The other day, I had lunch with a friend. We had Chinese food and we had leftovers. After we ate, we went to a museum, walked and people-watched downtown, and treated ourselves to fancy chocolates.
When we returned to the car, we looked at the leftovers. Neither of us needed them. We both had dinner plans. Instead, I grabbed them and walked up to a man on the corner.
I asked him if he wanted some food. He said yes. I told him there was beef and pork in the food. He said he liked those things. I handed him the bag, and wished him well. He thanked me, with about five small and unconvincing teeth, a bloodshot and bruised left eye, and dirt in the creases of his aging hands.
I did this for a reason. I could have tossed the leftovers, or dropped them on the sidewalk. But I wanted to offer them intentionally, personally, as a small but directed gesture of kindness, not just some abandoned throwaway item. It means more that way. It connects us. It helps me live my values of treating people well, of staying humble, of non-judgment, of generosity.
Everyday we are faced with distinct opportunities to live our values. We have boundless chances to “be the change you want to see in the world,” as Mahatma Gandhi puts it.
Are we seizing these opportunities? Are we open to even seeing them? Are we looking at our means, our resources, as plentiful, and therefore ample for giving? Are we living in ways that make us proud? Are we doing what we can, even if it’s small?
These are some of the questions we often ask ourselves here at MAJAMAS EARTH. Yes, profits are essential. Sure, we are a small business that works hard just to tackle the day-to-day craziness of retail, but all of us have the capacity to give back, in some way.
One of our favorite ways is being a Scanback Partner with the Whole Planet Foundation, a nonprofit organization established by Whole Foods Market. We love being a supplier with Whole Foods Market, and reaching their unique customer base. Aligning with Whole Planet Foundation takes our partnership to a deeper, more impactful level.
So what does this all mean? It means that this spring, we will again be participating in an annual giveback program – with every MAJAMAS EARTH garment purchased through Whole Foods Market, MAJAMAS EARTH donates a portion of our sales to the Whole Planet Foundation.
As a woman-owned business, this campaign means a lot to us. Whole Planet Foundation supports self-employed, impoverished women worldwide by providing grants to microfinance institutions. These groups, in turn, develop and offer microenterprise loan programs, training and other financial services. Like teaching a (wo)man to fish, this type of support helps women build lasting financial security and success for themselves, their families and their communities.
At MAJAMAS EARTH, we have many values. We care about the environment. About fair wages. About transparency in the manufacturing process, responsible sourcing, and developing business relationships that are smart and sustainable. And we care strongly about empowering women around the world, from Illinois to the Ivory Coast and beyond.