It is Wednesday already, dear reader. This week is going surprisingly fast. Yesterday was Giving Tuesday, and we have made it our mission to be a company that gives back, beginning with Giving Tuesday 2023. Yesterday, any order placed online automatically entered a drawing to win a $100 donation to the charity of the winner’s choice made in the winner’s name. The lucky winner and their charity were Zach T. Zach just messaged us to share his charity of choice, which is St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. A worthy cause indeed, thank you, Zach. We are honored.
Here at The Smiling Goat, we are appreciative of all the support, kindness, and generosity our soap family shows us. It does not escape us that we could not do what we love in the place we love with the people we love without all of you. We try to give what we can when we can. We almost always honor requests for fundraisers and gift baskets for charity. In our minds, it is the least we can do to pay it forward. We are quiet givers. You will not see us making a big production of gifting or giving. There will not be any videos of us presenting charitable contributions to an individual or organization. That is not who we are. We were both taught that if you must tell someone about a good deed you have done, it ceases to be a good deed and becomes self-promotion. If you are familiar with us, you know we are uncomfortable with self-promotion.
My dad was a quiet giver. It was not until he passed away that I became aware of all the good my dad tried to do for people. Countless people have approached me, sharing stories of my dad’s generosity and kindness. He never expected anything in return. He just wanted to help where needed and do what he could. With every story that is shared, my pride in my dad grows. It makes me sad and proud to know that he did so much for so many. It makes me sad because I never got to recognize that in him when he was alive. He may not have a grave, and his legacy was destroyed, but the man greatly impacted the world. Nobody can take that away from him. He makes me proud to be his daughter.
In 2024, I have a list of charities I want to donate to in honor of people who have impacted our lives. Some of the charities are local, some are national, some care for people, some fight disease, some are for animals, and some combat cruelty and abuse. Each charity chosen has a name attached to it, and that name is the reason for giving. Each month, I plan to make a soap and a moisturizer for the sole purpose of donating the profits to the organization. In January, I have chosen Colby’s Crew Rescue, which rescues horses from the slaughter pipeline at The New Holland Auction right here in Pennsylvania. My pony and all the horses that were in my life as a child are the reason for this choice. My donation will be made in my pony, Nuggets, name. I have also chosen to donate to the Colon Cancer Foundation in honor of my beloved father-in-law, Dale. We will also contribute to the Sarcoma Foundation in honor of my dad. We will fight ALS in honor of Carl Dush. The Humane Society of Indiana County is on the list because they rescued my Heavy-B, and we adopted him from there. We will also fight suicide in honor of Jesse Armstrong, Drew Ferringer, and Steve Jackson…all amazing human beings who were taken too soon. We will donate to the paralyzed athletes in honor of our dear friend, Katie Smith. That girl was a force of nature, a beautiful soul, and she is especially missed every week during the market season. The loss of Katie created a large void in our soap family. Giving back in her honor is the only way I know how to try to fill that void. We will also donate to The Alice Paul House to fight domestic and sexual violence, Autism Speaks, and ICAP. There is meaning attached to each and every choice. I know our donations will be a mere drop in the bucket to fight these vital causes, but every little bit helps.
Of course, we will quietly, respectfully, and happily donate to individual causes and local organizations as well. In 2024, I gently encourage you to donate when and where you can. Perhaps you don’t have the extra income to make a monetary contribution. There are other ways to give. Give your time, share posts and events on social media, donate unwanted objects or perhaps a talent. If you are good at photography, volunteer to take pictures for an event, fundraiser, or cause. Donate your creations if you can crochet, knit, sew, or quilt. If you make a product, like soap, donate your products to food banks, group homes, or shelters. We can all do a little bit to make this world a better place for someone.
The thing about giving is it helps not only those who are receiving but also the giver. I know my heart feels lighter when I donate. I know that I lovingly create baskets, gift boxes, or soaps, and when I do, I feel a sense of purpose and a jolt of happiness. I may not be able to cover someone’s salary for years, or gift someone a vehicle, or pay off someone’s medical bills, but I can do small things to make someone’s burden lighter. In my mind, that is part of our responsibility as human beings. We are only here for a short time. The most incredible legacy we can leave behind is the kindness quietly shown to others.
On this cold and blustery day, stay safe, be smart, give what you can, be part of the solution, be a glad giver, make it a point to do some good, and keep washing your hands. Giving germs to others is not a gift; it’s gross. Wash your hands…insert a smile and wink.