“A good job is a long-term solution for breaking cycles of generational poverty and homelessness. That’s why we place people on career paths and hand them the keys to unlock their fullest potential.” -The Giving Keys

I found The Giving Keys while out shopping one day. They were these sleek, polished keys with words on them. Words like: “Create,” “Inspire,” “Love” and “Dream.” While they looked cool, I was drawn in even more by their small mission statement on their display. It read, “Every product you purchase supports job creation for individuals transitioning out of homelessness.” I was immediately interested, as I’ve always been a huge advocate for helping the homeless.

I went home, Googled the brand and began to see what a difference they were making. To my surprise, they were employing homeless people that were trying to transition out of homelessness. While they are employed, they are given a liveable wage, benefits, paid time off to attend important appointments and most importantly, a sense of community. Not only do they employ homeless, but they set-up-shop in Skid Row passing out necklaces to the homeless while letting them pick their own words of encouragement. Simply, amazing.

Beyond the philanthropy aspect, there is the “Pay It Forward” initiative. First, you find your word or a word for someone you care about. You purchase your item, wear it until you feel it has served its purpose and pass it on to someone else who needs it. This past holiday season, I got a bracelet with a mini key that said “grounded” and “believe” for someone I really cared for. This person was going through a rough time in his life. To stay consistent with the “believe” theme, I wrote my friend a card and told him to “believe things were going to get better, but most of all believe that good things were coming to them.” This bracelet only cost $30 and it meant the world to him. I bought him another that said “strength,” when he was about to go through a very serious back surgery a month after I gave him the first bracelet. To this day, he wears it every day and I am getting ready to pass mine on to another friend.

The Giving Keys core values are something we can all live by:

  • Create: The space between intention and greatness is filled with hard work.
  • Dream: Who we’ll be tomorrow is not defined by who we were yesterday.
  • Inspire: Paying it forward is the ripple effect that will change the world.

May whoever is reading this create something special within your life, dream big and inspire those around you.

Written ByNatasha Dressler

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