It’s More Than Just a Hat: And Other Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

Spread the love

It takes one small idea to create a movement larger than yourself. One hat, one pair of pants or one shirt makes a world of difference to someone in need. Josh York, an entrepreneur and MSU senior studying supply chain management, combined his love of helping others with his knowledge of business to ignite his very own movement — the York Project.

The apparel company sells hats and shirts, and with every purchase an article of clothing is donated to someone in need — following a business model similar to that of of TOMS Shoes. Aside from local distributions in Lansing, York has distributed clothing to homeless people in Detroit, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles in just this past year. York Project has partnered with various student organizations including Spartan Ski Club and MSU Snowboarding Club. These organizations receive customized hats to promote York Project, but also to sell and give back to the cause.

According to an interview with The State News, York started selling hats that he had hand sewn his last name into at his band’s concerts back in 2013. His knack for business and interest in the Detroit Movement brought about the creation of the York Project.

“I thought to myself, I’m doing something cool selling hats,” York told The State News in a recent interview. “Why don’t I do something with it to give back to Detroit?”

The project grew and continued to inspire more people. York has helped more than 8,000 people in need since starting the York Project. The company that started out selling handmade hats, now sells the iconic York hats — which can be seen all over campus — along with t-shirts, hoodies, tank tops, and fleeces.

“My long-term goal is to fix homelessness,” said York to The State News. “My goal is to set up a manufacturing plant in Detroit, employ homeless people, pay them and also provide them a place to live upstairs.”

If you’re looking for thoughtful gift ideas, look no further than York Project. Support a local business that is now supporting those in need on a national scale. Follow York’s motto and, “be part of something larger than yourself.” For more information, visit yorkproject.com.

Anna Ellison is a junior professional writing major with minors in public relations and graphic design. She is currently the promotional representative for Spartan Ski Club and is a lover of all things Michigan made, the outdoors, other people’s dogs and the 1960s.

Other ways to give back this holiday season:

Rotary Jingle Belle 5K for Women
If you’re looking to stay in shape this winter while supporting charity, the Rotary Jingle Belle 5K is for you. The race is presented by the Delta-Waverly Rotary Club and takes place in Lansing on Dec. 12 at 9 a.m. Registration is $27 and all proceeds go to Rotary projects, such as the Backpack Food Program and scholarships. To register for the 5K and for more information, visit runsignup.com.

The Elephant Pants
Gift a brightly patterned pair of pants, bag or tapestry from The Elephant Pants and help save an elephant! The Elephant Pants is a corporate sponsor of African Wildlife Foundation, and up to $2 is donated with every purchase to help protect African elephants. It’s a great way to give a friend or family member a unique gift and help protect our natural environment. Visit theelephantpants.com for more information.

Warby Parker
If you are in need of new glasses or want to buy mom and dad a pair of trendy new shades, purchase a pair from Warby Parker. The eyeglass company donates a pair of glasses with every pair of glasses or sunglasses you buy. Their nonprofit partners work to educate people in developing nations to give basic eye exams and then sell their glasses at an affordable price. Visit warbyparker.com for more information.

Capital Area Humane Society
Missing your furry family member during the school year? Show the stray cats and dogs of the Lansing area some love this holiday season by volunteering at the Capital Area Humane Society. To volunteer you must register online and then attend an orientation. More information about the volunteer program can be found at cahs-lansing.org.

Trees for Troops
The iconic Christmas tree is a staple for many during the holiday season. Unfortunately, due to certain circumstances, many individuals and families do not get the chance to decorate a tree. Trees for Troops is a program created by the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation. Their goal is to “provide free, farm-grown Christmas Trees to United States armed forces members in all branches of the military and their families.” A $40 donation purchases a tree for one military family. Try splitting the cost between you and your roommates for an easy and thoughtful way to give back. Visit treesfortroops.org for
more information.

 

Anna Ellison is a junior professional writing major with minors in public relations and graphic design. She is currently the promotional representative for Spartan Ski Club and is a lover of all things Michigan made, the outdoors, other people’s dogs and the 1960s.

 

Tags: January