Who's life has changed since March 2020? Everything upended with the onset of the pandemic. We halted in our steps. We stayed in our homes. We stopped going to stores, restaurants, and gyms. We stopped traveling. We stopped seeing friends and family. We stayed glued to the television watching our preferred news source. Schools got transported to living rooms. Graduations and birthdays became celebrated by a stream of car parades. Summer came in with hopes of normalcy. Restaurants, gyms, bars, and retail stores opened with burdensome restrictions. All people milling about were expected to wear masks and keep distance. The hometown restaurants swung into action with curbside take out options and outdoor tables placed far apart. Cultural and political unrest was being demonstrated on city streets nightly. Howls could also be heard nightly in support of our beleaguered medical community. The kids were still home trying to process these new lifestyle changes. We made it through summer.
Enter autumn. Nothing with the pandemic is better or even hopeful. The U.S. has over 8 million Covid-19 cases and has lost more than 225,000 lives. It's colder and darker meaning restaurants need to put together plans B, C, and D for survival. The kids? Who really knows. They could be at home, in class. They could be in some form of educational pod with supervision. They could be in school behind masks & protective barriers from their teacher who is teaching to a virtual class as well as a live class. They could have decided to go back to their college campuses. They could be taking a gap year in their parent's basement. The adults? Fighting politics on social media, maybe. Trying their hardest to come up with plans B, C, and D for their small businesses, maybe. Monitoring home school activities for their youngsters, maybe. Worrying about rent, mortgages, and car payments, maybe. Going to work, maybe. Watching favorite new sources for updates on the wildfires, pandemic, and election, maybe. Dreaming of travel, seeing family, and better times, yes. The point is, nothing is normal. People are scared and angry. As much as the White House claims that the economy is better than ever, we the people, know that it is not. There is loss of jobs, loss of small business, loss of income across the United States. There is food insecurity and growing poverty. There are protests. There are uncontrolled wildfires and massive hurricanes. There are new shut downs and stay-at-home orders. Now this might sound political, but there is also uncontrolled spread of coronavirus which appears worse than at any other time this year. And another political statement, people are dying.
Sometimes it seem futile to even try to make a difference in this effed up world. We are entering what has been termed, a dark winter. More businesses will shutter. More schools will close. More people will have bigger needs. I spent a few days trying to find some good. The theme of this blog is centered around companies that are doing good by others. This is not about the mega corps that are able to ship us deliveries of food and supplies within hours. Yes, that has been helpful throughout the pandemic, but this is not about them. It is about grassroots efforts and small companies finding ways to do good. This list is small and random as of this writing, but it will continue to grow.
This list is dedicated to my love of lasagna. I'm sure if my love of lasagna weren't present we would not have this specific list. You see, a nonprofit called Lasagna Love popped up on my screen a few days ago and it made me happy and got me thinking. I've spent the last few days searching for companies that are doing good for others. Here is what I found:
Lasagna Love: Lasgnalove.org: This is a grassroots effort of community helping community through food. What started as a simple, local concept of baking a lasagna for families in need is now a nationwide effort to do the same. If you have some free time and want to bake some lasagnas, check out Lasagnalove.org. You can also help them through monetary donations through their site. Hungry yet?
Snaiil Candy: Snaiilcandy.com. Even if you are not looking for any really cool and colorful artwork right now, take a look at Tif Choate's website. She is a Colorado-based artist with a penchant for color. You will find a beautiful array of colorful wildlife, sea life, canines, birds, & horses. You can purchase prints or custom work. What struck me about Tif is that she painted an outdoor mural that I pass frequently, or would pass frequently if I actually left my house. The mural is gorgeous and huge. It is dedicated to Suicide Prevention. I don't have permission to show it to you here, but check out her site and you will see the YOU MATTER mural displayed. She also has a blog about it. If you are interested in helping her cause, you can donate to her efforts and supplies through a Go Fund Me on her site. You'll enjoy your day more if you peruse her artwork for a while. I mean it.
Wad-Free: Wadfree.com. This one is very interesting. If you have ever had your bed sheets attack each other and wad-up in the washer or dryer, this product is for you. The website will tell you everything you need to know, but basically Wad-Free is a tool you attach to the corners of sheets to prevent intermingling. It's pretty genius. This company is female owned and the product is made in the USA. Wad-Free will contribute 5% of profits to The American Brain Tumor Association. You know you are intrigued!
Pizza To The Polls: https://polls.pizza. I know this blog is dedicated to my love of lasagna, but truly, nothing beats my love of pizza. Must be the New Yorker in me. This election is seeing its fair share of long election lines, so quite possibly, this company is worth knowing about and donating to. You decide. Pizza to the Polls is a nonpartisan, nonprofit initiative founded in 2016 with a simple mission: deliver food to crowded polling locations. If you'd like to report a long line in your neck of the woods, or would like to make a donation, please visit the Pizza To The Polls website.
Slice Out Hunger: https://sliceouthunger.org. I already told you pizza is my favorite. Slice Out Hunger produces pizza-related events and campaigns to support American hunger relief and prevention initiatives. Slice Out Hunger, Slice, and Pizza To The Polls have come together on this recent campaign called Pizza vs. Pandemic which is feeding front line care workers by coordinating large orders with independent pizzerias. If you know of a hospital, clinic, shelter, or other care center that could use some pizza love, please let them know! Seems like a great way to help out small business and feed people who are working really, really hard.
BIXBI Pet: https://bixbipet.com. Let's take a moment to think about the dogs of the pandemic. BIXBI’s food portfolio has grown since the early days, but they never lost sight of their mission to provide dogs with the absolute best nutrition, trusted ingredient sourcing and USA manufacturing. "BIXBI is proud to call Colorado home. Our team members (both four legs and two) love getting outdoors, it’s almost a prerequisite. It goes without saying then that we appreciate those who make it safer for us to access the outdoors. That’s why we jumped at the opportunity to support the dogs of the C-RAD program." C-RAD is Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment services. Given the crazy nature of superstorms and natural disasters this year, a donation to C-RAD or shopping for your dog at BIXBI Pet might score some serious good karma points.
PinPoint Networking*: https://www.ppwellnesspt.com/events-azmq6. We know small business is taking the brunt of this Covid storm. It's not the fault of small business. Consumerism has changed over the past year and small businesses may or may not have the required 'rainy day fund' to maintain altered and diminished business activities indefinitely. The reasons are endless why small businesses are shuttering or pivoting during this time of pandemic. PinPoint Networking hosts non geographically-based networking meetings where business owners or representatives can meet without the high cost of traditional networking and referral groups. All networking participants will benefit from getting the word out about their business, meeting new people, be eligible to win a gift from a small business, and be featured in follow up marketing in the PinPoint Blogs. *PinPoint Networking is the small business pivot concept by PinPoint Wellness (the owner of this blog).
AmeriCorps: https://americorps.gov. Looking for a gap year for a high school or college grad? I know this is a government program and not a small business but I feel that it is very worthy of a mention. Perhaps, you are one of the zillions of parents out there wondering what their high school or college graduate's next step in life will be. Perhaps you have raised one of those students whose academics were not really a strong suit and college does not appear to be on the horizon. Perhaps your college student has successfully plowed through with a degree but is not sure about starting a career yet. AmeriCorps NCCC and FEMA provide service-based programs for those that are willing to go on a working adventure for a year. Most certainly, this is a gap year like non-other. This year teams have been assigned to many things including hurricane clean up in the south, wildfire support out west, and Derecho clean up in Iowa. Take a look at the latest blog. You don't have to be young to apply. There is also a program for seniors. AmeriCorps is the only federal agency tasked with elevating service and volunteerism in America.
Rebuilding Divorce Recovery Seminars: Perhaps the last 7 months have put an irreversible strain on your relationship. Perhaps you are going through the steps of separation and divorce. What if you could connect with others going through the same? Do you think that would be helpful? Rebuilding Seminars is a series (8-10 weeks) of group classes that help you to recover from a lost relationship. The program is usually based in your own geographic area with in-person meetings that result in support, social outings, and new friends. This program has been a savior to many going through the process. Take a look at Rebuilding.org to see if you can find a local group. A very established local Colorado team is currently holding virtual groups through Zoom due to the pandemic. So if you can't find a local group, check these guys out at Rebuilding Seminars, based in Niwot, Colorado. They are currently offering a discount for virtual classes. This seminar will help you pave a path forward and give you a new network of people to reach out to.
Bookshop: https://bookshop.org. Sick of supporting Amaz*n yet? The big A has done quite alright during the roughest year to strike us. Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Yay Bookshop!!! Bookshop is a Certified B corporation and they have raised over 7.5 million dollars for independent booksellers. Take your mind off things and dive into a new book. Go visit the Bookshop website today!
Charlotte's Web*: Website. Charlotte's Web is a pioneer and leader in the CBD industry. If you have been thinking of learning about CBD and its possible benefits, just check out their website for a crash course on CBD. I place this company on this list for a few reasons. First, it is thought that CBD can help with sleep and mood, two things which may be impaired in many of us in the year 2020. Now, yes, there are zillions of CBD companies from which to choose. Why try Charlotte's Web? Really, why not? But it's is certainly your choice. Charlotte's Web CBD was developed by the Stanley Brothers in 2011. The company was named for Charlotte Figi, a young American girl who began using CBD to help reduce seizures related to epilepsy. This company has remained in the forefront of providing quality CBD to its users. Very recently, Charlotte's Web became a Certified B Corporation. In a nutshell, this means that they are a company which continues to find ways to balance profits with purpose. They continue to respect their stakeholders while placing importance on their relationship with Mother Earth. This year, they have also defined their Actions and Commitment to Black Lives. *PinPoint Wellness acts as an affiliate advertiser for Charlotte's Web and will receive a small commission on any purchases through these links. PinPoint Wellness will be grateful for your support.
World Central Kitchen: https://wck.org. This company, founded by chef Jose Andres, has certainly been called to task in 2020. WCK was founded on the mission to provide "a hot plate of food when it's needed most." This nonprofit has been building and growing over the past decade, since a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti in 2010. Jose and his wife envisioned creating an organization that would create smart solutions to hunger and poverty. Fast forward to 2020. These are some of the initiatives they have been working on: #ChefsForAmerica, Restaurants for the People, #ChefsForThePolls, Santurce Farmers Market, and disaster relief to the Gulf Coast Hurricanes, California and Oregon's firefighting efforts. This company continues to be where it is needed, globally. There are ways to help through donation and volunteerism. Check them out. You will feel compassion and motivation. I promise.
Stay safe, stay warm, stay fed, stay read, stay calm, stay aware, stay proactive, stay healthy. Donate if you can. Shop small business if you can. Ask for help if you need it. The U.S. may not appear as if we are all in it together and we have a tough winter ahead. Hopefully, we emerge into spring knowing we did what we could to help others around us.
Disclaimer: J. Schumann Physical Therapy/PinPoint Wellness has no financial or other relationship with any of the companies listed above, unless otherwise noted. Information given was current as of the writing of this blog. Any questions regarding specific companies and their services should be directed to the individual companies, not to J. Schumann Physical Therapy/PinPoint Wellness.