I recently read Blake Mycoskie’s book, Start Something That Matters, and I loved it. Blake is the man behind TOMS, which uses the One for One business model. For every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to kids in a developing country. Since 2006, TOMS has donated over 35 million pairs of shoes. In full disclosure, the book was recommended to me by my boyfriend (yes, you read that correctly) and after reading it; I know why he loved it too. He is one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever met and he created his own startup that follows the One for One model.
In my former life I wrote sustainability reports and philanthropy is engrained in corporate culture nowadays. Most Fortune 500 companies integrate a charity component and encourage their employees to give back. Not only is it good business, but it also improves morale. There are countless examples of companies that appeal to millennials through their volunteer opportunities and corporate giving programs.
Blake provides three tips for companies that want to incorporate a philanthropic component:
1. Keep it simple. Focus on one charitable mission and one type of product. By keeping your mission clear, your business can excel at what it knows and it is easy for customers to understand.
2. Be resourceful without resources. Cut or reduce costs whenever possible.
3. Build trust. Create a brand that consumers know and believe in. Show customers how their purchase contributes to the cause.
I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of whether or not you plan to create your own business. Blake writes from the heart and he shares his ups and his downs. You can’t help but respect and admire him for his fearless leadership. He is humble, owns his mistakes, and values the opinions of his employees and customers.
Speaking of giving back, I spent this weekend volunteering with the ladies of Junior League. On Saturday I volunteered at St. Richard’s School to help parents register their kids for the Horizons summer program. We served ice cream sundaes and entertained the kids with basketball and games outside.
On Sunday, I volunteered at Indy Reads and helped alphabetize books in their basement. They receive around 500 donated books everyday and the proceeds go to adult literacy programs. Not only is it one of my favorite local bookstores, but their mission has impacted so many Hoosiers to allow them to pursue opportunities previously not available to them. We often take the ability to read for granted. My grandmother was a librarian and I think she would have been proud of me as I sat on the dusty ground sorting books.
Now onto the snickerdoodles. This is an under-appreciated cookie and if you don’t like snickerdoodles, then I am suspicious. I LOVE cinnamon. If I have oatmeal, it is covered under a sea of cinnamon. The boyfriend (see above) ordered snickerdoodle ice cream at Brics and immediately won points in my all-things-cinnamon-loving-heart. That and we rode our bikes from Mass Ave to Broadripple on a fairly warm day in March. I’m not sure how I got so lucky, but I won’t question it.
I mailed a stack of snickerdoodles, some vintage postcards, and a badass button (because why not?) to a friend for Easter.
Recipe via Cookies and Cups
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325°
- Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper, set aside.
- In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and both sugars until incorporated.
- With mixer on medium speed add in egg, yolk and vanilla and beat for another minute, scraping the sides as necessary.
- Turn mixer to medium low and mix in baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and one tsp cinnamon.
- Turn mixer to low and add in flour, mixing until just combined.
- In a separate small bowl make your cinnamon sugar by mixing together cinnamon and sugar.
- Using a cookie scoop or spoon, measure out about 2 Tbsp of dough and roll into a ball. Then roll each cookie dough ball into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes and take out when the edges are golden. They will continue to firm up as they cool.
HOO HOO HOOSIERS!!