Why We Care
Someone recently asked me why we care about helping the organizations we have partnered with, and the question caught me by surprise. It was almost as if this person didn’t understand why anyone would support a charity or social cause of any kind; at least that is how my mind took it at first. I had to stop myself from answering for a second and consider the question again. It wasn’t actually that the person didn’t care about charitable causes, but more than they wanted to know why we chose to start a business with the primary mission to support charities.
When the idea of Carry Your Cause was born, almost nine years ago, we instantly knew that if we decided to start this business, its mission would be one focused on charitable outreach. We considered starting our own non-profit organization, but we quickly realized there were already dozens, if not hundreds of well-run, fiscally responsible organizations out there who needed help. One thing we knew how to do was run a business, but we had no experience running a charitable organization. We thought, why not start a business that has a primary mission of helping charitable organizations? Thus, our philosophy that entrepreneurship’s purpose is to create better and more healthy communities through economic development was born. The first century Jewish Scholar, Hillel is credited with saying, “If not you, then who?” We believed there was a vast open space of opportunity for entrepreneurship in partnership with communities and organizations making the world a better place. So, when Hillel asked, “then who?” we knew, the who was us.
The other half of Hillel’s quote, however, was, “If not now, then when?” It took us a bit longer to come around to the second half of the quote. Marriage, career moves, children, life’s other events, and finally, fear got in the way of starting our dream. We cared about many of the causes we have partnered with, however, our resources for giving were limited. We knew that business was the one vehicle we could use to make a larger impact on the causes that were important to us. Finally, in 2017 we decided that the when, was now. We began taking steps to start our dream, which was Carry Your Cause. It took almost a year to get the business off the ground, but during 2017 we were chugging along making great progress. On October 1st, 2017 while attending the Route 91 festival in Las Vegas we received pictures of the first proofs our custom zipper pullers that are on many of our bags today. At 9:30 that evening we were elated looking at how they turned out. Thirty-five minutes later we would be thrust into chaos but be blessed to be among the survivors of America’s deadliest mass shooting. Although it took time to heal and process, this tragedy reinforced our belief that business should be playing a larger role in uplifting our communities and supporting important and worthy causes. We care because we are all brothers and sisters sharing this world, and we believe in the value and potential of every life. We hope you will partner with us in this belief and help us start a movement of socially responsible business leaders.