Good To Be Good Foundation is 4 today!! What began as an informal initiative of friends donating essential goods for local shelters in lieu of birthday and Christmas gifts, soon transformed into my greatest accomplishment. Our grassroots non-profit has evolved into a platform where our “small yet mighty” acts of kindness can be turned into sustainable action; our personal responsibility turned into collective impact; and where our love for humanity is expressed practically and with empowerment by supporting women and those who need it the most.
In 2016, I sought out to create an inclusive, anti-oppressive, feminist-led, action-based aid organization anchored in an interconnected framework with the simple motivation of ‘being of service’ to others. I hoped, that with Good To Be Good, we could fulfill our duty as compassionate and resilient human beings by directing our attention to every aspect of human suffering because our liberation is bound together. A duty to ensure we all do something to build a kinder, more just, equitable world that affords ALL people, including the protection of women’s and girls’ fundamental rights. And we could do this right now, as we are, with what we have.
Between 9 fundraising events to our ‘UNDIVIDED’ awareness campaigns, our work has expanded, adjusted, grown, all the while responding year-round to the injustices that affect the historically marginalized and vulnerable groups on a grassroots level. Every donation has helped us provide hands-on, restorative support for those who have felt the effects of gender-based violence, abuse, social isolation, poverty, and inequality. As a volunteer-powered organization, we’re able to serve directly and devote time to advocating for social justice issues important to us.
Without the continued support from our generous and caring community, we would not be able to do the work that we do. All of my gratitude to you! In an especially challenging year, I know I am surrounded by the benevolence and unity of those who are fighting the good fight. Hold fast to your vision of a peaceful world that leaves no one behind, dear friends.
Some may say we are most fulfilled when we are responsibly proactive. But beyond the duty lies its joy. I have found that giving liberates the soul and any opportunity to give back to our community, to our planet, to each other, is a strong way forward for change. It offers a fuller perspective – one that reminds us of why we’re really here and what matters most.
It’s not about how big or small the act is, but the great love and awareness we put into our giving. And when we are willing to be brave with our attention, we can experience a deeper sense of love that feels bigger than ourselves. An act of kindness is valued more than the grandest intention and unequivocally benefits the human family. They are investments that make life worthwhile.
Wherever you go, I hope this is the message you convey. And with whatever you do, I hope you begin from the premise that we only have one humanity – that we’re all human together.
These are my sisters at @spunstudioto – a nonprofit social enterprise at Sistering that plays a growing role in supporting women’s empowerment and rebuilding socially, emotionally, and economically.
Many of the women that enter this safe, supportive space – whether it’s for a textile class, art workshop or perhaps a mentorship program with me – come from marginalized backgrounds. The opportunities and creative environments accessible to them here represent a vital source of skill and confidence building, supplemental income, and life-generating creativity.
This holiday, we gathered, we laughed (plenty), we listened, we shared a meal, we came together as love. They are brave, they are curious, they are hopeful, they are accepting not only of others but of themselves, they are deserving, they are powerful, they are LOVE. These smiles mean the world to me. I am excited for all that they’ll bring into the world and for what they’ve already poured out so beautifully simply by being who they proudly are. Mele Kalikimaka from my heart to yours. Please continue to give generously. It matters.
Together, we are unified in our purpose of supporting women, mobilizing human rights, and amplifying a woman’s and girl’s dignity, equity, and value to society.
This campaign promotes inclusion and honest diversity – individually and collectively.
Today, and every day, we honour the vast glory of a woman’s challenges and her uninhibited possibilities. We celebrate women unifying across sectors, courageous across all borders. We galvanize towards a sustainable world – one that is shared with an army of sisters, near and far, and undoubtedly a better place when we live and work together in harmony for the good of all. 🌍
This campaign also aims the spotlight on the Canadian Women’s Foundation by tribute of @thegivingrosesproject. Please support generously.🌹
The 3rd Good To Be Good Foundation ‘UNDIVIDED’ campaign featured in the latest issue of Luxur Lux Magazine and Creators Magazine! Available now!
Our all-female team:
Photographer: Tara Noelle
Producer/CD: Char San Pedro @goodtobegoodfoundation
Set Design: Wild North Flowers (Bethany Rose)
Stylist: Aliecia Brissett (Brands: MLM Label, ZIRAN, One Teaspoon, Jenny Bird)
MUA: Irina Badescu, Lauryn Hopwood, Allana Davis
Studio: Album Studio Rentals (Toronto)
Our hearts work beat by beat, never resting for the whole of our lives to pump blood throughout our bodies. It is one of the most vital organs that keeps us going, never asking for anything in return but to treat it like the priceless commodity it is.
My personal wellness was partly influenced by a loved one and her painful experiences. She has suffered from one too many cardiovascular illnesses – THREE that neared fatality. She rarely considered the cumulative effect of her daily decisions that ultimately contributed to heart attacks, artery clogging and coronary disease. An active person who sleeps well, laughs abundantly, swears off from drinking and smoking, though, when it came to her diet, has been conditioned (and addicted) to eating food that ultimately served her health poorly.
Our insides should not be neglected, and we can absolutely take responsibility — in a practical, economical and beautiful way – before a metabolic disorder transpires. What you put on your fork is correlated to the possibility of disease or optimal health maintenance. Like adequate exercise, sleep, environmental toxin protection, and mental health, healthy food supports vitality and overall nutrition so our organs, most importantly our heart, can do their functions well. There are simple ways you can make lifestyle improvements with diet:
cutting sneaky refined sugars,
steering clear from added salt and unhealthy fats,
make water your beverage of choice over pop/alcohol/sugary drinks,
and most importantly, consuming whole plant-based foods such as veggies and fruits.
Eliminate meat intake (hormones, chemicals, inflammation, high TMAO, persistent organic pollutants, internal fat), dairy (high-insulinogenic) and processed crap. A widespread of epidemiological research gives evidence to a vegan diet being disease and chronic virus protective. All linking plant foods, plant constituents such as fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals are effective strategies to support higher immune function and reduce risk of cancer (for my loved one’s case heart failure) diagnosis and recurrence.
No matter the food habits or patterns you create, please make sure much of it is full of proven, SIMPLE preventive medicine: the abundance that is nature. You are worthy.
Human trafficking is an extreme human rights violation and from my view, a global feminist issue. It is one of the largest and most lucrative social injustices of our time. There are more people as slaves today than at any point in history.
The magnitude of the issue is so broad and occurs in many forms from forced labour, agricultural work, involuntary domestic servitude, child marriages to sexual exploitation.
The reality is that it’s embedded in our everyday lives, happening all around us. We cannot deduce human trafficking to only developing countries or in dark alleys, narratives we’re often told with salacious points that are more provoking for journalism and media. Or Hollywood depictions of eerie men using immediate kidnapping tactics or physical restraint on stock character type of the ‘girl next door.’ Research show that there is no standard profile which means anyone can be vulnerable to trafficking, though, keep in mind that those who face structural inequalities and live in marginalized communities can increase their susceptibility to recruitment.
Force, fraud and coercion have a multitude of complexities that are results of social, economic and political problems. There are various contributors that allow human trafficking environments to flourish from mental illness all the way to impacts of globalization. The inbound pipeline to trafficking commonly being vulnerability and types of poverty.
The good news is, that there multiple entry points for us to create holistic solutions in ending this deplorable crime in our lifetime. We must do this together by having uncomfortable, necessary conversations at home/work/school, asking informed questions, donating to organizations (namely BOOST For Kids) that offer quality, long term aftercare and services, urging local and government leaders to increase systems that address and protect human rights, and bringing full awareness to what’s going on so that we’re able to invest in people, our relationships and the human family. Inform the police if you notice anything suspicious. And pls share this national hotline: 1-833-900-1010, available 24/7.
Thank you Shreya Patel for your cause-driven artistry + GIRL UP, the exceptional Rhonelle Bruder of @rise.initiative and Kim Dhillon for your education and power, and everyone who helped us engage and serve on our mission of equality.
Photos from our GIRL UP screening + human trafficking awareness panel can be found below:
The evolution of fashion is gradually growing toward these important standards. The industry is responding to the awareness among consumers in the demands of transparency, fair living wages for those who make our clothes and alternative materials that don’t negatively impact the environment. We’re seeing a shift – especially in our everyday behaviours. With that, more companies are transforming their business objectives while improving short and long-term supply chains to build a better, comprehension-approached system.
The concept of sustainability is founded on 3 pillars: economic, environmental and social equity. The truth is, fashion (whether designer or that simple t-shirt you bought for a weekend) has a BIG connection to everything around us. Our natural environment needs to be protected by using and developing eco-friendly/fair trade components to address climate change and resource shortages. Makers need be ensured fair incomes, working conditions and worker’s justice. The careless promotion of “buy, use, discard, repeat” needs to be quashed. The impact of fashion deeply affects many industries it touches. It has never been more vital for us to create and consume with responsibility.
How can you, as a modern, intelligent consumer, do your part? Do some research before making your next (fashion) purchase. Support ethical brands that are manufactured in an environmentally and socially conscious manner, even if at times comes with a lofty price tag. Buying fewer, higher quality pieces you love that are ethically made tend to last much longer in your closet than those of the fast-fashion method. With some brands, your purchase supports local artisans (the majority of whom are women) all over the world. There are positive benefits of up-cycling, swapping, renting and borrowing clothes as well. From sourcing to wearing, the ways to prioritize production and consumption sustainability are endless and available. This is not a trend or niche market but a holistic tactic to consumption that requires our conscious and innovative efforts.
Big love to some of my favourite female-led brands (tagged!) maximizing benefits to workers and communities involved, while minimizing carbon footprint. Their collections are beautiful (and affordable!) too. Please continue to support women and our planet. 💚
UNDIVIDED is a modern feminist visual by Good To Be Good Foundation photographed by the talented Tara Noelle, that highlights the unity of women and the power that lies within us. A campaign created to amplify voices, celebrate the women’s movement and bring awareness to the innumerable intersectional ways women face and feel challenged.
For us, women’s rights are human rights – a fundamental belief that when equal balance is achieved, together, we are all more free. Through the twinkle of honest art, we express our feminist presence – unarmed and in total union – and symbolically stand on the shoulders of women revolutionaries that have paved the way for us globally. We acknowledge that being a ‘woman’ can signify many complex, unparalleled things and cannot (and should not) be boxed into one.
This campaign is made up of women and collaborators who mutually stand for advocacy, uniqueness and the unbolted support we hold for women everywhere. In league, we work fervently in demanding justice and respect for not just one kind of woman – but for all women who share space in equality discourse.
Our commitment to putting women to the front and centre starts with inclusion in all fields while promoting a culture of true, earnest diversity beyond the visible. We must continue to work toward systemic change by coming together as a community to strengthen the chain of parity, advance essential human rights, and honour the common values of humanity. The fight to end injustice is one that asks of you and me. This Women’s History month, whether you are celebrating, marching or uniting, share the hope with other women around the globe and help amplify attention to areas where improvement in women’s rights and equal, accessible opportunity is still needed.
At the most transparent level, I am indebted to the ever-so-erudite Lauren Mackay and the ever-so-badass Future Female Magazine team for this endearing piece and feature. Beyond that, I am grateful for the creative space you’ve produced for women to share their remarkable stories, their world views, their courage, and their giant hearts. In a society where we are constantly inundated with devastating and folly “news,” it is of great pleasure to have sincere platforms like Future Female Mag expressing the human capacity of endurance and resilience.
As someone who struggles from a vortex of needing to fix everything (obnoxious at times) and sheer hypersensitivity, as we all sometimes do I’m sure, I’m profoundly inspired by today’s commitment to women and altruism, as a response to anguish and difficulty. People are AWESOME! It brought me pure joy talking with Lauren about my obligation to Good To Be Good Foundation and my trust on the significance of the “small yet mighty”. I can keep rambling on about it but there are pages waiting to be read and photos of enthusiastic smiles wanting to be echoed.
Please check out the latest fall issue online now: https://issuu.com/futurefemalemag/docs/ffm_fallissue03_2018_finalcopy3
Interconnectedness is the nature of foundations – that the foundations in one area are also the foundations of many other areas.
The route in which we are able to reach many truths (even conclusions and breakthroughs) is by understanding the varied complex layers deeply and therefore more broadly. That’s the essence of the concept of a foundation, and cultivating core, fundamental values that cannot be deduced or compromised any further, whether in our personal or professional establishments.
When we reason from our primary principals, not by comparison or by account, we are able to build up from there to a great extent and cover as much mass as we so desire. This also helps with solving issues and creating new solutions from the center. We construct something stronger and operate from what we know is authentic. An empirical example would be in botanical anatomy: every flower, every tree and every mountain literally stand on the same foundation; namely the earth. It depends on the value of other things such as water, soil, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, etc. All life, both subtle and intricate as we, stand on the same theoretical base. So by comprehending verticality and depth, you can relish in the notion that everything is somehow connected and the previous that seemed separate and disconnected become part of the entire truth.
Nature signifies the whole and sum total of everything not the quality of one. Just as every leaf on a tree is attached by twigs, which are connected by branches which are contingent on the trunk and the support of its roots, so too are people, principals and ideas connected by universal systems and deeper truths.
You and I are part of it all. Such a simple yet magnificent thing, wouldn’t you say?
Our planet is boiling gently.
The reality is that our natural resources are being exhausted faster than they are being replenished. We live in a modern existence whose linear model has been, “take, make and waste.” This increasing our environmental challenges and putting many at risk. With that, sustainability – a growing interest – is considered more and more everyday. It is a broad discipline and a complex concept that remains. When we hear the word “sustainability” we often think of carbon emission reduction, renewable fuel sources, green infrastructures with policies, the protection of our ecosystems and restoration of natural sources over the long term.
In short, it’s simple principal is based on this: Everything that we need for survival and our overall well-being depends on our natural environment; not compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. It supports our ecological, economical and public health and vitality. Its activity is developing productive harmony between the competing needs to move forward while protecting the biodiversity in which we and others live in.
The march to save our planet involves all and its efforts – from corporations, governments, citizens, to activists. This will not solve overnight. The keys to progress, especially during economic crisis, are fostering innovation, education, legislation and voluntary action. By globally treating sustainability as a main goal (The Global Goals), we will force businesses and organizations to become sustainable, thus becoming an integral ingredient of development. By individually treating, we will force ourselves the responsibility of good social practices which become our everyday. Your part can start with eating for impact, be water ‘wise’, consuming consciously and voting for leaders who care about social welfare.
We must continuously contribute to the promotion of peace, the health of our environment, the eradication of poverty in all its form, the building of workplace conditions, the improvement of supply chains for better value, economic prosperity and a quality of life that benefits the present and future. 🌍