Category: Giving Back

Giving Tuesday: Giving Back for Good

Giving Tuesday

Giveback has always been at the heart of Tea. Since 2003, we’ve committed to donating 10% of our annual profits to make the world a better place for children everywhere. Giving Tuesday was no different, but we wanted to do something extra special for the holiday season. For every purchase made on Giving Tuesday, we committed to donating an outfit to a child in need. Additionally, for every new Instagram follower we gained, we would donate an additional outfit.

Thanks to your support, we’ll be donating 1,543 outfits (3,086 individual pieces of clothing) to children in need.

The Kelsays

Calli’s kids helping make gifts for the Door of Faith children

 

To ensure our efforts would make a meaningful difference, we searched far and wide for donation partners who expressed a true need for children’s clothing. One of these partners was Calli Kelsay of The Kelsays. A longstanding Tea supporter, Calli has made it a priority to get her four kids involved in giving back. When we reached out to her about our Giving Tuesday idea, she was ecstatic to jump on board and help the cause.

We sent her six full boxes with nearly 300 units of brand new clothes to personally distribute to kids in need. She then packed up her things, drove down to Baja, Mexico, and surprised kids at the Door of Faith Orphanage with Tea for the winter season. The children could not have been any happier. You can watch the full video of her giveback in action below:

Follow more of Calli’s do-good adventures on her YouTube channel, blog, and Instagram. We’ll be continuing to work closely with her throughout the rest of the holiday season to distribute more donations to children in need. Door of Faith is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and one of the largest orphanages in Baja. For over 50 years, they have served orphaned children and the poorer communities of the California-Mexico region. Today, they house around 100 children to provide them stability, love, guidance, and education. You can learn more about what they do and how to help here.

Door of Faith children

Door of Faith children benefiting from our Giving Tuesday efforts

 

In addition, we partnered with one of our boutiques, The Spotted Goose, to help children in need in Cincinnati, OH. Beloved in the community, The Spotted Goose knew the perfect place to donate nearly 300 units of brand new Tea. With five full boxes, they drove down to St. Joseph Orphanage to provide their kids clothes for the cold winter season. We are incredibly grateful to give back to the community of one of our national retailers.

Spotted Goose Team at St. Joseph Orphanage

The Spotted Goose Team at St. Joseph Orphanage

 

St. Joseph Orphanage is a comprehensive behavioral health and educational treatment agency that helps children and their families on the road to recovery and success. Since 1829, they’ve offered mental health services, education, and foster care. They care for over 3,000 children and adults a year who are struggling with mental health and behavioral concerns. You can learn more about what they do and how to help here.

We’re currently working to identify additional donation partners who have children in need of new clothes. Stay tuned for more updates. Feel inspired? Follow more stories like this on our Instagram @teacollection. #Teagivesback

Tea Donates 12,000 Units to the Homeless Prenatal Program

Donation to Homeless Prenatal Program

A couple of weeks ago, we held a Sample Sale at our San Francisco headquarters. The event drew Tea fans from near and far to shop styles from season’s past. While it was amazing to see so many shoppers come through our doors, we recognize that not every family has the opportunity to shop Tea. We’re committed to bettering the lives of children everywhere, including those in our own backyard. We used the remaining inventory to make a difference in our local community, donating nearly all of the leftover clothing to our neighbors at the Homeless Prenatal Program (HPP). We’re proud to say we donated 63 boxes of clothing, totaling 12,000 units!

For over 30 years, HPP has empowered low-income and homeless families, particularly mothers motivated by pregnancy and parenthood, to gain the strength and confidence they need to change their lives. HPP partners with parents to address family health and stability during the transformative stages of pregnancy to kindergarten. As a holistic family resource center, HPP supports both parents and children in order to strengthen the whole family – and our community.

You can help HPP break the cycle of family poverty. You can make a donation to HPP at http://www.homelessprenatal.org/donate. Every contribution – big and small – makes a difference in a mother’s life.

Tea Gives 1,000 Uniforms to School Girls in Nepal through Little Sisters Fund

Tea donates 10 percent of its profits to grassroots organizations working toward a better world for kids everywhere. This fall, Tea partnered with Little Sisters Fund of Nepal.

About Little Sisters Fund

 

Founded in 1998, Little Sisters Fund fights injustice and poverty by educating girls and empowering them to become leaders. In Nepal, where almost half of the population lives below the poverty line, school can be prohibitively expensive for many families. Little Sisters Fund provides long-term scholarships to economically disadvantaged girls, and protects them from the dangers of child sex trafficking, child marriage, and child labor.

 

Why Educating Girls Matters

 

Educated women marry later, have fewer and healthier children, earn more, and invest more of their earnings in their families and communities. When a girl gets an education, it impacts her family, her community, and future generations.

 

Tea Gives

 

Tea is excited to support Little Sisters Fund by providing 1,000 new uniforms to 1,000 girls so they can go to school.

 

Tea with Little Sisters founder Usha Acharya

      

   

   

We met Usha Acharya, co-founder of Little Sisters Fund, in the lobby of our hotel on our first full day in Nepal. We recognized her right away from her photo online, gave her a big hug hello, and sat down in the courtyard for a cup of tea. Our company is named Tea because all over the world, people connect with each other by sharing a cup of tea. So we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to meet Usha, who told us that welcoming visitors with a cup of tea is a long-standing tradition in Nepal.

Over the next few days, we drove with Usha to visit Little Sister Fund’s partner schools and meet girls who are getting an education thanks to Usha and her organization’s supporters. To the 2,700 girls attending 80 different schools in 20 districts in Nepal, Usha is a mentor, mother, big sister, and beacon of hope. She is living proof that an education can transform a girl’s life. Born in a small village to illiterate parents, Usha was sent at age 6 to live with relatives far from home. Through luck and perseverance, she was able to go to school. That experience opened her mind and changed her life. Usha went on to earn two master’s degrees and has made educating girls in Nepal her lifelong mission.

It’s easy to see her passion. She’s incredibly humble and curious. She takes a personal interest in the backgrounds and stories of every girl in the program. She listens with interest, asks lots of questions, and pays close attention to the world around her. At one point, we were walking through a field of wheat and oats near a school. Usha identified which stalks were wheat and which were oats, then pulled them together to look for the similarities and differences between them. Her curiosity got everyone to stop and think. It’s clear that her calling is to be an educator!

   

According to Usha, education is more important than anything else you can give a person. “If I could have three wishes, it would be education, education, education,” she said to us, as our car bounced along dirt roads. We didn’t see a single traffic light on our two hour ride to Lele, a village in Bagmati Province. We talked the whole way—about Usha’s life, her quest for an education, her father’s death, her marriage to the Nepali ambassador to the UN, her Ivy-League-educated sons, and her passion for her work. She is funny and quick and open and totally plugged into the news of the world. We talked about how the communists were elected to government in Nepal, how families are tricked into giving away their daughters to human traffickers, how she worked for Save the Children before founding Little Sisters Fund, and what it’s like to run a nonprofit in Nepal.

When we got close to the village school, we realized there was a festival happening. The whole town was gathered to honor a local god. The school was officially closed! No matter—when we arrived, there were 30 uniformed girls waiting for us with braids in their hair and flowers in their hands. The sight of all the girls filled our eyes with tears. It was overwhelming and moving to see so much beauty and strength and promise.

The girls handed us flowers and smiled shyly. We went into their classroom and sat in a circle on the floor and talked—about what their life is like, what they like to do with their friends, and what they want to do when they grow up. They drew pictures, laughed, sang, and took a bunch of selfies with our phones. We gave them backpacks filled with school and health supplies they would need for the upcoming school year. Donating a backpack full of supplies costs just ten dollars, but it makes a huge difference for these girls.

   

Getting to know the girls and hearing about their hopes, ideas about the future, and commitment to school was a joyful experience. Later, we learned more about some of the hardships they face. By ensuring they are safe and getting an education, Usha and her team are giving these girls the power to change their lives and the lives of their future children. To witness all that possibility in a small classroom with no chairs was like watching a miracle start to unfold.

Introducing Usha and her work to the Tea community is our way of bringing the world closer together. Being a student means everything to the Little Sisters and seeing how proud the girls were to wear their new uniforms was the highlight of our trip to Nepal.

Every purchase you make at teacollection.com helps girls like those at Little Sisters Fund. To learn more about Little Sisters Fund, visit littlesistersfund.org.

Citizenship: Time to Vote

A post from Tea Collection co-founder and CEO, Leigh Rawdon. 

This is Matthew in 2008, just about five weeks old, joining me when I voted in the 2008 Presidential election.

 

Since the founding of Tea, we have built our company for little citizens of the world.   We respect the power of the word “citizen,” understanding that with it comes a commitment to engaging in the community whether local, national, or global.  There are many ways to engage, and certainly one of the most important roles we have in our country is as voters.

I’m happy to share that Tea is officially part of the Time to Vote campaign, originally initiated by Patagonia and a group of similarly committed companies.  We want to be sure that everyone at Tea has the time to exercise our right to vote every year.  Everyone on the Tea team can take up to a half day off to vote.  We want you to have the time to take your kids with you to the polls if you can, so that children can see from the earliest ages how important it is to be an engaged citizen.

At Tea, we understand the power of images.  When we see a foreign place or language or food, it can become familiar and even a small part of us.  Similarly, when a child sees a parent voting or speaking up for what matters, the experience becomes a part of them.

As a part of our commitment to the Time to Vote campaign, we are asking our Tea community to also take the time to vote and to share pictures of your families engaged in citizenship.  We would love to see kids at polling places or with an “I voted” sticker or any other activity where they have an experience of citizenship.  We’ll select our Little Citizen of the Month for November from these images, celebrating the importance of taking the time to vote – and taking the time to include our littlest citizens when we do.

I’m the first to understand that this isn’t easy.  When it’s not a Presidential election year, it’s sometimes hard to prioritize getting to the polls or submitting your mail-in vote.  It’s not easy to study up on the California ballot measures, and it’s not easy to get home in time from work to pick up the kids and get to the polls just so they can see democracy in action.

But I hope our commitment at Tea for the Time to Vote campaign inspires each of us to make it happen.  I’ll admit that the Time to Vote commitment is the extra motivation I needed to figure out where I can take my kids with me for early voting since I’ll be visiting our factory in Thailand on Election Day.  Otherwise, I might have just mailed in my ballot without much a mention to the kids.  Instead, I’m going to jump through a few hoops to talk to them about the election and take them with me to drop off my ballot.  They might prefer Fortnite or soccer, but I have a feeling that the experience will stick with them.  They will grow up remembering going to the polls every year with their parents and understanding the importance of being a good citizen.

Tag your citizenship photos on Facebook and Instagram with #timetovote to support the nationwide campaign and #Teacollection #LCOMvote to share with our Tea community and to be eligible for our November Little Citizen of the Month contest (see more details below).  Someone will win a gift certificate for Tea, but more importantly we can all inspire each other to be role models for our kids and to be engaged citizens in our country!

To learn more about the Time to Vote campaign, click here.

To register to vote or to learn more about your polling place, click here.

Voting with Adam in 2016

 

To enter our Little Citizen of the Month program to win $100 gift certificate to Tea, follow @tea_collection on Instagram, post a photo of your kiddo wearing Tea and engaged in civic activity – volunteering, joining you to vote, etc.  Use #teacollection and #LCOMvote.  Winner will be selected and notified on 11/9/2018.

Pioneering Peace: Celebrating #PeaceDay

Peaceful Tee Freerksen Family

Historically, peace is often memorialized by international and domestic negotiations, compromises, and diplomacy, marked by extensive legal agreements decorated with the autographs of world leaders. However, peace is not always defined by monumental events, rather, it is made of micro-moments… moments of trust, respect, empathy, and compassion.

At the end of the day, peace is much more than a treaty. Peace is about being able to see one another and recognizing that no matter what language we speak, what we look like, or where we come from, we all share more commonalities than differences. It’s celebrating those common threads that weave us all together, allowing us to understand and appreciate each other.

At Tea, we believe in peace for all little citizens of the world! As we travel, whether across the street or around the world, we keep our eyes—and our hearts—wide open. Wherever we are, wherever we go, we strive to be mindful and responsible, to make real connections—and a real difference.

Inspiring Little Citizens: Thank you for your support!

Thank you for supporting our Inspiring Little Citizens finalists. Together we donated over $37,000 to five amazing kids!

From painting and delivering 150 pictures to a local nursing home, to collecting pop tabs to help support the medical programs provided to families by the Ronald McDonald House, these kiddos are changing lives for the better. And thanks to the Tea community (all of you), they each now have $7,451.65 to make an even bigger difference.

Read more about Cash, Lilyanne, Savannah, Bridger and Lillian and the good they’re doing in their communities. We can’t wait to see what they do next with their donations!

Meet Bridger | 2017 Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

Meet Bridger, from Richfield, Utah. Even though he doesn’t speak, this smiling 4-year-old teaches everyone he meets the value of life. He is deaf and his vision is impaired, yet he always carries on with a smile. He can’t walk, sit or crawl, but has moved mountains with the light he radiates. He has changed the world around him for the better, showing you don’t need words to make a big impact. And what lesson is more valuable than that?