Last Friday, I got a chance to learn more about and experience a couple of places that I never would have thought would be so powerful until I walked through the doors. I’ve heard the cliché that Thirty-One Gifts is “more than a bag” more times than I can count, but being in the actual places that are on the receiving end of our philanthropic efforts made the statement hit home.
Thirty-One Gifts has a charitable program called Thirty-One Gives, which just celebrated its five year anniversary this past February. Since 2012, over $100 million in product and cash have been donated to support our mission. Though I’ve always known about our Gives program, I see it in a different light after having visited two of our largest partnership locations in Columbus, OH. Women like myself, and any person who supports the business through hosting parties and purchasing products, get to be a part of something much larger.
This past year, Thirty-One partnered with Nationwide Children’s Hospital in a behavioral health research program called Girls Take Flight. Our mission is to help women become strong and confident, and we believe that starts with their mental and emotional health as young girls. On average, a girl’s self-esteem peaks at age 9¹, 50% of all mental illnesses start by age 14², and girls are twice as likely as boys to suffer from eating disorders and depression². After sitting down with Dr. Nancy Cunningham, psychologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, I also learned that about 1 in 10 children have a significant enough mental or behavioral disorder that it affects their school and everyday life, and a startling 1 in 5 tweens will experience dating and relational violence, PTSD, or mood disorders. Also, even though 75% of issues start by age 24, most funding for behavioral health goes to adult programs and research. Having lost my grandmother to suicide (knowing that she struggled nearly her whole life) and now having a daughter of my own, these statistics are a shot to the heart. Let that sink in for a moment. But do you know what Dr. Cunningham stated as one of the best things we can do to help? Just talk about it! We need to remove the stigma and get to work helping our girls. I’m proud to be a part of this lifesaving initiative because the research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital will improve treatments across the country.
During my travels, I also had the opportunity to visit the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio. Since 2013, Thirty-One has donated nearly half a million welcome bags to Houses, and that doesn’t even include the number of bags that consultants have garnered sponsorships for on their own. The funds designated to this program help keep families with sick children close to each other, which promotes the well being of the child. Our local House in Sioux City has been one of my favorite charities to support since joining Thirty-One two and a half years ago and I’m always amazed at the outpouring of support from my customers, friends, and family members. When the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio expanded and renovated in 2014, it became the largest in the world with 137 guest rooms! Being just steps away from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which brings in patients from all over the world, the House is meeting a very large need in providing the comforts of home to families that are far from it. Thirty-One also proudly sponsors one of the freestanding homes for families with extended stays, as well as the Renew U Spa. The Spa is staffed by volunteers in the community who provide services to help families relax and feel pampered during their stay.
I’m incredibly honored to be part of a company that prides itself on giving back. As much information as I’ve given here today, I haven’t even begun to detail several other of the important organizations that we are proud to support. For more information, visit our Gives page. And if you’d like to be an even bigger part of the Give, click here to learn more about becoming a consultant with Thirty-One Gifts!
What is your favorite way to give back?
- SOURCE: NYJ child Safety Center
- SOURCE: National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey, 2010: National Comorbidity Survey Replication-Adolescent Supplement, 2010; NIMH, Mental Illness Exacts Heavy Toll: Beginning in Youth, 2005