Helping the homeless via your business doesn’t have to be hard. Read how I got started

I’m lucky. I’ve never been homeless. I’ve been really lucky. I can only imagine what it feels like not having the security of a home.

For years though, I’ve wanted to support the homeless. I’ve never really known the big reason why but I’ve had this burning passion to help them. I think everyone should have a home. My home is my sanctuary and I think you can cope with most things in life if you have a safe place to call your own.

I do remember reading an article a while ago about the homeless, where one homeless person said that they don’t mind that people pass them by on the street and don’t give them anything. However, they would love for people to just look them in the eye, to acknowledge their existence. They want to be visible.  Maybe that’s part of the reason for me, I’m not sure.

I had a problem though

The problem is, I know I’m not the person to practically help the homeless. I’m just being honest here, I want to help but for me, I don’t have the calling in life to be that person. I’m giving, but in different ways. It makes me sound like a terrible person saying it out loud but it’s the truth. I’m okay with owning up to that now.

This ‘issue’ has stopped me from helping for years though. Yes, I’d give donations, and I’d help people on the street as I passed them, but that wasn’t enough. That doesn’t make a difference, not really. It’s just one simple random act of kindness at a time.

I wanted to help on a bigger scale

I knew I’d have to start small, but more importantly, I knew I needed to start. Using the excuse of me not being the right person wasn’t cutting it anymore. I had a calling to help somehow. That feeling wasn’t going away, so how could I make it happen?

The Universe has a funny way of helping you out

Earlier this year I was a speaker in Brussels at an event. I met an incredible lady called Alisoun Mackenzie. One of the things she teaches is helping businesses ‘give to profit’. She’s written a book of that name and she teaches how you can add cause marketing to your business to support charities.

I’d been mulling over different ideas of how I could use my business to support charity for a while. I have a good social media platform, I’m well connected. It made complete sense. I could give back without the guilt (and excuses) of it not being me. I could still help after all.

 So, I was journaling one morning and had the idea (again!) of helping 100 women business owners. Coaching/mentoring 100 people had been one of my goals from when I started my business 5 years ago, but for some reason, it didn’t feel the right time. This particular morning it was as though I’d been hit by a thunderbolt – I could coach/mentor 100 women AND support a homeless charity at the same time. What a fabulous way to celebrate my 5-year business birthday. I felt really excited about what I could create and how I could help.

I had a chat with Alisoun, who explained what I’d need to do to set it up and that’s how it all began. I decided to offer a £200 session for just £20, working with 100 people over a six-month period. I wanted to keep it easy so that it would be manageable around running my online programme and working with my 1:1 clients.

So then, who to support?

Alisoun had that one covered too. I’m a bit of a caffeine addict, and well known for it in my circles where I get tagged in coffee posts and sent fun quotes! We’re moving to Scotland, so she told me about a charity called Social Bite.They have a chain of coffee shops in cities in Scotland where 1 in 4 homeless people now have jobs with them, and customers can do a pay-it-forward coffee/meal, plus they’re now working on setting up a village for the homeless, which is just incredible. They explain it better than I do. Check out their video here.

Coffee, Scotland AND helping the homeless. I’m in!

It was simple to set up (Check out Alisoun’s book, Give To Profit, if you want more of the proper details)

Here’s a quick idea of what I did to get it up and running:
  • Create a sales page (I use SamCart) – check
  • Link to payment – (I use PayPal and Stripe) check
  • Pull together a marketing plan – check
  • Work out a practical budget (There are costs involved with PayPal/card charges and admin to promote the initiative) – check
  • Work out the logistics of fundraising for your chosen charity. They may have things in place to support you and/or guidelines you need to follow – check
  • Talk to people about it. When you’re on calls, out and about networking etc. – ongoing check
  • Ask people to help you spread the word so that you can raise more for your chosen charity – also ongoing check

The spots are now filling fast for Mission 100. At the time of writing, I’ve hit over 20% of my goal. Still a way to go but hey, I only started talking about it last week!

Maybe you’ve got an idea that you could use to support a charity

It’s a great way to give back, and it’s so much fun knowing that your gifts and talents can provide someone with the support they need.

Who knows, maybe they’ll be a Mission 200 next, or something even bigger. I’ve got lots of ideas bubbling away!

If you are a business owner and would love to get an hour’s worth of coaching/mentoring support while also helping the homeless then check out this link. I’d love to support you.

Even if it’s not for you, maybe you know somebody that would love some business support.

Tell them about it by sharing this link – http://bit.ly/RubyMission100, or even better, gift them a session. It might just be the magical breakthrough for their business journey.

Here’s an image you can use to go with your post when you’re sharing too …

NB: Available for interviews
About Ruby

Comments

  1. What a fantastic way to help both service based business owners and and of course an amazing charity Ruby! Loved reading this and your passion really shines through! I’m really looking forward to my session with you and helping a fantastic charity at the same time!

  2. Thanks Nina, looking forward to working with you again. It’s an amazing charity!

  3. What an amazing gift this could be for Christmas! Giving to the homeless & giving to yourself a coaching session with one of the best. I’ve already done mine now its over to you????“What we spend, we lose. What we keep will be left for others. What we give away will be ours forever.”
    ― David McGee

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