I grew up in a family that valued community service, so it's natural for me to do what I can to make the world a better place. Thanks to my talent and creativity, I'm blessed to have reached a place in my life where I have not only the desire, but also the monetary resources. I've worked hard to get where I am, and I love that my hand-blown glass pieces bring color and joy to my customers' homes while also allowing me to help support organizations that are making my community a better place for so many others.
I recognize that everyone doesn't have the same resources I do, but I believe that creative people can always find ways to help others through their art, and I hope this article will inspire you to get out there and give back.
How I Fell in Love with Hand-Blown Glass
I've always considered myself a creative person. Ever since childhood, I've dabbled in different media for creative expression — writing, drawing, painting, interior design, textile arts — and that's to name just a few. I've always appreciated the beauty of hand-blown glass — and been fascinated with the process of shaping a molten ball of sand into functional, colorful objects. About 10 years ago, I finally got curious enough to take a glass-blowing class. That was all it took. I fell in love with the art form. Since then, I've devoted myself to putting in the time and energy required to master this difficult, extraordinary skill.
It took me five years to reach the level of skill and confidence to begin selling my pieces publicly. I started with an Etsy shop, and I did well enough there to make the leap into opening a brick-and-mortar shop. While I enjoyed the shop — particularly my interactions with customers — my plan was always to reach a wider market through my own thriving e-commerce business — Cheryl Saban Glass.
I love creating. I love that people love my work, and that my art brings color, energy and joy into the homes and workspaces of so many people. And I really love that following my passion affords me the ability to give back to my community by supporting those who are helping others.
How We Give Back
Here at Cheryl Saban Glass, we donate a portion of our sales to community organizations that work with women and children.
We've donated to such organizations as The Rape Foundation, Dream Center and Project Angel Food, in keeping with my commitment to the well-being of the most vulnerable among us, women and children. Several times a year, we visit organizations that are doing good in these important spaces to learn about them and their work.
Then, we choose one organization as our recipient for a quarter. We've helped fund meals for seniors and others who are facing food crises and directed donations to organizations that provide services for women in the military, among others. We're always open to hearing about organizations that are working to bring hope, healing and joy to our neighbors in difficult circumstances. We just try to make a tiny dent in the world of woe so many in our city are experiencing.
How You Can Give Back
Every once in a while, someone will tell me they love how we're giving back and wish there was a way they could do it, too. Here's the thing — you can. I believe everyone can find their own ways to help others. It just means taking stock of your resources and figuring out where they can best be applied.
Monetary donations are just one way of giving back. While not all businesses are highly successful, there is always something a business can do. It can be as simple as putting a box in a corner of the office to collect food donations for a local food pantry, or as complex as organizing a volunteer day to do home repairs for seniors who can't physically do the labor any longer. If you give your employees and co-workers a chance to help out, you'll be amazed at their generosity of spirit, time and energy.
Giving back isn't as difficult as you might think. You don't need to create a big, strategic philanthropy plan. If a cause speaks to you — perhaps a family member has epilepsy — find a way to connect with that cause. You don't have to have a personal connection, though: Adopt a classroom in a poor school district and donate school supplies or collect gifts for foster children who might not otherwise have much of a holiday.
If you can harness the power of your creativity to engage in successful endeavors, you can turn a little bit of that passion outwards to the world around you. Whether you give of your time, talent or treasure, you can get involved. And I guarantee that you'll feel good about it. Generosity adds beauty to every piece of art.