Since I launched All You Are a couple years ago, I've wanted to tie it to cause. But it was important that the cause felt very personal to me, that it wasn't just an after- thought or a business decision. I wrote this post late at night on my daughter's last day of daycare. We have found our reason to be (beyond making thoughtful, cozy loungewear that is).
Today was my daughter’s last day at her daycare. She’s been there for two years, since she was barely two years old and has thrived during that time. She was so sad to leave and frankly, so were we. It is no small request to hand your precious child over to people that you barely know, while asking them to nurture and guide her as though she is a unique miracle in this universe. But somehow they managed to do just that. And we are so incredibly grateful for the community who helped and is helping us to raise our little Nova.
As I read the letter they wrote at the back of a little album they created for her, my eyes filled with tears, spilled over and wouldn’t stop (I’m not kidding, I haven’t cried like that for a long time).
You are creative, happy and funny. Helpful and kind to others. You include everyone when you play. You’re engaging and always dancing!
Basically, she is the kind of human we need on the planet. Creative, joyful, lighthearted, empathetic, inclusive of others, engaged in life, helpful and caring. If the planet was populated with people who embodied these characteristics, the world would be a pretty amazing place.
But the truth is, not every child receives the love and nurturing and safety that they deserve. Every child is a unique miracle on the planet. But not every child experiences life that way. Too many children experience the complete opposite.
There are children born into extreme poverty who are vulnerable to outside predators. There are children born into families that are emotionally unstable and unwell (most likely from their own unhealthy childhoods or as the result of generational trauma). There are children born into families that are ill-equipped to care for them well for one reason or another. And these innocent children, who are no less special than yours or mine, grow up in an environment of instability, lacking healthy love and a feeling of safety (let alone dance lessons or soccer practice) and also often experience extreme trauma. These little, vulnerable and impressionable humans then grow into adults. And then we wonder, why are some people the way they are? Why are so many angry and violent and lost?
It all starts with our children. That’s right, OUR children. As parents, isn’t it our responsibility to do everything we can to make sure that the world is filled with nurtured, loved children who grow into well-adjusted, emotionally intelligent adults? If we do what we can to help all children grow into healthy adults, we are ultimately working towards a better world for our own kids too.
“What if we decided that successful parenting includes working to make sure that all kids have enough, not just that the particular kids assigned to us have everything? What if we used our mothering love less like a laser, burning holes into the children assigned to us, and more like the sun, making sure all kids are warm?” - Glennon Doyle in Untamed
So starting September 21, 2020, in honour of my daughter’s birthday, All You Are will begin donating 1% of all revenues to organizations dedicated to protecting children around the world from violence, slavery, sexual abuse and forced labour, starting with International Justice Mission, a global organization that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems. You can read more about them and the incredible work they do here, and over time I’ll be sharing more about what I’m learning through them and what we can do together to help to make real change.
All You Are is about stepping fully into who you are and who you are meant to be. It is about making the most of yourself, so you can give the most of yourself.
But without a safe and loving childhood, for so many that vision becomes almost impossible, an incredible hurdle to overcome. Starting with this commitment, I want All You Are to stand for making growing into your full human potential, a possibility for everyone, for all children.
Please join us in helping to spread the message that the future depends on the well being of all the world’s children.
Founder, All You Are