A Shock of Pink and Giving Away Money

The color or the note about giving away someone else’s money hopefully made you stop and read this.

I’m a huge pink fan, since I’m the mom of two boys and blue, orange, and green are the colors I normally see around this house.  And I’m an even bigger pink fan with this story I want to share with you!

The Short North and the Arena District are going to be filled with pink this weekend.  You’re used to seeing it in the middle of May for the Race for The Cure, but probably not toward the end of July.

It will be business, philanthropy, and motivation coming together in that crowd of pink as Thirty-One Gifts’ annual conference comes to Nationwide Arena.  The venue and countless hotels and restaurants will host more than 10,000 consultants from around the United States.

Here’s the neat thing: you can get involved and make a big difference during this conference, even if you’ve never bought a single item from Thirty-One.

Announcement

This morning, founder Cindy Monroe stood on a sunshine-clad Nationwide Boulevard with city leaders as Nationwide Boulevard became Thirty-One Way.

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“They’ve made an investment in our community, to bring 9 million dollars in economic impact here,” Brian Ross, the President and CEO of Experience Columbus told me.  And that’s the reason why they’re taking over Nationwide Boulevard this weekend!

Monroe then announced the bit that you and I can help with all weekend long and through the end of the month.  The #31share initiative officially kicked off today and will continue over the next few days, until July 31st.  Each time you perform a random act of kindness and post it on social media with #31share through the 31st, Thirty-One will donate 31 cents to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.  They’ll do it up to $10,000.

The money is needed in Central Ohio.  Matt Habash with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank tells me it will be used immediately to connect area residents with summer feeding programs.  The organization is trying to increase the availability of fresh food and also make the general population more aware that there are summer feeding sites for kids who are missing out on free school breakfasts and lunches while they’re out of school for several months.

On top of that philanthropic effort, Thirty-One is paying the tabs ahead of time for many customers who will dine out in the Short North this weekend! You won’t know until a server tells you. It’s all part of this weekend movement to pay it forward.

The idea comes back to the company’s consultants and their desires for this weekend.

“They wanted to leave Columbus better than they found it when they arrived,” Monroe shared with me in a quick conversation we had afterwards while the sidewalk was still filled with a talkative crowd.

The need and the #31share initiative are a perfect match.  Giving people a hand up really has been a part of Thirty-One’s goal since its’ beginning.

Cindy Monroe created the now well-known accessories and home goods business out of her basement in Tennessee before moving the burgeoning business to Columbus seven years ago. As of last year, it was the fastest-growing woman-owned company in the world.  Across the country and Canada nearly 116,000 sales consultants rely on Thirty-One for a portion of the income for their households and their families.  The other part, that lends itself to motivation, is that the company is grounded on the principles of Proverbs 31 and the Wife of Noble Character.  The company wants to grow compassionate, gracious, and inspiring women.

Those values were clearly on display with associates’ pink t-shirts filling the corner of (now) Thirty-One Way and North High Street this morning.

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“I’m all about empowering women, helping them to have confidence, letting them know they can own their own business, that they can be entrepreneurs, and they can be a role model for so many other women and their kids,” Monroe shares with kindness and a bit of a southern lilt in her voice.

So what can you do this weekend?  There’s so much to choose from– you could start tomorrow by writing a co-worker an encouraging note.  Maybe on Saturday you could go through your bins at home and donate clothes you no longer wear?  I got the chance to give a few dollars to a homeless veteran downtown today.  You could also share a great book with a friend.

Monroe tells me she already has her plan in place for her #31share this weekend.

“I always try to bless the hotel staff.  So whether it’s someone bringing me a meal in the room because I can’t quite get out of the room, or I just try to leave someone an extra tip.  They work so hard.  To be able to leave a 31% tip, you know it’s going to go a long way.  They’ve got families to support.”

And if you’re trying to find your next path, Monroe has some sage advice for you– coming from her Tennessee basement to now heading this massive corporation:

“Believe in yourself.  God gives you talents that he knows you need.  And use the support of others!  We have so many organizations here in town that can support you.  People that want to support you.”

It’s advice that all of us can take in– and share.

Remember– put #31share on your posts in the next few days!  I’ll be looking for them and updating this post with what I see on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Your random act could land in this article and inspire someone else!

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Me & Thirty-One Founder/CEO Cindy Monroe

Quick Sunday Check-In!

I did a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter check to see how you all are doing.  Here’s a sampling of your good works:

 

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The good news:  There’s plenty more time to do your #31share.  Five more days!  Thirty-One will donate money to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank for the effort up until July 31st.  Can’t wait to see what you still have in store.