Our Sunday letters are direct from our Chairman and CEO and aim to provide a message of hope and inspiration. We share the best stories that show how others aim to express, connect and celebrate the people most important to them during these trying times.
We wanted to share some important things we are working on, to solve real-life problems that impact all of us. It’s been on our minds recently as we get closer to the holidays, and as this challenging year comes to an end.
Creating real human connections
Each October, we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, recognizing the many accomplishments of people with disabilities who are in our nation’s workforce. In the past, we talked about Smile Farms, a non-profit we founded to create meaningful work opportunities in agricultural settings for individuals who are differently abled. We are so proud of the work Smile Farms does to create these jobs and for the positive impact it has on our community, team members and our families.
It’s been such an important area for us to make a meaningful impact and provide pathways. While our company is about expressions and sharing of celebrations, maybe the most important thing we can do is to positively impact the world around us. The real beneficiary of an organization like this is the people who support it, as they are helping a worthy and important cause.
And now more than ever, the pandemic we’ve all experienced has both created and magnified many challenges in today’s world. But together, we can impact necessary change.
Growing up hungry is a reality for many
As we head into the holiday season, we’ve launched a very special philanthropic effort with No Kid Hungry to help ensure children have access to the food they need. Because of the pandemic, one in four children could face hunger this year, according to No Kid Hungry. That is unacceptable and it is incumbent upon all of us to do something about this.
No Kid Hungry is working hard to make sure children are fed during this health crisis and beyond. You can help. When you shop our Season of Sharing holiday gift collection now through December 24, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. will donate 20% of the net proceeds* from each gift purchased to No Kid Hungry. For every dollar No Kid Hungry receives, it can provide up to 10 meals to children in need.**
There are so many challenges we face as a society. We are committed to helping alleviate hunger in this country, amplifying this issue and being part of the solution. Look for more information and content on this important cause, coming soon.
Prioritizing the mental health of our communities
Another challenge on our mind is mental health. As you know, the loneliness epidemic and the collective mental health consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are on our minds. While we’ve recently launched our Connection Communities, we are looking to do more, to help more, where possible.
Finally, a few weeks ago we talked about our concerns about the overall climate in which we are living and the psychological challenges we as a society face given the pandemic and its aftershocks.
Many of the activities we have come to expect during Fall are on hold, and as the days get shorter, and the temperatures fall, we are concerned about the mental health of our communities. We fleshed this out further in Worth, if you have an interest in learning more.
Jim and Chris
*The company will donate 20% of the net proceeds from each gift purchased from the collection to No Kid Hungry, with a minimum commitment of $50,000. “Net Proceeds” shall be defined as the gross sales price of the product less any and all taxes, service charges, shipping and handling charges, discounts, gift certificates, promotional gift certificates, promotional offers (e.g. airline miles, points, e-money, etc.) credits, rebates, chargebacks, refunds, credit card processing fees and gift certificate cancellations. Products in the “Season of Sharing” collection benefitting No Kid Hungry are not eligible for discounts or combinable with offers. Void where prohibited.
**$1 can provide up to 10 meals. Meal equivalency varies during COVID-19 relief. Learn more at NoKidHungry.org/OneDollar.
Celebrations community trends
P.S. Part 2 of Jim’s conversation with #Jolty, a new podcast from friends Faith Popcorn, Adam Hanft and @Maggy Wilkinson is now live. In this episode, titled the “Connection Crisis,” we talked about the epidemic of loneliness created by the pandemic, and why it’s important for companies and brands to pay attention to this problem. Listen here.
P.P.S. We were lucky enough to share the virtual stage at Techonomy’s The Health + Wealth of America on Thursday. We discussed leading through challenging times and all the difficulty, as well as opportunity for growth, that it affords.