Thoughts and prayers still aren’t enough, right?

by Sara LeHoullier, Co-Founder of Shop the Change

I can’t stop thinking about the kids in the detainment centers at the border, separated from their families — terrified, some being abused, all being traumatized. I can’t stop thinking about the parents of those kids, wanting so desperately to know that they’re ok, but also knowing that they’re not. My thoughts are not actions. What can my right actions be?

I’ve spent the past two weeks with my own family in North Carolina, which is always a bit of culture shock after having lived in the Seattle area for 5 years. We drove out to the coast on a highway sprinkled with billboards proclaiming the word of the Lord, others sponsored by the sons of confederate veterans and aimed at saving the statues of their kinsmen who were on the wrong side of history. There were confederate flags hanging from many houses on Topsail Island. Lovely vacation homes in a beach community, so proud of their racist heritage (Oh Sara, bless your heart, it’s only about history, why do you let it bother you?) and stalwartly standing strong in their deeply entrenched fear of other.

Is that unfair of me to say? Maybe so.

If the goal of this company we’re creating is to help you align your purchases with your values, what if your value is to see the families at the border reunited? What if it’s to help put a stop to unfair policies that turn people into animals? If we wanted to shop only from companies who are actively supporting the effort to change those policies and reunite those families, which would we choose? Which are contributing to the legal funds that are defending the people who cannot defend themselves? If you dig, you can find out…

I’ve found a few articles about tech CEOs speaking out against it — what’s happening to these kids and families. They’re making bold corporate statements, posting on social media, saying this is horrible, this shouldn’t be happening. Some of them are donating to organizations working to make a difference, and encouraging us to do the same through their example.

Bill Penzey of Penzeys Spices was one of the first in the food industry to do something real. Something big.

This is how brands can use their very public platform to as a jumping off point to start conversations, to provide a way for his customers to support the cause in a real way — with the dollars.

Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of Chobani (a company we like for many reasons), also made a strong statement:

Amazon, Clorox, Coca Cola, Diageo, Proctor and Gamble-Gillette, and Starbucks have provided legal aid support to Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), which is definitely a move in the positive direction.

Where are our other brand champions?

Take stand and tell us how you’re making the world a fairer, more equitable place. We want our everyday actions to make a difference — we want to support those who are supporting what we believe in. We know it’s risky. We know you have a lot at stake and it’s easy to be misinterpreted, but if you take that risk, we’re behind you.

Please support our crowdfunding campaign on iFundWomen — very soon we’ll all be able to #shopthechange every day!