If you’re looking for a meaningful and memorable gift– especially right now during graduation season– I’ve found it for you. Or in my case, if you’re looking for comfort and joy in beautiful, beautiful retail world in the wake of a disastrous injury. Whatever. Either way.
Have you heard of The Giving Keys?
“The Giving Keys exists to employ those transitioning out of homelessness to make jewelry out of repurposed keys that get sold and shared around the world. Each key is unique and carries a message like HOPE, STRENGTH, DREAM or COURAGE. When the wearer of the key encounters someone else who needs the message on the key, they give it away and then send us the story of their key being paid forward.”
I first heard of this company last October when I attended the Storyline conference in Chicago. Intrigued, I started following them on Instagram and was instantly a fan. I always feel so much admiration and respect and quite frankly–AWE– for people who come up with such beautiful ways and means for giving back to humanity.
Fast forward to this past week: I was in BLUSH. Buffalo locals, there’s a BLUSH on Elmwood Ave and a brand new location in Orchard Park. Like, I can walk to it. Like, I told the super cool-beautiful owner that I wanted to move in with her. I like it there. A lot. And you will, too. For out-of-towners who only wish they lived in Buffalo, check out BLUSH here. You will swoon. But don’t worry, they ship.
BLUSH is the first local business in Western New York to carry The Giving Keys. And so naturally, I needed to have one. There are many different words to choose from: Strength, Inspire, Believe and the like. But I chose a necklace stamped with ‘Courage’. It just felt right. And timely. And many times a day, I find myself running my fingers over those letters. I imagine the person who engraved the letters– their story. Their plight. Their fears. I imagine the courage they need[ed] to face their demons. And it gives me perspective. And it helps me face mine.
Someday, I’ll meet someone who needs this key. Someone who right that minute needs courage more than I do. I can already picture hearing their story–my heart starting to pound out of my chest– and just knowing: This is the time to give away my key.
And then I’ll probably get another one. And do it all over again.
For more about The Giving Keys, watch Caitlin Crosby’s Ted Talk here and be inspired.