Last month, I introduced you to my partnership with the Poland Spring® Brand to do a quest for greatness in New York – highlighting local people, places, and things that are making a difference. This was one of my favorite brand partnerships to date. It gave me a chance to get a little creative, and when things in the world have felt so sour, a chance to highlight some people who are making a difference and doing great things!
If you read my previous post or follow me on Instagram, then you probably saw each of the individuals and organizations that I chose, beginning with the wonderful Edna Mitchell. Today, we are rounding them up! It’s a longer post than usual but I hope you will stick around; and maybe take away a little inspiration from these amazing organizations + companies. I am so proud to have been a part of the Poland Spring® brand’s Greatness Springs from Here™ campaign – it’s really wonderful to see a brand commit itself to highlighting the good in the world… we need that right now!
The first person I chose to spotlight was my sister, Rebecca Atwood. Nepotism aside ;), my sister is doing great things with her business. She quit her day job four years ago to produce a line of organic, sustainably-made textiles. She started with pillows. I remember when she didn’t have office space and was dying the fabrics in her sink and storing the pillow inserts in her guest room. (Her husband is a saint!) Since then, she’s launched fabric by the yard and wallpaper, beautiful throw blankets, and even written her first book. Her second book is now in the works and she will launch bedding this Fall. Incredible.
We also filmed a short video together in honor of the collaboration, which you can see here!
The next organization I chose is 100cameras. I am on the advisory board for 100cameras and continue to be inspired by their mission and the work they do every day. I would describe it as a “Trifecta of Good…” fostering the arts, empowering kids in underprivileged communities, and then giving back to these communities. They start by going into these communities and teaching photography classes to the kids (and giving them cameras). The kids learn how to tell their stories via photography – thus empowering them and helping them to make a difference. 100cameras then gives them a platform to sell the photos as art. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the photos are then donated back to that community.
The third organization I chose to spotlight is an app called DEED. DEED solves a problem many of us have encountered when trying to volunteer – finding volunteer opportunities can be really challenging! Oftentimes you have to attend lengthy trainings or make long-term commitments; both of which can be tricky and even prohibitive for busy New Yorkers.
DEED makes finding volunteer opportunities a cinch – you simply download the app and immediately are connected with organizations that need help… signing up with a click of a button. It’s such a smart idea. Currently, DEED is only available in New York and LA but I’m hopeful they will eventually expand nationwide.
The last organization is something I wish had been around when I was a teen… Varcity Studios. Think of Varcity as Classpass for teens. It connects teens with New York’s premier boutique fitness studios; giving teens the opportunity to sign up for really cool classes (often at a VERY discounted rate). All of the classes are exclusively for teens (makes it less intimidating!) and held during after-school hours.
A few reasons why I love what Varcity is doing? Healthy teens develop healthy habits that guide them throughout life. Regular teen exercise and academic performance are highly connected, and, according to Varcity Studios, 82% of teens don’t get the recommended 60-minutes of daily physical activity.
Created in partnership with Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water.
photography by Trent Bailey & Carter Fish.