Why the name "If Not For Love"?
I cannot stop thinking this thought: “If not for love, where would I be?” Each time I think about this, I begin to see everything through eyes of gratitude. I become instantly thankful for the many things I’ve been given that I don’t deserve. Awe and humility follow as I remember the moments someone helped me pay my bills, or talked me down off an emotional ledge, or stuck by me. Moments when someone said an encouraging word or took note of me when I thought no one could see me.
Take a quick second, and think about one of these moments in your life…… really. Try it. GO. (This is that quick second… Is it happening? Are you doing it? Did you find it? Are you smiling yet? Or are you in that weird face contortion stage where you’re happy and also about to cry?)
How powerful is love? Just THINKING about it can soften our hearts, encourage our souls, reveal deep joy and create peace. One moment of love can change everything. It is out of THIS place, that we get to love others.
LOVE is the most powerful force I’m aware of. It can stop wars, conquer fears and heal hearts. It can light the darkest places and soften the hardest hearts. It is simple. It is strong. It does not demand a response, but merely gives with no expectation. I know that at our very core we all want to live like this and I believe that together, we can. After all, if not for love, where would we be?
How did this begin?
In late 2015, I started to take more notice of the Syrian refugee crisis. At first, it completely overwhelmed me. The reality of millions of people being forced to flee from their homes, families being torn apart and completely devastated. Lives being lost, war breaking out… I became consumed with sadness. That sadness turned into compassion, and that compassion led me to action. I was determined to do SOMETHING to help. I began my something on January 4th 2016, my 30th birthday. My friends and I filmed all day, then launched our Kickstarter on January 12th 2016. In less than 30 days we were fully funded and had raised over 30K.
What are we doing?
We are selling relevant clothing with a one for one model. For every sweater purchased, one is also purchased for a refugee. Last March we were able to travel into Germany, to 2 different camps each with hundreds of Syrian refugees living in them. The camps were cold and the warmth was much needed. We were able to give a brand new sweater in a reusable bag, to each person who wanted one. We plan to continue this model multiple times a year, traveling to camps to give love and warmth to those who need it most.