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Small Businesses CAN Make a Difference

The best days I have in this business always involve firsthand experience of the positive impact we are having on children and families. Often these days are related to the positive feedback we receive from moms who buy Love Child Organics, but other times the good days involve the impact we’re making in a different way.  I’d like to tell you about one of those days because it is such a great example of how small businesses can make an impact. Our donations might not be large compared to the big corporate brands, but they do matter, maybe even more because of it. To me, this  is a story worth telling.

So here is what happened-  I had organized for a school called Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls to receive some Love Child Organics product as a donation to the school’s  healthy eating program, to be eaten as smoothies. I’d also arranged for a book grant funded by our 1 cent per product campaign with First Book, which enabled them to choose a large amount of brand new free books from the First Book Marketplace. Due to our small size we aren’t able yet to do this for many schools, but everything that I’d heard about this school convinced me that our product and our donation through First Book would be put to great use. The school is in the poorest congressional district in New York  but somehow this girls’ charter school is defying the odds and the girls are achieving incredible results. And they all learn ballet and violin! How wonderful is that?!

We told the school that we were going to be in New York for a Trade Show and they invited us to visit. It seemed like they really wanted to us to come,  and something in my heart told me we just had to make this visit happen.

When we arrived at the school, we were greeted with the warmest welcome in the world by Eddie DeLa Rosa, teacher at the school, and quite possibly the most positive human being I have ever met.

Leah and Eddie
Me with Eddie

We also met the incredible Principal, Celia Domenach, who founded the school and continues to propel it forward with her unfaltering enthusiasm and commitment to her students.

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Eddie (Teacher), Leah, Megan and Celia (Principal)

They showed us around then told us they had a special surprise for us in the auditorium.  As we walked to the auditorium I couldn’t believe my eyes. The ceiling and floor had been decorated with the Love Child Organics logo and served as a sort of path for us to find the our way there.

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Inside waiting were two classes of students all with homemade Love Child Organics necklaces on! Obviously we would never, ever expect this sort of welcome  but it was incredibly touching that they had put so much work into our visit.

Our surprise show began with the girls reciting the most incredible quote, one that I had never heard before but that I will forever hold dear to my heart. It goes like this:

“Our deepest fear is not

that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be

Brilliant, Gorgeous, Talented and Fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

Your playing small does not serve the world.

WE are all meant to shine, as children do.

And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.

– Marianne Williamson

It was so moving to hear the girls, standing proud, stating these words with such conviction. This message was not new to them. It was obvious that they live this message every day at this wonderful school.

Then, just as I was wiping away my tears,  the girls began to sing and play their violins, breaking out into the Canadian National Anthem! Words cannot describe how special this was. What a personal and heartfelt thank you, to us, Canadians in New York City. With this gesture I understood their gratitude loud and clear.

Performance

As the show ended the principal spoke to the girls, pointing to me and my colleague, Megan, saying something to the words of, “Never believe you are alone. See, you even have people from all over the world who are pulling for you, supporting you and believing in you. You have support out there that you don’t even know about, and all of these people want you to succeed in your life.” What an honor to be part of this message.

The next day  we were moved to tears again when Eddie sent us through a video of our visit. I had noticed a staff member with a camera snapping photos of us during our visit but I had no idea he was filming the whole thing. Here is the video. It still makes me cry every time I watch it.

Thank you again to Bronx Global Learning Institute. Connecting with you has been a gift. And for those small businesses out there who have made giving back a part of what they do, know that it is making a difference. When bound together, profit and social responsibility really can thrive.

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With LOVE,

Leah