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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

the glassybaby giving glow


There is something called the glassybaby glow. I've felt it every time I have received or given a glassybaby votive. It's a soft tingle when you open the simple white box with the white grosgrain ribbon. It's the way this handblown piece of art fits cool, heavy and perfect in your hand when you hold it. It's the hundreds of colors of votives from ethereal translucent sea blues to opaque, classic primary colors and wildly inspired limited editions and one-of-a-kinds (known as one of a kindness.)

I love giving someone a glassybaby that I chose just for them and watching how their smile evolves from "Oh, this is pretty!" to the way they beam when they tilt their head and take in the glow when they light the votive.  That eye lock that says "You get me. How did you know this is exactly what I needed right at this moment?" I've given glassybaby votives as I love you gifts, shower and wedding presents, birthday, anniversary and graduation presents and in lieu of sympathy flowers. Each time I knew that I was giving someone not just a gift but a feeling

It's a glow. A glow that started with the love story behind glassybaby, not romantic love, but the love of art, of creating something so wonderfully personal and the love that founder, Lee Rhodes, had for her community when she made the decision early on to help make her community a better place by donating a portion of each glassybaby to non-profits. 

If you've ever been the delighted recipient of a glassybaby, you've seen the enclosure card which reads

That's the glassybaby giving glow.  When you buy a glassybaby, $3 from the sale of your glassybaby is donated to the glassybaby foundation (formerly the glassybaby white light fund.) Think about this for a moment. $3 from each glassybaby amounts to millions of dollars donated to non-profits focused on people, animals and the planet. Since Lee founded glassybaby in 2001, over $10,700,000 has been donated to non-profits. It's a number that is humbling. 

For the past several months,  I have had the opportunity to be part of a team that helps select the baby grant recipients. The meetings included both Lee Rhodes and Executive Director of the glassybaby foundation, Eliza Cummings. Each month a different non-profit category is chosen. For October, it was health care heroes.  Eliza presented the nominated non-profit agencies, including their missions and client base served. Each of the non-profits presented were all so worthy but in the end, we selected three non-profits, each the recipient of a $5,000 baby grant.

October baby grant recipients 

supporting health care heroes

Provides employee with funds to help alleviate  personal burdens so they can continue to serve and care for their patients.

Response: "Wow -- thank you  so much! We are honored to receive funding from the glassybaby foundation! Thank you for this wonderful support!"

Provides free 24/7 crisis counseling for  health care and essential workers on the COVID-19 front line.

Response: "Thanks so much for reaching out and thinking of our org! We really appreciate the support, especially this year!"

Provides much needed equipment and supplies for front line workers. 

Response: "We are very grateful for this opportunity and for the generosity of the glassybaby enterprise and foundation, rooted in your mission to share kindness and hope to communities around the US. Thank you and we wish you much health to you and your team."

September baby grant recipients

Creates emotionally therapeutic experiences for seriously ill children. 

Provides youth in foster care in Washington with academic and other essential support they need to graduate from high school and pursue their dreams.

Helping families by supporting them and their individual needs, especially during the pandemic. 

This holiday season, if you want the glassybaby giving glow of your own, glass blowers in the two Seattle hot shops are working hard to create just the perfect glassybaby for you or those who you will be gifting. What you are giving extends far beyond the glassybaby itself. When you purchase a glassybaby, you're keeping artists engaged in their work (especially crucial during this pandemic) while also helping non-profits enhance the lives of your community, both local and global. It's such a win all around. And there's that glow. You can't beat it. 

If you know of a non-profit who could benefit from a baby grant, click here for more information on nominations. 

(If you're wondering, if there is one glassybaby that fits all, hope, a creamy white, is perfect in any giving situation.) 

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