But if I'm honest with you...kindess and compassion haven't always been part of my vocabularly. When I set out to improve myself ten years ago, it wasn't just about improving my health or my mindset. I was determined to become a better person in every aspect of my life and then get out there and change the world.
It involved a lot of unlearning and relearning, and required consistent practice at being less selfish, more open-minded, and more compassionate. Volunteer work was something that helped me on this journey.
I started by volunteering at a local community center teaching retirees how to use the internet. I developed a simple course that the center could teach and implement. When we relocated to Madison, Wisconsin, I painted fingernails at a local care facility.
Once we had our own place and a yard, I dove headfirst into volunteering with a local dog rescue. Over the course of two years we fostered, rehabilitated and rehomed 14 dogs. I then spent a year as a volunteer at The Crisis Nursery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, caring for at-risk children.
P.S. Like the t-shirt? Me, too. You can get it here. It's for a great cause.
The privileges I have been afforded in life are not lost on me, and I want to build a business that supports marginalized communities and ensures everyone has access to basic information about hydration.
Black people have endured centuries of systemic injustices that have caused them to suffer collectively from chronic stress while simultaneously being excluded from wellness spaces and resources. In order to welcome more Black voices and experiences into my work I offer my online course, The Hydration Checklist, free to Black people. If you are Black you can reach out via the Contact Page to be added to the course free of charge.
There are also scholarships available to anyone experiencing financial hardship. I will always strive to keep the costs of my courses accessible because I personally know that $14.00 is not a trivial amount. Research shows that dehydration-related illnesses are most prevelant in low-income communities and households, and getting this information to those who can't afford it is a huge part of my mission. If you cannot afford the cost of the course, please contact me via the Contact Page.
My Personal Pledge in a monthly donation that I started in 2018, that I make directly from my personal income to an organization, person, or family in need. I've been able to increase the amount each month, and will continue to do so as my business grows. I have a network of activists and clergy that connect me with those I can help.
I used to write these donations down in a notebook that I kept in my desk, just as a reminder of why I wanted to build my business --- the more my business grew, the more this fund could grow, too. Donation recipients and their stories are always anonymous. Below is a log of my donations to date, with names and details removed. I'm sharing this as a form of accountability to those who support my business and efforts. You helped do this, too. Thank you for helping me make each one of these actions possible.