*Update! We’ve had such a rewarding and positive response, that we’re continuing our charity percentage through 2018 and beyond as well!
We’re all friends here, right? I ask because I don’t want you to judge me too badly for this next statement. To be 100% candid, I’m over it. I’m over the social media number chasing. I’m over pictures of myself when in reality I’m just a behind the scenes kind of girl. I’m over buying things for picture perfect parties that barely anyone comes to. I’m over wanting to have free weekends but feeling pressured to live up to the blogging name and find things to post that seem cool enough. I’m just… over it!
I love my job, and I worked SUPER hard to even call this my job to begin with. But honestly, people are lying to you if they pretend like everything is perfect online. I’m even lying to you if it’s ever seemed like things are always nice and tidy here. I’ve talked with friends, with Jared, and with myself (more times out loud than what’s socially acceptable), and I’m not quite sure what the answer is for getting out of this chasing numbers/work funk, but what I do know is that getting your mind off of yourself and focusing on others is ALWAYS a good idea. To be honest, I hate being defined as an Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook number. I miss the days when things felt more open and honest.
It’s genuinely heartbreaking to me when I look at the sorrow, pain, sickness, and injustice going on around the world and hit publish on a post about painting macarons. It’s not that I’m blind or naive to the world, it’s because it’s MY JOB. And I really love getting to create things to share with you here, but I can’t just quit or ignore it to dwell on the bitter the happenings of the world. This is supposed to be a space that inspires, that’s the whole point. Instead, I think there’s a real misconception of that from a reader’s perspective (myself included) when we look to others in the online space and compare, wonder, or criticize in weak or scary moments.
After several heart to hearts with my best friend Brittni of Paper & Stitch, we decided we that we need to proactively be a part of the change that we want to see. To start, I plan to be a part of changing the blogging game by giving back. For the entire year, every sponsored campaign that Sugar & Cloth is a part of, we will donate 5% percent of our earnings to charity. Because the best thing you can when you can do when you lose sight is to start thinking of others more than yourself.
And I’m not a one man machine, here. I wanted Jared and Kayla to feel equally invested in making a difference with their hard work when we make a choice to create something new, or to take on a new partnership. At the end of the day, I may be the voice and face behind what you read here, but Kayla and Jared are the super hardworking, kind, selfless, team that help makes it all come to life along with me.
Here’s where the money is going and what we a chose to work towards–
Ashley’s Charity of Choice | Max Burdette Fibrolamellar Cancer Research Foundation
Many of you may already know that we’ve had several battles with cancer among my family members, most recently being my sweet cousin Max that passed away from fibrolamellar cancer at age 17. To keep his memory alive, a charity has been started in his name that donates to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for finding a cure for fibrolamellar in his name. To join in the cause, you can also donate here.
Jared’s Charity of Choice | The First Tee
This charity organization really hit home with me as an advocate for kids and someone who was really passionate about the virtues of golf and trying new things outside of your comfort zone growing up. I love the idea of giving under-privileged and disabled kids the ability to get out and get involved in a activity that challenges and teaches them the game of golf by learning skills such as patience, dedication, respect, and positivity in a manner that they can then carry through life.
As for the rest of the year–
It’s often easy to give money, but it’s not nearly as easy to make the sacrifice of giving up your time, so we’ve got quite a few other things we’re scheming up for volunteering in person in 2017. We’re wanting to do more hands on volunteering with local organizations, as well as making a direct impact in people’s lives– like we did when adopting a family for Christmas.
What are some of your favorite ways to make and impact? I would LOVE to hear your experiences and stories on this to open my eyes a little!