When I started my monthly Giving Back feature, I put a call out for indie shops and designers who donated their time and/or money to charitable organizations. I was totally inundated with emails and was just blown away by how charitable people are and by the variety of organizations and projects that you all are involved with. A good many people wrote me about organizations they are involved with or have founded and I wanted to share a few of those organizations with you.
Nest is a non-profit organization founded by Rebecca Kousky that provides micro-loans to women in developing countries to help them build and develop sustainable arts and crafts businesses. The money to provide these loans comes from the sale of clothing, accessories and homewares, which are produced exclusively for Nest by a group of artists and designers. Carrie Sommers of Sommer Designs in one of the participating designers and Carrie produces one or two hostess apron designs that are excessively sold at Nest each season. Alena Hennessey is another artist involved with Nest, her Mimi Bird print is pictured above. You can read more about Nest and their mission here.
Started in 2004 by Melissa Dettloff, formerly of Lekkner and now of Severed Unicorn Heads, the goal of Crafters for Critters is to simultaneously support independent design and to raise money for animal rescue organizations. Indie crafters, designers and artists donate their goods to Crafters for Critters and 100% of the profits from the sale of those donated goods are donated to a variety of animal rescue groups. In the past, funds have been donated to the Greyhound Protection League, Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary, Compassion without Borders and more. A little over $17,500 has been raised over the last four years!
Looking to raise money and awareness for the Mirabel Foundation, an Australian foundation that works to assist children who have been orphaned or abandoned due to parental illicit drug use, Pip Lincolne of Meet Me at Mike’s organized Softies for Mirabel. Crafters donated stuffed toys, which were presented to the Mirabel Foundation and donated to the children of the group. This year, Pip started the We Heart Mirabel campaign and encouraged crafters to donate a stuffed heart to be sold at Meet me At Mike’s for $10 apiece. So far, $400 has been raised for the Mirabel Foundation and you can see some of the hearts displayed in the Meet Me at Mike’s window. If you live in Fitzroy, Australia, go buy one!