Category: Our Community

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.

Meet Isabella | 2018 Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

Inspiring Little Citizens 2018 Isabella

Meet Isabella, our Inspiring Little Citizen from North Olmsted, Ohio. Isabella was born with her heart on her sleeve, a compassionate young lady who believes passionately about the principles of kindness and inclusion. She never wants anyone to feel left out. So, when she became a big sister to Olivia who has Down syndrome, she began advocating for kids everywhere who are rocking that extra chromosome.

Now, every year, on World Down Syndrome Day, she gives presentations to her classmates on what it means to live with Down syndrome and the importance of treating children with special needs as friends and equals, and not as foreigners.

Read on to learn more about Isabella and how she’s setting out to make a difference.

Meet Evan | 2018 Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

Inspiring Little Citizens 2018 Jack

Meet Evan, our Inspiring Little Citizen from Denton, Texas.  A brave little dude, Evan has been putting up a fierce fight against Leukemia for a number of years. He is currently seeking treatment at the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas where he is always the center of the party. Despite the tough cards he’s been dealt, Evan always has a smile on his face. His positive spirit fills up the hospital halls.

After being treated for some time, Evan thought to himself “just because kids are in the hospital doesn’t mean they can’t have fun and still play like kids”. So, he and his parents involved patients and medical staff to create Evan’s Avengers, bringing video games like Mario Cart to life in the halls of the hospital.

Read on to learn more about Evan and how he’s setting out to make a difference.

Meet Jack | 2018 Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

Inspiring Little Citizens 2018 Jack

Meet Jack, our Inspiring Little Citizen from Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. Jack is a tender-hearted boy who is constantly thinking of others and putting other kids first. He is quick to tune into emotions, readily helping to cheer up his classmates when they are feeling sad, lonely, or are just in need of a pal. His friends can attest, when you’re feeling glum, you can always count on Jack to be ready with a smile, and an action plan to make you feel better!

A fun fact about Jack is that he has always loved horses and feels very comforted by them. From a very young age, he would ask to be near them—his face would light up with excitement while feeding them carrots or watching them graze. For the past two summers, Jack went to horseback camp at Stone Crop Farm where he learned about Horse Power for Life, a wonderful organization dedicated to helping cancer patients and survivors of all ages improve their physical and emotional well-being through free, education and therapeutic horsemanship programs.

Inspiring Little Citizens 2018 Jack

Last summer, he attended a birthday party for a friend who, instead of asking for gifts, wished for donations to the organization. Jack was so inspired that he saved $100 of his own money to donate to Horse Power for Life.

Read on to learn more about Jack and his hopes of supporting this great organization.

Meet Juliette | 2018 Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

Inspiring Little Citizens 2018 Juliette

Meet Juliette, our Inspiring Little Citizen from Los Altos, California. Juliette cares a lot about bees and is an avid Bee Ambassador! Her class wrote and performed a play where she played the role of a farmer who shares how bees are important for both plants and people. It was then that her passion for bees blossomed. She soon set out to share her knowledge from the play with her community, educating everyone from adults and kids at a pool party to the staff at a special needs residential center, and her neighbors.

Read on to learn more about Juliette and how she’s setting out to make a difference. 

Meet Sophia | 2018 Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

Inspiring Little Citizens 2018 Sophia

Meet Sophia, our Inspiring Little Citizen from Rochester, New York. Sophia is an inspiring example of not judging a book by its cover. Because as a 7 ½-year-old with alopecia, she knows what it feels like when others do. She’s on a mission to spread the message of choosing curiosity and friendliness over assumption and exclusion. She made a video at school to teach her peers about her condition, and she treats others with visible differences the way she hopes to be treated–not with fear or judgment, but with connectedness and understanding.

Read on to learn more about Sophia and how she’s setting out to make a difference.