or international organization since many of my customers are from other parts of the US or the world. This year I chose P:ear Mentoring in Portland, and the Hispanic Federation's Unidos Por Puerto Rico fund.
P:ear is a local organization that supports homeless youth in both basic and nontraditional ways that I find refreshing, and essential to a place like Portland. If you live in America--especially if you live in a city on the West Coast--you're well aware of the growing homeless populations and the complex issues surrounding homelessness. P:ear feeds, clothes, and provides transitional support for young people struggling with homelessness, but they also take a holistic approach to helping youth better themselves. They build long-term relationships with mentees, and focus on building self-confidence, trust, and creativity. P:ear Youth can attend barista school, create, display and sell their own artwork, explore musical talents, earn a GED and build real-life core competencies, attend bike mechanic school, and learn outdoor skills through hiking, biking, and camping trips.
One hundred days after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, about half of residents still don't have power. As this tragic story sinks to the bottom of your news feed, and the US President degrades the Puerto Rican people and leaders for asking for help, I found this one of the most pressing national issues to support. While funding and infrastructure support came naturally to most of post-hurricane Texas and Florida, Puerto Ricans have received second-class efforts to rebuild. What's more, Puerto Rico is now experiencing a sharp decline in tourism, an industry on which it relies heavily, due to the continued lack of resources.
Unidos complements and supports the work of FEMA and NGOs already on the ground in Puerto Rico. Their education campaign reaches out to Puerto Ricans to make sure people know what services are available, and how to get what they need. They financially support small businesses in Puerto Rico, to get them back on their feet and serving their communities again.
I don't know if it matters much to my clients when they make a purchase from Makeshifter Canvas Works, but to me being my own boss means I get to do things like give money away, even when I don't have much of it. I get to choose my own bottom line, which is more about a fulfilling way of life than a dollar amount. Thanks to everyone who made a purchase last month (and always); your thoughtful shopping helped support two very worthy causes.