Why We Give: Mutual Aid Fundraising, Charitable Giving and Solidarity

Thread Spun is proud to contribute 10% of our profits to charitable causes, 501(c)(3) organizations and mutual aid funds. In fact, we've done this since the very beginning back in 2016. We give to stand in solidarity with all human beings, and always aim to recognize and utilize our privilege to dismantle the hierarchical systems that preserve it. To learn more about this and the history of our little sustainable shop and ethical brand check out this blog post on our origin story.

 No Justice No Peace Sign | Thread Spun
To date, Thread Spun has contributed more than $24,000 USD to 501(c)(3) charitable organizations locally, nationally and internationally. Charitable organizations we have donated to include, but are not limited to: 
Thread Spun | Together We Raise Charitable Auction

    Thread Spun also actively participates in charitable auctions including Still We Rise and Together We Raise, benefitting some of the above-mentioned charities and others. While we have talked more in the past about our charitable giving, we also recently began partnering with Waking Giants to raise funds for reparations and mutual aid funds and would love to share more about this with our community. Waking Giants | Mutual Aid | Thread Spun

    Waking Giants is a social impact company headed up by a tenured humanitarian, Sera Bonds, who is coordinating several mutual aid actions for the Waking Giants community to be a part of. Heidi, the founder of Thread Spun, feels lucky enough to have counted Sera as a close friend and inspiration for five years. They met through Thread Spun's fundraising work for Circle of Health International, a charity founded by Sera, and have remained connected over their shared core values of humanity, truth, power, love and community. 

    Waking Giants is a for-profit company working to connect people more deeply to the issues of today while providing resources to move us collectively toward action, and thus focuses on education and raising of funds. Waking Giants use a collaborative giving model rooted in reparations, mutual aid, and community led actions to show up for folks in need. They believe that people living in crisis, wherever and whomever they might be, know best what they need to help themselves and their communities. Waking Giants follows their lead and provides cash directly and without any reporting requirements, unlike a nonprofit organization. This is mutual aid.

    Together Graffiti and Wall Art | Thread Spun

    "Mutual aid is a form of solidarity-based support, in which communities unite against a common struggle, rather than leaving individuals to fend for themselves. While underserved communities have long organized mutual-aid networks, in the past year, the groups have proliferated across the country, and the concept has increasingly gained mainstream recognition. In mutual-aid systems, people work cooperatively to meet the needs of everyone in the community. It’s different from charity, which features a one-way relationship between an organization and recipients, and often responds to the effects of inequality but not its causes. 
    Mutual aid is an act of solidarity that builds sustained networks between neighbors. As prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba explained to the New Yorker: “It’s not community service — you’re not doing service for service’s sake. You’re trying to address real material needs.

    While many neighborhood networks cropped up in response to the pandemic, mutual aid is not just a response to a crisis, but instead, a more permanent alliance between people united against a common struggle. In short, people offer help — which could be resources, like food or money, or skills, like driving or picking up prescriptions — which are then redistributed to those in the community who are in need. Mutual-aid systems operate under the notion that everyone has something to contribute, and everyone has something they need." - The Cut

    Waking Giants | Mutual Aid | Thread Spun

    Mutual aid is not charity, and Waking Giants is not a non-profit. Financial gifts given through Waking Giants are not eligible for a tax deduction and that is by design. The founders and members of Waking Giants are living their values of equity and justice by paying the taxes on the funds that are given to Waking Giants for mutual aid efforts as part of their own reparations work as a company owned and run by a white woman.

    The team at Waking Giants is currently focused on getting cash into the hands of women whose lives have been impacted by COVID, specifically women in India, Nepal, Gaza, Nigeria, Syria and the US. At Thread Spun we are actively engaged with and supporting this important work through mutual aid fundraising efforts. We believe firmly, as they do, that people living in crisis best understand their own situations and are best positioned to quickly and efficiently help themselves and their communities. 

    Waking Giants | Mutual Aid | Thread Spun 

    So far, this year we have contributed $2,841 to mutual aid in partnership with Waking Giants and are participating in monthly fundraising efforts throughout the rest of the year. We look forward to acting in solidarity with people negatively impacted by COVID-19 throughout the world. We also recently gave $1,000 to our local school district to assist students requiring additional support at home and school. These mutual aid funds, when combined with our charitable giving so far in the year 2021, represent almost 30% of our net profits. 

    After years spent studying and working in nonprofit organizations, Thread Spun founder Heidi is excited to be learning about and engaging with mutual aid efforts. Taking a small part in the dismantling of the complex hierarchy and white supremacy involved in charitable giving is a significant step toward achieving true solidarity and change in oppressive systems. We will also continue to give to charitable organizations we have personally vetted, to learn and to adapt. Thank you for growing with us, and supporting this work - the reason we are all here on earth, solidarity in humanity. 

    All Are Welcome Sign | Thread Spun

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