five-percent-giving-back

Changing the Blogging Game by Giving Back

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.

Kayla’s Charity of Choice | Compassion International

I love that Compassion International values meeting not only the physical needs of children, but also cares for them emotionally and spiritually.  Investing in the organization reminds me that my resources are ultimately not my own.. That without the love of Christ, I wouldn’t know generosity! Right now, their programs have been put on pause in India (due to government complications), which is where my adopted child lives. By continuing to give, I feel like I’m able to continue to support my adopted child indirectly, and show my confidence in the organization’s ability to care for all of their children.

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!

five-percent-giving-back

Changing the Blogging Game by Giving Back

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.

Kayla’s Charity of Choice | Compassion International

I love that Compassion International values meeting not only the physical needs of children, but also cares for them emotionally and spiritually.  Investing in the organization reminds me that my resources are ultimately not my own.. That without the love of Christ, I wouldn’t know generosity! Right now, their programs have been put on pause in India (due to government complications), which is where my adopted child lives. By continuing to give, I feel like I’m able to continue to support my adopted child indirectly, and show my confidence in the organization’s ability to care for all of their children.

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!

Comments

  • Morgan Jankovic

    01.09.17

    More power too you! I’m over it all and have hardly been posting every week :( Sometimes it’s good to keep some things just to friends, not the whole world. Give back all the way!

    • Ashley said:

      we’ve DEFINITELY been cutting back on how often we’re sharing new blog posts! it’s already felt like a huge relief

  • Liz

    01.09.17

    This is incredible. Thanks for giving back, and for sharing some great organizations – so glad these are now on my radar! I also recommend donating to the Houston food bank; they’re doing a lot of great work right here in Houston.

    • Ashley said:

      totally! I wish they made it easier for us to donate food we have for shoots that go to waste, but everything always has to be sealed etc!

  • audrey

    01.09.17

    This is so great!! I totally understand being over the numbers game — it feels so unauthentic sometime, especially with all that’s going on in the world. this post is so inspiring! <3

    • Ashley said:

      thank you for the kind words audrey!

  • Melanie

    01.09.17

    YES girl. I am so on the same page. Way to pay it forward and just be real.

    • Ashley said:

      thank you for the kind words melanie!

  • Julia

    01.10.17

    Ashley this is such a great post! #1, It’s a really wonderful idea to give back to charity with the blog!

    #2 I totally know what you mean about posting pretty pictures on instagram when a mass shooting happened that morning… it feels wrong, even though you’re just trying to make it as a BUSINESS. It’s nice to hear someone else struggling with the “perfect” looking life. I definitely had a moment of, what the heck am I doing for the world when new years hit and I pledged myself to volunteering… still have to get on finding a group to join… but this post has me motivated. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ashley said:

      I totally hear you! So so glad to know it inspired you and we’re not alone!

  • Sheeba MATH

    01.11.17

    Hi Ashley jus joined your Instagram account. As a newbie to the ins and outs of creative business such as yours I Am not a maestro…I think we all get stuck envisioning what we intended for the business originally and yes it’s always hard work having someone believe that you “can”…Forget the problems…Your business is successful in its own right set by your own standards alone unique in every way…It’s a vehicle to something else so wat that something else mean for you??? You have taken a wonderful step by picking your charities, great for business these days…Good luck

  • Alyssa

    01.11.17

    GIRL. You so get it! I had the exact same thoughts and posted about it on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/p/BOyVurvAisG/).

    Really love that you are honest and upfront about your thoughts. And really really love how you guys are giving back. We can be the change in 2017! Go us!

  • Eva Burgess

    01.18.17

    Well Done! for all of it. you reflect the feeling i had at the end of the year. I had this whole post lined up on xmas gifts and I just couldn’t post it. happy happy spending posting was just way out of line on where i was personally (decluttering for a house move) and the state of the world. its good to know I am not alone, and i like your decision to be positive in tackling going forward. inspirational