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CELEBRATING 15 YEARS OF GIVING BACK

In 2006 I came across a quote by Mother Teresa that said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”  That simple, yet profound statement would  completely reshape my life for the next 15 years.  It made me realize that helping others wasn’t just something exclusively for rich people.  It made me realize that you don't have to get overwhelmed by the fact that there are hundreds of millions of starving people across the world.  It made me realize that you can simply feed just one.  As a community college student working a part time retail job this simple truth opened my eyes to a whole new realm of possibilities.  Aside from dropping some spare change in the red kettle during the holidays, I never donated to charity.  I simply didn’t think it was even an option if you couldn’t afford to sponsor a child every month or buy tickets to expensive galas.  What I did do, however, was buy normal things like clothing.  So I decided to start what would later be known as a  “give back brand” called Feed Just One based on the thought that if you gave people an opportunity to help others in ways that they were already comfortable with then it would make giving back accessible to almost anyone.  My friends and I would set up a tiny table at concerts, churches, colleges - literally anywhere that would have us - and sell t-shirts.  For every shirt sold we would donate meals to people all across the world.  We eventually sold thousands of shirts and donated hundreds of thousands of meals.  This small project that started with $150 and 24 t-shirts would eventually lead to what is now known as Unlock Hope.  Over the last 15 years I have been able to donate over $200,000.00 to a variety of different causes that align with my personal mission of doing good, seeking justice, and ending oppression.  I want to thank each and every one of you who has ever bought a shirt and made all of this possible.  Never forget that whatever it is that you can do at any given moment is enough.  Don’t get overwhelmed by the seemingly endless problems that exist in our world - focus on the simple opportunities to help people that are right in front of you.   “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

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