In July, Virginia participated in a discussion about running a sustainable business and giving back to the community. We talked about the We Care Wednesday effort which after five years of creating the initiative feels like something we’ve always done. One of the other panelists was really floored that this initiative was born from “politics”. (Must be nice to run a business that doesn’t feel like it never has to take a political stand…) We launched this initiative in 2017, on the heels of the 2016 election and in conjunction with our “You Belong Here” community project. It was an effort to be as proactive in the community and be transparent about our values as a company. When you shop at gather here you know that you are supporting a Filipina-American woman owned, woman operated, LGBTQ+, feminist, intersectional, environmentally-responsible, anti-ableist, abolitionist, socially conscious, living-wage committed (and so much more) small business. Prior to 2016 we figured “everyone knows” and after *that* election we didn’t want anyone to “assume anything”. WCW was launched to help non-profits that provide for those among us that are most in need. Each month since January 2017, we announce a non-profit that we will donate 5% of our Wednesday sales to. We hope you'll consider donating to these non-profits on your own but also, if you already are planning on stopping into the shop to pick up fabric or yarn, know your Wednesday purchase is helping others.
This August we are excited to share that we will be fundraising for We Need Diverse Books. WNDB strives to create a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book. To reach this goal, they’ve created programs to celebrate diverse books, to mentor diverse writers and illustrators, to support diverse publishing professionals, and to provide books to classrooms nationwide. If you follow the news (oh what a luxury to not follow the news…) you know there are book bans happening in cities and towns all over the United States. WNDB has been working hard to fight book bans and uplift diverse voices and so much more. We turned to WNDB this spring to learn how we can be supportive during the onslaught of book bans in schools and towns (towns where Virginia spent her summers in rural Iowa have closed their local libraries due to staff not feeling safe). UPDATE: Thanks to your generosity we donated $900!
As always, we encourage you to DONATE DIRECTLY: https://diversebooks.networkforgood.com/projects/107118-support-we-need-diverse-books
*Since launching the We Care Wednesday initiative in January 2017 we have donated over $57,905 to a variety of nonprofits and mutual aid funds doing essential work in our community as well as other places. From the Mayor's Disaster Fund to BAGLY to Movement Voter Project and Found In Translation. We select organizations that we feel represent not only our commitment to a better, more equitable world but also our desire to "do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."