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Social Impact Heroes: How Gaby Ghorbani of Love You More is helping to inspire local youth to become lifelong volunteers

I would create a mass movement of community, where kids of all ages feel empowered and inspired to get involved. I would make sure that they always feel that they are capable of doing great things regardless of age. Children can do all the things they want to make a difference today. They do not need to be older, have money or be famous. At Pledge to Humanity, we have all these kids with great ideas and they have the mindset that they can make a change, which will make incredible things happen. Common goals and mindsets coming together is what gets kids involved. I use Love You More’s jewelry to spread this message of community and giving back further.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Gaby Ghorbani. She was born and raised in Mexico. Shortly after arriving in the United States, Ghorbani began an entrepreneurial career which included owning and operating two successful franchises. Since her childhood, Ghorbani has been committed to humanitarian issues, and through the years, has supported and worked with many different philanthropic projects around the world. Due in large part to her vision and leadership, Ghorbani continues to steward her commitment to humanitarian efforts around the globe through her non-profit organization, Pledge to Humanity, and through her social enterprise, Love You More — both efforts support local and global causes. She also recently founded Sueños Amor y Esperanza, a nonprofit in Jalisco, Mexico, which is in the final construction stages of an after-school community center to serve under-resourced children. In addition, Ghorbani has served on the advisory boards for Americans for Philanthropy and Advance International, Inc.

Thank you so much for doing this with us Gaby! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Being born and raised in Mexico, I saw many children even younger than me at the time who were working or begging for food. It was always very hard to watch, and I never became numb to it or felt that it was okay to ignore what I saw. I constantly tried to help in any way I could, even as a child. Once I had more resources, I was able to give more and devote more time and energy to making a greater impact. Then, Pledge to Humanity was born. I began talking to children with the same passion to help others that I had as a little girl. I wanted to inspire and empower more children to be mindful of their surroundings. They can make a difference every day of their lives, which is what inspired the mission of Pledge to Humanity. After working with Pledge to Humanity for several years, the idea for the Love You More jewelry line was born, and I knew I wanted to dedicate it to empowering women and supporting organizations in my community and beyond.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your nonprofit organization?

There are so many interesting stories I can think of! I know that seeing kids giving back and feeding the homeless, for example, is such an incredible sight to see. Some of these kids have never done anything like that, nor have been in such proximity of being around someone in the cold, someone who is hungry, or in need. They will give food or coats to the individuals and families we are helping and afterward, express to me that it was the best feeling in the world, and how amazing it was to help another person and to make someone happy. They surprised themselves on how impactful it was for them! One occasion, we were going to a shelter and we always put kind handwritten notes on the packages we give out. One man pulled a really wrinkled piece of paper out of his pocket, and he told us that he kept it all this time from when he came to us last. It made him so happy to have a note from someone who cared. It showed the kids that what they were doing really meant something to people, that they were making a difference.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

There have been so many funny moments and mistakes throughout the years. I would like to make clear that mistakes are made but they only help us to be better and better each day! I think perfection is to know how imperfect we are and that’s okay! It is what makes us more human and able to be empathetic towards others. If I could think of one moment, it would be that I get many calls to action for different services every day. I have kids volunteer to put together hundreds of kits with different items (food, toiletries, etc.)! At the beginning, I didn’t realize kids would put so much effort and dedication into creating these kits. Working together, the kids finished the kits way too fast! I definitely was not prepared for them to finish so soon. So, we had to improvise for the remaining two hours because the parents had already dropped them off. The mistake was underestimating how much kids and families want to be involved and how much they are capable of. The funny part was not having enough activities to do to fill the time… improvising was not part of the plan!

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

My Love You More jewelry line is committed to giving back to causes and charities close to my heart. I felt inspired to create a line of jewelry with a deeper meaning behind it, and I also wanted to find a way to financially support Pledge to Humanity and other organizations in my community. It was an idea that evolved over time. I felt inspired by women who wanted to learn different skills, who wanted to be independent and support their families. I believed that giving these women jobs would help empower them. That is the inspiration behind the original Love You More necklace — to simply love more. I am beyond happy and grateful that I was able to find a way to give these women jobs and help spread more love in the world.

Pledge to Humanity is a nonprofit in which I founded in 2009, where I work with local youth to become lifelong volunteers, connecting them with many local organizations in need of community and financial support. It began as a goal to teach children the impact of kindness, compassion, and gratitude, and grew into a lifelong commitment to service and making a difference. Today, more than 4,000 Pledge to Humanity Changemakers are involved via schools and groups throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Pledge to Humanity partners with over 100 non-profit service organizations in the United States as well as partnerships in Kenya, India, Ecuador, Haiti, and Mexico. As part of my work with WE Charity, Pledge to Humanity has funded and helped build 32 schools throughout Kenya, India, and Ecuador, serving at least 1,440 children annually.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

Pledge to Humanity is currently working to help single moms in need who have been greatly struggling during this crisis. Recently, we helped a mother and her four young children gain access to necessities and furnishings for their apartment. She is one of the reasons I launched Love You More’s “World Necklace,” which gives 100% of the profits to single mothers in need. I’m so excited to give back with this line and can’t wait to see the impact.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

1. Talk about the difference children can make as much as possible. To communicate the importance of service to public and private schools in order to make it a part of the curriculum would be amazing. To help with the cause of Pledge to Humanity, and to introduce kids to a part of their society in which they can help within their community starting at such a young age would overall make an enormous difference in the world.

2. Awareness and support to reach out to more communities, more demographics, and more shelters. The kids involved volunteer for free, but these communities need financial support as well. Financial support for these communities to gain access to basic necessities such as food and other goods would be a tremendous help.

3. Love You More’s jewelry line is made fair trade and gives back to communities both locally and globally. As a society, we need to support ethical businesses that treat workers respectfully, especially companies that are owned by women and support women’s economic empowerment.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

I think leadership is by definition, what it is. I think a leader does it all and shows how to do it all. They show consistency and work hard in the front line, which kids need to see. Leaders solidify ideas, put it to work, involve others, and see the value of community and the power that it has. In other words, the definition of leadership is “leading by example,” which is what the key is to leadership to me.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Delegate! I was (and still am) afraid to let go and give up the reins, but sharing responsibilities is crucial. It helps grow the organization while helping volunteers learn important skills and become more engaged.

2. Track your progress from the beginning. It’s easy to get caught in the weeds and forget how far you’ve come. It’s also important to have quantifiable data for donors.

3. Set goals and expectations for everyone involved. It is always beneficial to plan ahead. Whether it’s a 5-year plan or a 10-year plan, always have strategies and goals to encourage you to get to where you want to be.

4. I definitely wish I would have reached out to more people. Kids listen and I connect with them so easily, but I have trouble asking for help from adults and parents.

5. Go after corporate money earlier. In the beginning, I needed to think more like a businesswoman even though Pledge to Humanity is a nonprofit. I needed to have more structure and plans.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I would create a mass movement of community, where kids of all ages feel empowered and inspired to get involved. I would make sure that they always feel that they are capable of doing great things regardless of age. Children can do all the things they want to make a difference today. They do not need to be older, have money or be famous. At Pledge to Humanity, we have all these kids with great ideas and they have the mindset that they can make a change, which will make incredible things happen. Common goals and mindsets coming together is what gets kids involved. I use Love You More’s jewelry to spread this message of community and giving back further.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” -Mother Teresa

I have lived by this quote my whole life. People are always going to judge you or wonder if you have ulterior motives, but as long as you are true to yourself, doing what you love, and doing good then do it anyways. If I listened to everyone who said “Gaby, this is crazy,” then I would have never built or accomplished anything. Make sure to listen to the positive people always, the people who want you to succeed, and to always be an ambassador of your cause.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

Oprah! Back when I was in my 20s, I remember how much I admired her and the impact her platform had to do good. It wasn’t just a show, there was always a more positive and meaningful message behind it. Watching, I learned about the power of the youth community, which I am still working with today in my 50s. We have a lot of common ideals, and I’m inspired by her philosophy. She’s a dreamer and a doer. I’m also a dreamer, and I attempt every day to be a doer. She’s a great example of a leader and I have always looked up to her. I would love to tell her how she has impacted thousands and thousands of people because of what I learned from her.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Readers can follow Love You More jewelry line @loveyoumoredesigns or like us on Facebook! Pledge to Humanity is @pledge2humanity. To shop all products, visit



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