Give Back Feature: Casey

This week we are featuring Casey - and don't worry if you're experiencing de javu, we featured another Casey in our last post! Casey is a dedicated childhood education student who is looking to make a big impact on the lives of the students she encounters. Read on to learn a little more about her and what she would do if she could #givefreely!

 

: Tell us a little about yourself. 

I am a senior at Mount Saint Mary College studying in the school’s childhood education program. Going to a small school really helped me to develop close relationships with other people in the program and the professors. I am gaining experience by student teaching, where I lead classroom activities and interacted with all of the students. It is so much fun to see how much the students change in the course of a few months!

: What does giving freely mean to you?

: I give freely by providing support to these kids. Early education is such an important time for childhood development. These kids are eager to learn and are seeking knowledge and experience from teachers and mentors. I want to teach second grade the most – it amazes me what these kids are capable of, even at such a young age.  For me, teaching children is not a job, but a passion. I want these kids to grow up thinking they can do anything they set their minds to!

: What would you do if you could give freely? If you had every resource you needed at this moment what would you do to help someone/your community?

: If I could give freely I would provide assistance to schools. Teachers are always grateful for supplies, support, and appreciation. Teaching is such an important job - I would love to motivate as many people as possible to see all of the benefits of teaching!

Have a give back idea?! You could have a chance to get it funded by entering our Giving Chain Contest!

May 01, 2017 by Rachael Juodis

Give Back Feature: Casey

This week we are featuring Casey, a Suffolk University undergrad, who has made her mark in her community through volunteering. If you're looking to start creating change in your community, volunteering for local non-profits and programs is a great way to start! It makes you aware of the impact you can make with just your time and energy, and in turn makes you realize how far your resources can go when you use them to serve others! 

Tell us a little about yourself?

I am a senior at Suffolk University, majoring in marketing. I try to be active within the school’s community by participating in school sponsored events and volunteering. As president of the Professional Marketing Association, I coordinate events, host meetings, and try to engage everyone who attends. I try to encourage people not to be afraid to try new things!

What does giving freely mean to you?  

I give freely by volunteering my time to provide assistance to other organizations. Every year, I have participated in Suffolk University's Alternative Spring Break program which works with communities to help with issues such as lack of housing, poverty, or other environmental concerns. Last year, we went to Virginia to help build houses to those in need - it was challenging but the projects we worked on turned out really good! I’ve also worked alongside One Brick, another volunteering opportunity that helps local nonprofits. It is really rewarding to me to see what a difference a few people can make!

What would you do if you could give freely? If you had every resource you needed at this moment what would you do to help someone/your community?

If I could give freely, I would want to encourage everyone to try volunteering with a nearby organization. Even just an hour of working alongside other volunteers really makes a difference. By volunteering, you have the opportunity to meet new people, make an impact, and have fun. People do not need to make long-term commitments to make a positive change!

If you have an idea on how you can make a difference in your community enter our Giving Chain Contest for a chance to fund your idea up to $1,000! 

April 10, 2017 by Rachael Juodis

Give Back Feature: Year Up Boston

This week we are featuring Katrina and Nazim of the nonprofit, Year Up! Year Up's mission is to help and support youth in their communities obtain equal opportunities in the job market. Their overall goal is to build a strong and united community. We love that! Read on to learn more about Year Up's work and what they would do if they could give freely! 

Group of Year Up current students and Alumni
Tell us a little about your organization?
: Year Up is a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to disadvantaged urban youths, usually in the 18-24 range. What we do is offer a year long program to educate these students in business fields such as finance, IT, or sales, and provide them a path to use those skills in a professional workplace. The process begins with a six month intensive training program in a classroom setting. The next part of the process involves an internship with a reputable company. Several large-scale corporate companies have partnered up with our organization to accept these interns which is really great. We currently have 23 locations throughout the U.S. This year alone, our downtown Boston location has seen 300 students graduate. -Nazim

Students visiting the State House to meet with their state legislators and advocate for School-to-Career Connecting Activities
: How has giving freely to these students inspired you?
Positive feedback from graduates is really what makes being a part of this organization so rewarding. We want these people to have equal opportunities at success. Hearing stories of where a student began and what they have achieved since taking part in this program is really powerful and shows that our organization is really making an impact on these students. -Katrina

: What would you do if you could give freely? If you had every resource you needed at this moment what would you do to help someone/your community?
: Our CEO Gerald Chertavian has a vision to help all 6 million disadvantaged youths. Currently, we are only hitting about 2,000 nationwide. We want to help as many people as we can, giving them the opportunities they deserve and bettering the community as a whole. If we had access to every resource, we would want to expand our organization and get word out to potential students about how to enter our program! -Katrina & Nazim

Want to help students out in your own way? Have a great idea on how you can make a difference? Enter our Giving Chain Contest for a chance to fund your idea up to $1,000! 
March 20, 2017 by Rachael Juodis

Give Back Feature: Rachel

This week we are featuring Rachel, who is studying nursing at URI. Not only does she serve people in her career, but she also loves to volunteer in her spare time. Being an animal lover, Rachel also has a passion for rescuing animals from animal shelters. Read on to learn more about Rachel and how she would "give freely!" 

: Tell us a little about yourself? 

Hi, my name is Rachel! I am a senior at University of Rhode Island’s nursing program. I have had three semesters of clinical rotations so far, working in the maternity ward, an elementary school, and the emergency room. Working in the medical field is both challenging and rewarding. Most days I'm on my feet for over 12 hours attending to patients and learning new skills.  Although it’s hard, every day I meet new and inspiring people who remind me of the importance of nursing. After earning my degree, I want to work in a hospital setting and make every patient's day better.

: What does giving freely mean to you? 

: To me, giving freely means providing help to those in need. I am a huge animal lover – both of my dogs are rescues! My dog Lily was found lost and abandoned about 7 years ago. She is now a loved and spoiled family member! We recently adopted our other dog, Mo, last year. He has a leg missing from neglect, but he is still really fast and energetic! I worked as a volunteer at an animal shelter in my hometown. You can see how much happier the animals were when volunteers were there to feed and play with them. Giving these animals help, support, and a chance at happiness really means the world to me.

What would you do if you could give freely? If you had every resource you needed at this moment what would you do to help someone/your community?

If I had all resources to give freely, I would want to help animal shelters in need. From my experience as a volunteer, I noticed many shelters are lacking in essentials like blankets, towels, and cleaning supplies. Non-essentials like play toys are also important to keep the animals happy and entertained! I would want to do anything possible to give these these animals the opportunity to be happy while waiting for to be adopted to their forever homes!

Do you have a heart for animals too and want to give back? We'd love to hear all about your ideas through our Giving Chain Contest! You could even win up to $1,000 towards fulfilling them!

March 06, 2017 by Rachael Juodis

Give Back Feature: One Brick Volunteer Graham

Today we are featuring Graham, who is an active participant in the Boston Chapter of One Brick. One Brick focuses on the importance on volunteering, which we love here at Freely Clothing! We think it is so important to give freely through both our time and financial resources. Read on to learn more about One Brick and Graham's experience volunteering through the nonprofit. 

: Tell us a little bit about One Brick.

One Brick is a nonprofit with a simple mission: An idea to connect people looking for flexible volunteering opportunities to give other nonprofits the help they need. It is hard for people with busy schedules to consistently commit to volunteering events. One Brick provides a platform to create a casual atmosphere that encourages people to connect and network with other nonprofits. Anyone has the opportunity to drop in and help with any of the scheduled events - no pressure to commit. One Brick was originally founded in San Francisco in 2001. There are currently 8 chapters. Boston has been a One Brick chapter since 2011. All chapters are entirely volunteer and locally run, allowing it to be low cost and diverse.

Graham, far left, working at Cradles to Crayons NonProfit, which provides essential items for families, in Boston

: What does giving freely mean to you? 

: One Brick has received lots of positive feedback from both the nonprofits we support and the volunteers who participate. When you go to an event that involves serving a meal or working with youth at a career festival, it really creates a personal connection with those you are helping. The direct experience One Brick provides allows people to really notice the impact they are contributing to. People donating, or giving their personal time freely, to make a difference and meet other people with the same goals is important for the community.

One Brick volunteers working at Harvest Food Pantry Charity in Massachusetts

: What would you do if you could give freely? If you had every resource you needed at this moment what would you do to help someone/your community?

: One Brick has an indirect goal to be the biggest we can. We want to provide the most hours of support, help as many nonprofits as we can, and create a large network with a common goal. Unfortunately, we are limited by staff and financial funds. If we had every resource we needed it would be great to put on our own One Brick sponsored events. As an organization we would love to start independent programs that can teach other people how to run and support nonprofits in their area. We really want to reach and connect as many people as possible to create a strong and diverse volunteering community.


One Brick volunteers working at the The Center for Families, which offers families with children education and support, in Cambridge, MA

Be inspired to find volunteer opportunities in your area and if you see a need that isn't being met in your community, enter our Giving Chain Contest for a chance to fund your cause!

February 17, 2017 by Rachael Juodis

Give Back Feature: Rachael Juodis

This week we are so happy to introduce you to our Spring Intern, Rachael Juodis! We are always so grateful to all of our interns who help the #givefreely movement and we can't wait to continue to work with Rachael! To learn a little bit more about Rachael, read on!

:  Tell us a little about yourself. 

:  Hello, my name is Rachael and I am a marketing major living in Boston, Massachusetts! Traveling is my true passion. Although I have to work in an office most of the week to save my travel funds – it is truly a priceless experience to see how another culture lives. One of the most incredible trips I took was the Salkanatay Trek to Machu Picchu. Our group worked as a team to keep pace and motivate each other to continue moving against the high altitude! Our local guide, Jorge, and cook Nico, not only provided guidance and delicious meals, but also gave us incredible insight into the daily life of the Peruvian people and history lessons on the Incas. Understanding another culture gives perspective in your own life that can be utilized to inspire new ideas; I hope to use my traveling experience to bring new and positive changes to Freely Clothing :-)

 

: What does giving freely mean to you?

: For me giving freely is inspiring positivity. Funding someone's vision is bringing together hope, aspiration, and passion to not only one person's dream, but  to everyone who was rooting for this idea to come to life!

 

What would you do if you could give freely?  If you had every resource that you needed at this moment what would you do to help someone/your community?

If I could give freely with no financial limits I would make funding education my goal. My mom started her college education aged 40. She took care of me, an 8 month old baby at the time, during the day, and after my Dad came home from work, she spent her evenings in night school earning her degree in nursing. My mom is an incredible person who pushed herself to earn her degree; she has now been a nurse working on the transplant floor for over 20 years, even earning the nurse of the year award! She always inspires me to work to my fullest potential. I want to set up a scholarship fund for women earning their degree, regardless of age; Everyone should be able to accomplish their educational dream!

 

What are your giving dreams? We'd love to hear all about them through our Giving Chain Contest! You could even win up to $1,000 towards fulfilling them!

February 10, 2017 by Rachael Juodis

Give Back Feature: Britney Daniel

This week we are featuring Britney, a social entrepreneur and recently returned Business Development missionary! Read on to learn more about her work in Haiti, her give back jewelry company and how she would give freely!
 : Tell us a little about yourself.
: Hi, I’m Britney! I’m a jewelry artisan based in Minneapolis, MN fueled by iced caramel lattes, Jesus & giving back. I get irrationally excited about those rare moments when gymnastics is on ESPN & when there’s a new brewery to check out. My past two years were spent living in Haiti as a Business Development missionary. I had the honor of working alongside Haitian artisans at a social business that employed 18 men & women, most of whom are amputee victims from the 2010 earthquake. Upon moving back to the US, I’ve reopened my social enterprise jewelry business full-time as a way to give back to worldwide missions & fuel my passion to create beautiful artisan goods that give back. (BondyeBon.com)
 : What does giving freely mean to you?

: To me, giving freely is a way of life. When you give freely, it becomes part of your DNA, it’s who you are. You find joy in giving, knowing that you are able to make an impact. You start to look for opportunities to give, whether it’s finances, time or a coffee for the person behind you in the drive-thru. The start of giving freely begins with the recognition that you have the power to be a difference-maker every day.
 : What would you do if you could give freely? ( If you had all the resources you needed to help someone/your community what would you do?)

: The current unemployment rate in Haiti is over 40%. That leaves many men & women unemployed and unable to care for the children, with many resorting to giving them up to orphanages. If I had unlimited resources & finances, I would start a jewelry business in Haiti to create jobs to fuel the Haitian economy while supporting families to help them provide for their children, rather than giving them up to orphanages.

If you have an amazing give back idea enter our Giving Chain Contest and you could fund it up to $1,000! Enter today!
May 09, 2016 by Rachel Barroso

Give Back Feature: Lydia Somerville

Today we are featuring Lydia Somerville one of our Giving Partners. We are so happy to have her sharing the #givefreely movement! Read on to learn what Lydia believes giving freely means. 

 : Tell us a little about yourself? 
: Hi my name is Lydia! I am 16 years old. I love drawing and writing calligraphy. JESUS is my savior! He has radically changed my life and I'm just so beyond thankful for Him and His love for me! He has set me free from sin, so I am FREE INDEED! He is the lover of my soul! He has overflowed my heart with so much overwhelming joy and love! He is so AMAZING! I love chocolate, coffee, and exploring Gods beauty! That is a little about myself :). 
 : What does giving freely mean to you? 
Giving freely means to me that we need to give our love to others, and help others to accomplish their goal. God has blessed us with astounding love, so we need to share our love with others, and lift others up. 
 : What would you do if you could give freely? ( If you had all the resources you needed to help someone/your community what would you do?) 
If I could give freely I would go out of my way to give the person/community whatever they need. I would be the hands and feet of God, and love on them. I would help them to achieve whatever they need to achieve. We all need to give to others and love on everyone around us. I encourage each and every one of you to begin to give freely, because God has blessed us with so much love and caring. Let's serve others today!
Know of a need in your community or someone who could use a helping hand? Enter our Giving Chain Contest for a chance to fund your give back idea today!
April 25, 2016 by Tara Burke

Give Back Feature: Alexis Luzietti

This week we're featuring Alexis Luzietti who's passionate about Breast Cancer research and awareness! Read on to learn more about her story.

: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

: Hi my name is Alexis Luzietti and I am a full time student at High Point University working towards my accounting degree! I am originally from Milford, CT where I adore living so close to the beach! I love being super involved on campus where I am a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, campus activities club, and a volunteer with “Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.” I hold a leadership role at the Survey Research center on campus where I take part in polls sent to residents of North Carolina. Aside from my family and friends, I would have to say Chipotle owns my heart ;)


: What does freely giving mean to you?

Giving freely to me means giving and not expecting anything in return. When you give freely, you are doing something without the expectation of being compensated for your actions. I feel like to much emphasis is put on being fair and even, but truly good actions should come out of the kindness of your heart. To me, the best kind of giving is when you don’t have to be rewarded for it. Too many of us take our lives for granted and forget about what is right in front of us. Giving freely and knowing that I have made a difference in the life of another is reward enough.

: What would you do if you could give freely? How would you help your community/someone with it if you had the resources to?

Through my sorority, we aim to spread awareness about breast cancer education. We hold numerous events, such as Think Pink Week, where we raise money for Breast Cancer and try and encourage others to take part in the fight along with us. Holding all of these amazing events  has allowed me to give freely and truly see its rewarding consequences. Continuously getting opportunities to raise money for a cause that hits close to home for so many people is a wonderful experience. Knowing I am making a difference for the lives of others and raising money to help fund research to hopefully one day find a cure is why I do what I do. Being a part of such a motivating sorority has inspired and taught me what it truly means to give freely. If I were given all the resources necessary, I would love to hold a Think Pink Week event back in my hometown. Even though October is the month for breast cancer awareness, I feel like it should be reinforced all year long. I have always wanted to take what I have witnessed through ZTA in regards to breast cancer awareness and apply it to my life back in Connecticut. Just as we hold a yearly male beauty pageant for students on campus, I would love to hold a similar one that reached out to towns across my county.  Not only inviting familiar faces, but all those who would like to join! I don't want my participation in this amazing organization to stop when school ends, which is what I feel tends to happen to most students more often than not. I am going to continue to fight until pink is just another color, and so should you!  

If you have an awesome idea on how you'd give back to your community enter our Giving Chain Contest for a chance to fund it up to $1,000!
April 11, 2016 by Rachel Barroso

Give Back Feature: Nicole Gittleman

Social media marketing, travel, fashion: this girl can do it all! We are happy to have Nicole Gittleman as our fabulous blog feature this week! Nicole not only has developed a successful life for herself in such short amount of time, but also shows no signs of stopping. It just so happens that Nicole loves to talk about our favorite topic, giving back!!! So take a look at some of her ideas, interests, and hopefully it will spark a little bit of inspiration in all your beautiful minds! Enjoy xo

: Tell us a little about yourself and what you do!
: After graduating from Sacred Heart University last May, I started working in New York City as a social media marketer for a digital marketing agency that specializes in retail and e-commerce brands. Some of my biggest clients are in the beauty industry, which makes my job a lot of fun! Social media is constantly changing, which keeps my job fresh and exciting everyday. My industry knowledge and understanding of the pros and cons of social media for personal use is something I've been able to share with my younger sorority sisters, to help them protect themselves as individuals and use the channels to promote their growth as leaders. In my free time, I love to travel and cook, and I'm currently working on building my lifestyle blog!

: What does freely giving mean to you?
Giving freely means giving without bounds. I think people often think of the word "giving" as merely monetary, but in my experiences the greatest gift you can give a person or a cause in need is your time. Unfortunately, the hustle and bustle of our daily lives often forces us to say no or to avoid opportunities to give freely.

: What would you do if you could give freely?  How would you help your community/someone with it if you had the resources to?
I love this question but hate it too! The best way to start saying yes, and stop avoiding giving is to think about what matters most to you and reflect on how you can make an impact. There are so many causes so very close to my heart that it's hard to choose. If I had all the resources in the world, I would love to host some sort of a ball for seniors battling life threatening diseases. The Make-A-Wish Foundation and the American Cancer Society have always been very important to me. I think often when people are elder, it's easier to understand and grasp their passing from diseases like cancer or dementia because they've already lived a long life. Creating a foundation to grant the wishes of the elderly who are unfortunately near the end of their life would be so rewarding to me.
             In November, my grandmother passed away to Pancreatic and Liver Cancer and the hardest part of her journey was the last month. If she had the opportunity to have a wish granted, I think it would have been a lovely way to enjoy her life to the fullest before we had to say goodbye.

 

Thanks, Nicole for sharing your give back story! Have a cause that is dear to your heart? Come up with an idea on how you could contribute to that cause and enter our Giving Chain Contest for a chance to fund it up to $1,000! 

March 28, 2016 by Rachel Barroso