This holiday season, we would like to celebrate you, all of our makers — designers, artists, pattern-lovers, DIYers, business owners, gifters, crafters, and decorators — by making a commitment to goodness. Behind every product we sell is a spirit and a story. We’re shining a light on 17 non-profits that also have a story to tell—whether they’re in our local neighborhood or connected to one of our designers from around the world. Over the next four months, we hope you’ll see just how important these organizations are to our global community.
Through this collaboration, our products are not only made for bringing color and style to your home, but also made for a better world. Made for education. Made for clean water. Made for a cure. Please join us as our creative collaborators, because together we can make a difference for those in need.
Each Tuesday from October 1–January 21, we will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to a chosen cause. Follow this post, subscribe to our email or follow us @spoonflower to hear more and to see who we are featuring weekly!
LGBTQ Center of Durham | January 21
The LGBTQ Center of Durham is committed to improving the quality of life for LGBTQ+ people in and around Durham through programming, resources, and networks of support and acting as a hub for Durham’s LGBTQ+ community. By sharing and affirming all LGBTQ+ lived experiences, the center has created a community where all LGBTQ+ lived experiences are supported and celebrated.
Spoonflower is built on a foundation of creativity, inclusion and self expression. We admire the work the center is doing in our local community to create a network of support for those who identify as LGBTQ+ and we were thrilled to partner with them for Pride: Durham, NC.
Through programs like Transforming Families NC and the LGBTQ Community Wellness Project, the center has created a supportive environment for families and individuals in the Durham community. Click here to learn more about how you can volunteer your time and support the LGBTQ Center of Durham.
Get to know some of the incredible Durham community members that work with the center and learn how creativity and personal expression has helped shape their self-identify.
See what the LGBTQ Center of Durham means to our designer community:
“I think it’s a great idea that Spoonflower wants to promote my artwork in support of the LGBTQ Center of Durham. I find equal rights for everybody very important, therefore I support this charity.”
– Spoonflower designer Claudia Soria
On Tuesday, January 21, Spoonflower will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to LGBTQ Center of Durham.
Feed More | January 14
Did you know one in seven Central Virginians is food insecure, meaning that nearly 200,000 of Feed More’s neighbors are not receiving the necessary nutrition. And of that, more than 53,000 children, or 1 in 6, in Central Virginia do not know when or from where they will receive their next meal.
The face of hunger has shifted dramatically during the last decade. Many Virginian’s are familiar with Feed More’s programs that feed homebound seniors, but today hunger is farther-reaching and more recognizable than that. Feed More’s recipients, served through nearly 300 partner food pantries, soup kitchens, group homes and other community sites, are largely the working poor who come to seek our assistance in emergency situations. Their need is typically episodic and by no means a long-term partnership.
Although these numbers are somewhat scary and these stories are rather bleak, there is hope.
And that hope comes in the form of Feed More and their comprehensive programs and Agency Network. In total, Feed More’s programs and network of agencies provide more than 52,000 meals each day to neighbors in need across 34 counties and cities across Central Virginia. From the Northern Neck to Louisa County and south to the North Carolina border, we distributed 19.2 million meals through our programs and partners to Central Virginians who face hunger.
See what Feed More means to our designer community:
“Feed More is a wonderful organization that provides food to families in need. The organization and the volunteers do a fantastic job of helping provide to those in the local community. I am so grateful that Spoonflower is donating and bringing awareness to Feed More.”
– Spoonflower designer Jess Prout
On Tuesday, January 14, Spoonflower will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to Feed More.
A Place at the Table | January 7
Located just 25 minutes from Spoonflower HQ, A Place at the Table is a welcoming and inviting space that provides an opportunity for all people to come and experience conversation and community while enjoying an excellent, fresh, and healthy meal. People long for a community, a place to fit in, a place to feel welcome, and a place to be a part of something bigger than just themselves. A Place at the Table does just that.
A Place at the Table provides community and healthy food for all regardless of means.
At A Place at the Table, customers have multiple options to pay and to pay-it-forward. Guests may pay the suggested price, pay at least half of the suggested price or pay by volunteering their time at the restaurant. A diner may also choose to Pay it Forward by purchasing a $10 token to hand out themselves in the community. In November 2019, A Place at the Table served a total of 3998 meals total, including 1187 donated meals.
A Place at the Table is proud to serve alongside the more than 60 other pay-what-you-can restaurants in the global One World Everybody Eats network. Head west to Boone and you’ll find our mentor restaurant, F.A.R.M. Café, one of the most successful models in the country.
See what A Place at the Table means to our designer community:
“A Place at the Table encourages togetherness, conversation and belonging while serving up a healthy meal. This is a wonderful way to create a safe and caring community, which everyone should have a right to be a part of.” – Spoonflower designer Ves Gabrovski
On Tuesday, January 7, Spoonflower will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to A Place at the Table.
Alzheimers New Zealand | December 17
Alzheimers NZ represents people living with dementia at a national level by raising awareness of dementia, providing information and resources, advocating for high quality services, and promoting research about prevention, treatment, cure and care.
At Alzheimers New Zealand, people with dementia, their carers, family/whānau and friends are the primary focus. Through integrity, respect, inclusiveness, goodwill, dedication and integration and collaboration, the national foundation is working towards a world without dementia.
We asked the Alzheimers New Zealand team to choose three designs from the Spoonflower Marketplace that best represents their mission. Here’s what they picked:
Forget Me Not: Our symbol for more than 30 years has been the forget-me-not flower and we loved this striking design, showing these simple flowers in all their glory.
Abalone Shells: We are New Zealand’s national dementia charity and so we also chose a design that reflects New Zealand . The brilliant and vibrant colours of our native paua are the colours of New Zealand, found in our stunning natural landscapes and in our beautiful art and jewelry.
Sunny Storm: Dementia is sometimes hidden in the shadows, with people afraid to speak openly about it. We want to bring dementia out of the shadows and into the sunshine and this design perfectly represents that for us.
See what Alzheimers New Zealand means to our designer community:
“My lovely, clever mum passed away a few months ago from vascular dementia. It happened so fast and was so hard to watch her lose herself to this horrible disease—we miss her dearly. I would love to help in a small way to fund more research into this debilitating disease that affects so many.”
– Spoonflower designer Katherine Quinn
On Tuesday, December 17, Spoonflower will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to Alzheimers New Zealand.
RARE Science | December 10
Imagine if every time you searched for an answer, you couldn’t find what you were looking for. For those affected by a rare disease, this is an everyday reality but with the support of RARE Science, solutions can be found.
RARE Science is a non-profit research organization with a mission to find more immediate therapeutic solutions for the more than 250 million kids in the world with rare diseases. Working with patient families and foundations, they aim to close the gap of time between diagnosis and treatment. The challenge of bringing together families with the same scarce diseases around the world is overcome by the RARE Science RARE Bear Program.
The RARE Bear Program through the RARE Bear Army of 5000 volunteers across 36 countries provides one-of-a-kind teddy bears made from remnant fabric that is matched to a child’s request of colors, favorite things and age. Over 5000 RARE bears have been sent so far to 57 countries, representing 1000 different rare diseases. Creating the foundation of understanding of disease from these families seeds new diagnostics and therapeutic development for kids and adults around the world.
When we learned RARE Science was using Spoonflower’s custom printing for the bear foot fabric, we couldn’t wait to get involved! In 2017, Spoonflower kicked off the first international RARE Bear Sew-In and we look forward to hosting the 2020 International RARE Bear Sew-In Day on Saturday, March 21. Stay tuned for more details!
See what RARE Science means to our designer community:
“I am a strong believer that you should do whatever makes you happy, then, the rest will come too. When I started with pattern design, I did just that. It was a difficult time to get hired at a graphic design company so I did what I could carry out on my own and what I love: drawing and designing. First I started by designing things for my kids. Then my friends and family and their kids. Slowly spreading the circle of people who I give a smile on their face with my artwork. Through Spoonflower I now make a whole lot of people happy with my designs. I love to get messages from happy customers, thanking me for sharing my artwork with the world. These kinds of messages make my day! I never thought that I could reach so many people across the world with my designs. I am truly grateful I now have a chance to give back to kids with rare diseases. I hope I can help RARE Science to give children a smile on their faces.”
– Spoonflower designer Heleen van den Thillart
On Tuesday, December 10, Spoonflower will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to RARE Science.
Barn Owl Trust | December 3
Founded in 1988, the Barn Owl Trust is a small national charity based on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon, England working hard to conserve one of the most beautiful birds on Earth. Anyone who has ever watched a wild Barn Owl hunting at dusk has surely been touched by the experience. Sadly, these magical birds have become increasingly rare—and the reasons are all man-made. Lack of food due to intensive farming, the loss of roost and nest sites, road mortality and rat poison, are the main factors to blame.
Happily, there is a great deal that can be done to help wild Barn Owls, and the environment they depend on. Because they are a bird of prey, at the top of the food chain, looking after our Barn Owls means that many other small creatures and plants benefit as well, helping to create sustainable biodiversity. Barn Owl friendly land management and the provision of safe nestboxes are the two most important ways to encourage Barn Owls, but everyone can help by learning about Barn Owls and supporting the Barn Owl Trust.
With over 30 years experience in the field, the Barn Owl Trust prides themselves on the sheer amount of practical conservation work they do, from making Barn Owl nest boxes to providing quality care for casualty owls.
See what the Barn Owl Trust means to our designer community:
“Anyone who has grown up with Harry Potter or with kids who have grown up with Harry Potter can’t help but have a fondness for owls. I have asked The Barn Owl Trust to be a partner because the work they do to protect and provide owl habitats will give children the possibility of seeing an owl in the wild. I am fortunate enough to have a barn owl fly through my garden now and then and it’s always a thrilling encounter with a genuinely magical creature. I hope in a small way my little Tin Pot Owl Bots can do their bit to protect a few of their feathered brothers.”
–Spoonflower designer Alex Morgan
On Tuesday, December 3, Spoonflower will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to the Barn Owl Trust.
Baphumelele Children’s Home | November 26
Founded in 2001, Baphumelele Children’s Home was a humble woman’s response to an alarming situation. Rosie Mashie had no money when she decided to provide a home and place of safety to children who were orphaned, abandoned, abused, and neglected, but she had a vision, a big heart, a lot of resolve, and the constant support of her community.
The children’s home now provides these orphans and vulnerable children with a stable, loving, and permanent home. It also serves as a place of safety for children in crisis 24 hours a day. Children are sometimes brought to Baphumelele by police or social services as a temporary place of refuge, others have been in Baphumelele’s care for some years. At any given time there are over 100 children between 0 and 18 years of age, being cared for and accommodated. Because of the wide age range, many families of siblings who otherwise would have to be separated are placed together at Baphumelele.
The vision of Baphumelele is to provide a temporary shelter for vulnerable/orphaned children and young adults with chronic diseases and HIV/Aids, and to provide skills development for the unemployed, early childhood care, alleviation of poverty, and healthcare information to the community in Khayelitsha and surroundings, so that the lives of everyone we touch can become more productive and accepted individuals who make a difference within society.
See what the Baphumelele Children’s Home means to our designer community:
“I chose Baphumelele Children’s Home because, as a family, we have been so blessed through being able to adopt and raise two amazing boys alongside our other children. They are now young men (21 and 25 years old) and I would so like to support other people who are raising children orphaned by AIDS or helping in any way they can! There is a great need here in South Africa and the whole situation is close to my heart.”
–Spoonflower designer Micklyn Le Feuvre
Get to know more about Micklyn and her family of 13 (including three other Spoonflower designers) here!
On Tuesday, November 26, Spoonflower will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to the Baphumelele Children’s Home.
Animal Welfare Society | November 19
The Animal Welfare Society, a non-profit organization in Kennebunk, Maine, exists to provide humane shelter and care to companion animals in need of housing, to assist in disaster response, and to further the cause of responsible animal adoption and ownership through education and public awareness. They actively promote kindness, the elimination of cruelty to and neglect of all animals, and the lifelong commitment of people to their pets.
Located near Kennebunk, Maine?
Get to know the adoptable pets at the Animal Welfare Society!
From cuddly puppies and kittens to the Golden Girls (sweet senior cats and the occasional dog), the Animal Welfare Society has built a safe space for adoptable pets waiting for their forever home. Through programs like Pawsitive Changes, an educational dog training program for at-risk high school aged students, teens learn all about compassion, empathy and valuable life skills from their four-legged friends. At the end of the 6-week program, students use what they have learned to help facilitate the adoption process of their dogs.
See what the Animal Welfare Society means to our designer community:
“I’ve always been a huge animal lover and I honestly can’t imagine my life without at least one fuzzy love in it 🙂 The Animal Welfare society is an incredible organization that not only helps animals find loving homes to be a part of but they also provide a wide array of medical services for animals so they can be healthy & happy. I regularly support my local Animal Welfare Society by donating toys and food and I’d be honored to have the portion of proceeds from Spoonflower go on to help even more animals.”
-Spoonflower designer Heather Dutton
A Lotta Love | November 12
Have you ever had a bad day at work or school and all you wanted to do was go right to your bedroom and get cozy under the covers? As you sink into your bed, all your worries from the day are washed away. Now imagine that same tough day, but when you go to your bedroom, it wasn’t in your own home and all of your favorite details that made it warm and cozy were missing. For many women and children living in homeless shelters, this is their reality. When North Carolina based interior designer Charlotta (Lotta) Sjoelin saw these shelters first hand, she knew there had to be a way to bring joy back into these women’s lives.
A Lotta Love transforms local shelters in Durham, North Carolina by creating dignified, safe and emotionally inspiring spaces for women and children. The organization raises awareness of homelessness and empowers communities to transform shelters into a more inviting “home away from home” for the families temporarily living there, showing that they are deserving of a more hopeful future. A Lotta Love designs rooms especially for the families, with the idea that they can bring the textiles and home decor with them when they leave.
An interior designer by trade, Charlotta (Lotta) Sjoelin had a vision of transformed rooms that would create safe, dignified and inspiring living spaces for the residents.
A Lotta Love focuses on empowering women and their children to reclaim their pride while living in this temporary environment. At the end of a volunteer day, Spoonflower marketing team members witnessed just how powerful a fresh coat of paint and a new set of bed sheets can have on someone living in a shelter.
See what A Lotta Love means to our designer community:
“I am very grateful we can support A Lotta Love through Spoonflower. My heart is touched by how interior designer and founder Lotta Sjoelin turns a somber room into a warm, harmonious and protective home for a mother and children in need, which often represents the first step towards a better future.”
-Spoonflower designer Julia Schumacher
Moab Beacon After School Program | November 5
Providing a healthy, safe, and enriching afterschool environment for children K-8, the Moab Beacon Afterschool Program strives to empower students to discover their innate ability to succeed. From academic support through small group tutoring to fostering the growth of strong families and a supportive community for children and youth, this Utah-based program has been a major part of Spoonflower designer Holli Zollinger’s family and community.
Consistent supportive relationships and exposure to a variety of developmental experiences are the key to contributing to a child’s positive development and are core values at Beacon Afterschool. With programs like Girls on the Run, debate club and mountain biking, students get to take their education from the classroom to the great outdoors.
See what the Moab Beacon Afterschool Program means to our designer community:
Moab Beacon is my charity of choice because it serves my son and community! They provide enriching after school programs that create a wonderful platform for students to engage in to further their education in the arts and sciences, as well as recreationally. Recently, having started homeschooling my 11 year old son, I depend on this program to allow him the extracurricular and social benefits of his teachers and peers. –Spoonflower designer Holli Zollinger
On Tuesday, November 5, Spoonflower will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to the Moab Beacon Afterschool Program.
Bat World Sanctuary | October 29
Founded in 1994, Bat World Sanctuary is on the front line to end the mistreatment of bats. Each year BWS rescues hundreds of bats who might otherwise die and lifetime sanctuary is given to non-releasable bats, including those that are orphaned, injured, and retired from the exotic pet trade, zoos and research facilities. While the Bat World Sanctuary isn’t open to the public, the Spoonflower team has become mesmerized with their 24/7 bat cam!
So, why should we be saving bats?
Bats are clean, gentle and intelligent, vital to the ecosystem and enhance our lives in many ways. Fruit and nectar bats bring us approximately 450 commercial products and over 80 different medicines through seed dispersal and pollination. Did you know up to 98% of all rainforest regrowth comes from seeds that have been spread by fruit bats. Insect-eating bats are literal vacuum cleaners of the night skies, eating millions upon millions of harmful bugs. They protect us by eating insect-pests that destroy crops as well as insects that cause human disease.
See what Bat World Sanctuary means to our designer community:
“Bats are a crucial part of our ecosystem; but are often, and unfairly, villainized. They help pollinate plants, fertilize crops, and eat a huge amount of insects, including mosquitos. I chose to support Bat World Sanctuary because they help to rehabilitate and care for injured, sick, and elderly bats around the globe, then return them to the wild. These beautiful creatures, and those that help them, deserve our support.”
–Spoonflower designer Jeremiah Witting
On Tuesday, October 29, Spoonflower will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to Bat World Sanctuary.
Project Linus | October 22
Project Linus was started after one woman read how a security blanket helped a 3-year-old girl named Laura undergo intensive chemotherapy. What began as a few donations of handmade blankets to the local children’s hospital blossomed into a national movement. Since 1995, Project Linus has contributed over 7.5 million homemade blankets to any child that might be in need of a big hug.
Project Linus’ goal is to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”
Spoonflower has had the honor to partner with our local chapter of Project Linus during sew-ins like the the much anticipated Make-A-Blanket Day where community members get together for the day to sew blankets for Project Linus children. Whether it’s donating unprinted Fleece remnants for quilt batting or helping hands to tie no-sew blankets, we are so grateful to join forces with such an amazing organization. To find a local chapter where you can donate blankets and volunteer your time, please click here.
Did you know Project Linus has donated over 7.5 million blankets since 1995?
See what Project Linus means to our designer community:
“I’ve chosen Project Linus as my charity specifically because I know what a comfort item blankets have been for my own babies. Sometimes all they have to do is to just touch their blankets, and I can visibly see them relax. Project Linus works with volunteers (or “blanketeers”) who hand make blankets and afghans for children who are ill, traumatized, or simply in need of a blanket. I love their mission!”
–Spoonflower designer Elizabeth Ivie
On Tuesday, October 22, Spoonflower will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to Project Linus.
Starlight Children’s Foundation | October 15
Every 30 seconds, a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. These children are often scared, confused, lonely and facing serious medical treatments. That’s where Starlight comes in.
The Starlight Children’s Foundation is a homegrown children’s charity dedicated to the wellbeing of sick children of all ages, regardless of their illness or injury. Knowing there’s more to treatment than just medicine, Starlight works hand-in-hand with health professionals to integrate play, art, games and happy experiences for children undergoing medical treatment so they can keep being kids. For 35 years, Starlight has brought smiles to more than 16 million critically, chronically and terminally ill children in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
“Just because you’re sick doesn’t mean you stop being a kid. And it shouldn’t mean missing out on all the fun of childhood. So Starlight helps sick kids simply be kids. We replace pain, fear and stress with fun, joy and laughter.”
We asked the Starlight team to choose three designs from the Spoonflower Marketplace that best represents their mission. Here’s what they picked:
“These three designs are super relevant to our Starlight mission: They’re happy, they’re bright, colourful and fun – these would certainly bring a smile to anybody’s face in any situation, because #happinessmatters. And some of them are in our Starlight yellow and purple branding too – it’s perfect happiness!”
“Starlight Children’s Foundation is an amazing organisation that brings joy and hope into the lives of sick children to make their stay in hospital a little easier. I think it is wonderful that not only do they endeavor to grant the wish of a child with a serious illness but also support families through what must be very difficult times. The foundation also runs programs to help brighten the lives of children in hospital using imagination and creativity.”
– Spoonflower designer Julie Lynch
On Tuesday, October 15, Spoonflower will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to The Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Keep A Breast Foundation™ | October 8
The Keep A Breast Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower young people around the world with breast health education and support. Since its inception in 2000, KAB has worked with young people to remove the shame associated with breasts and breast health. Through various initiatives and programs such as breast cast art exhibitions, Non-Toxic Revolution, Check Yourself! app and i love boobies! campaign, KAB has opened up the dialog about breast cancer, and has proven to be a doorway to breast self-awareness and education.
Did you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Early detection is the key and knowing what is “normal” for your body is an integral part of that. Keep A Breast developed the Check Yourself! App to do just that: help young women all over the world to develop a healthy life-long relationship with their bodies.
For two Spoonflower designers, the reason behind choosing to support The Keep A Breast Foundation this month hit close to home.
“Knowing I can give back to a meaningful cause with my art and design warms my heart. I chose the Keep A Breast Foundation to be the recipient of the home decor sales charity promotion and sales of my designs because I lost my mom to metastatic breast cancer in 2013. In many ways, my story as a solo designer started with the loss of my mom as a way to keep her alive and connected to her by painting florals and botanicals. She loved gardening and flowers and her personality was like sunshine. There are many organizations that focus on breast cancer-related topics but I chose this one because it is proactive, empowering and education focused.”
-Spoonflower designer Crystal Walen
“Life has more meaning when you can give back and help someone in your family, community or somewhere else in the world. Our purpose on this earth is to help and love each other. We all know someone that has been affected by breast cancer and it is an honor to be able to give back to the Keep-A-Breast Foundation through my art.”
-Spoonflower designer Crystal Manning
On Tuesday, October 8, Spoonflower will be donating 15% of our home decor sales to The Keep A Breast Foundation.
JUST TRYAN IT | October 1
After taking her son to the doctor for leg pains, Mollie Darby’s life dramatically changed: she learned her 6-year-old son had leukemia. As Mollie and Ryan’s friends and family rallied behind them, family-friend Carrie Norry quickly realized that not all families fighting childhood cancer had this type of support and flexibility to spend time at the hospital and away from work and home. She felt compelled to do something. In 2010, with the help of her friends, Carrie established JUST TRYAN IT with the mission to positively impact the lives of families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer by providing them with financial assistance. The organization strives to instill the importance of philanthropy and service, promote wellness, and inspire tomorrow’s leaders to make a difference in their communities.
The foundation for this fundraising initiative is a children’s triathlon. Through triathlons, JTI empowers healthy kids to help other kids in their community by seeking out pledges and raising awareness of the many struggles facing families with sick children, fostering empathy and instilling in them the importance of service to others and the power of shared philanthropy. Concurrently, JTI partners with generous individuals, corporations and foundations that support their mission through the JUST TRYAN IT Family Assistance Fund.
Spoonflower’s connection to JUST TRYAN IT goes far beyond Made for Good. Spoonflower employees and their families have donated nearly 800 volunteer hours—from race day set-up and volunteer registration to photography and racer on-course support. Spoonflower became a sponsor of the race in 2016, its first year here in N.C. In addition to financial support, Spoonflower shows up big on race days with dozens of employee volunteers stationed throughout the race. For Spoonflower’s President, Allison Sloan Polish, JUST TRYAN IT has a special place in her heart. Her sister Carrie Norry was the one who led the charge to organize this movement.
“There are several races around the country at this point but I am always stationed at the Finish Line for the Chapel Hill, N.C. race as a volunteer. It is one of my favorite days of the year—you can’t help but feel uplifted and full of hope on race day. My kids also race each year, so I am also present as a proud mom. The first year my youngest did it, he was a shaky swimmer at best, but he really wanted to TRY it so he jumped into the pool with a kickboard and the volunteers in the pool helped him safely cross his lane. That is what is so great about this race—it is not about being the best, it’s about bringing your best.”
– Allison Sloan Polish, President of Spoonflower