The Vision of CHC is to be an accessories industry leader reflecting generosity through a global audience to every community.
A byproduct of this vision is that we donate 10% of profits to WINGS; an organization providing services to end domestic violence and homelessness.
I also have the unique privilege of volunteering at one of their Chicagoland emergency shelters each week. I am the helping hands to anything they need completed or attended to and it is an actual honor to get to serve them. This part of the CHC story is an important one but one I have been overcautious about sharing, for two reasons:
1. It's an emergency shelter so I can't take photos or share names or much info about the time there
2. I get ill thinking about how sharing it can be perceived as a marketing tactic. (This, I am aware I just need to get over)
But even with these two reasons, I still wanted to communicate it in an authentic way.
And then I had an idea...
I often write (usually as a way of venting) after my times there. Each week lends itself to a stir of different emotions, experiences and conversations. The men, women and children that I interact with come from every background, religion, race, social class and reason for being at the shelter. Because of the turnover of the shelter, sometimes I may only have a single interaction with a guest there and sometimes I'll have several. Each is its own unique story and experience and I have learned so so much.
Abuse is un-ignorable to me. But so is hope.
And often when I'm in conversation with people about WINGS, theres a downcast sense put off when they ask about it. And, yes, there is much for our spirits to be down about with it but the only solution I've found is to have hope get louder.
There are hopeful stories that come from the shelter.
There are hopeful turns taken.
There are healthy and healthier decisions made.
There is power being taken back.
And because I can't share each one that comes to mind, I wanted to still give a voice to the voiceless. So I wrote a poem from some of their viewpoints to summarize the essence of hope that I've experienced at WINGS.
After writing the poem, I wanted to visually bring it to life. A small group of creatives were in-studio working and were gracious enough to embody this poem in a stunning photoshoot.
You can watch it and/or read it (below):
Joy will make you do seemingly silly things
Freedom has a way of ... Getting in my veins ...
Causing my bones to do anything but refrain
I ... I feel joy?
I KNOW joy
So, WHY NOT JUMP?
From Joy that I was crafted
Time ... taking its time
to make sure everything that spins
around me was cocooned just right.
The pressure of darkness had its expiration date
And bit by bit
I'm breaking free
now seeing my wings
How Breathtaking ... is what's coming out of me
So WHY NOT JUMP?
Cause I'm experiencing JOY
And it's ... making me do seemingly silly things.
So much THANKS to:
Extra Thanks to: @botchwav
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"To keep going, is to believe that there is always an invitation, is a truly creative act... There's sort of a healthy defiance involved. A hoping against hope. God continues to use creation, creativity, and the arts to point to and unlock hope, mystery, beauty, and love. An open invitation for us all."
I’ve made the hard decision to close CHC.
My vision to awaken the beauty in people through creating beautiful products and experiences remains in tact; CHC is simply no longer the vehicle to my vision. My depth of gratitude for your support (every step of the way) is inexpressible.