GIVING TUESDAY :: THE GIVING KEYS
- •Meet Caitlin Crosby.Singer, actress, but most importantly, Founder of The Giving Keys, which is spirited around employing those transitioning out of homelessness to engrave keys with positive words, which are then sold as jewelry and accessories. It was a simple idea that spawned from an old hotel key that Caitlin used to wear around her neck. She produced more to be sold at her concerts and fast noticed the necklaces outselling her albums at the merch table. That was the first, of many, tipping points.
- •After enlisting a young homeless coupleto join her mission, and seeing them establish a livelihood and residence off of The Giving Keys, Caitlin collaborated with the United Way, PATH, and Chrysalis to recruit a team of people off the streets. Today, her pieces are sold in over 500 stores from Kitson to Nordstrom, with every notable celebrity brandishing their Giving Keys proudly, and a staff that gathers every day at their offices and workshop in downtown Los Angeles to continue paying it for
- •Every month,it’s on The Giving Keys to source upwards of 30,000 old keys into the room. They use the Internet, eBay, and word-of-mouth to cast the net. Of all the keys, only a portion are usable to be engraved upon. Most are too shiny, haven’t been cut (therefore aren’t used), have the key company’s logo emblazoned on both sides leaving no room for customization, or even too “trendy.” Like skeleton keys, which I guess – according to Caitlin – is like a thing now with necklaces.
- •"LET GO."
- •Each key is engravedwith an inspired affirmation, something that speaks to the wearer. Once you’ve incorporated the message into your life, you’re supposed to pass it on to someone else who you think could use it. (Caitlin chose "BREATHE" for me - I needed it!)
- •Darnell's journeyto The Giving Keys is chronicled on their website here: (http://www.thegivingkeys.com/pages/employed-for-change), along with some other compelling stories of how Caitlin’s company has provided new lives for its employees.
- •My favorite story- of all these favorite stories – was this autistic kid here who spent his entire life into adulthood collecting keys. After he died, his father and brother found out about Caitlin’s cause and donated them all, realizing that The Giving Keys was what he was working for during his time on earth. Pretty incredible stuff. But not so hard to believe after all of the miracles that have aligned to make The Giving Keys a reality.
- •You can support The Giving Keysand Caitlin’s dream by picking something up HERE: (http://www.thegivingkeys.com). And don’t forget to pay it forward!