Projects Of Discovery & Service




Why join the P.O.D.S.? Families have always wanted to impact their community but there is a real movement going on in our society today.

BOND AND SPEND TIME TOGETHER: In our individualistic and electronic obsessed society, we are yearning for in-person connection and relationship. Experiences have been shown to become part of our identity. Creating things that benefit the community is an easy way to get closer with family and friends.

INCREASE AWARENESS AND SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS: Between environmental issues, justice issues, economic issues, political issues, animal rights, healthcare issues, equality, inclusion, diversity, there are so many things to be mindful of these days. Educating ourselves about all these issues can be daunting. Lets listen, learn and discover together so that we can improve our awareness and raise the next generation of leaders, thinkers and world-changers.

HELP YOUR COMMUNITY AND THE WORLD: So many organizations rely on the goods, time and money given by private donors. Partnering with P.O.D.S. gives non-profits another access point for donors and introduces YOU to great, effective non-profits. One of the activities is locally focused- rippling kindness and love with simple acts in your community. One of the activities is focused for a non-profit and directly benefit their mission and clients. Kids and adults alike, can see how their time and crafty talents (or uncrafty talents :) ) can easily benefit people in need in their own backyard and around the world.

INCREASE CONVENIENCE FOR GIVING: With a huge variety of deserving organizations and limited resources in our pockets, how do we decide where our hard-earned money goes? It’s hard to find service opportunities that are age appropriate or accepting of kids. We are over-scheduled and find it hard to squeeze in all the “shoulds”: self care, reading, exercising, meal prepping, quality time with our family, organizing, working, the endless list goes on. So how do we add one more thing? Researching non-profits, scheduling age appropriate projects, gathering supplies for projects etc., it would take hours a day to set up a program for kids to learn about social issues as well as helping nonprofits. Joining the P.O.D.S. gives your family and/or group the tools and convenience you need to give to the community without the huge time commitment.

WHY Lottie and Dottie?

The Walt kids are in preschool and regularly bring home their introduction into “homework”. This usually consists of a bag passed on from another classmate filled with activities focusing on counting, shapes, colors, astrophysics, what-have-you. These activities are brilliantly led by Molly The Cow. I noticed, albeit unsurprisingly, that the kids listened to Molly way more than Mom’s instructions #momeffect .

When we were considering the instructions during the brainstorming/planning phase, this concept came to mind. What is an animal that is friendly, inclusive and helpful that can lead the kids/families in these activities?? A DOLPHIN! Dolphins are social, protective and helpful. They travel in pods. AHHHHH Pods. Our company is based on projects bringing together people. Hmmmm… P.O.D.S. Projects Of Discovery and Service. and this little calf was born.

Part of my village growing up included my two grandmothers. Two Scandinavian, smart, clever, hard-working, fair women full of moxie that I hold in high regard. After they both passed away in 2015, I have struggled with finding ways to honor them and keep their memory alive so that my children could bask in their wisdom and heritage. So, a fun way to have them breathe their inspiration into this venture is to name the dolphins Lottie (Charlotte) and Dottie (Dorothy). They would have loved this concept and I am sure their tenacious spirits will splash up along the way.

The Walt’s WHY:

Even as a very young girl, I have always had a deep need for fairness, justice and giving back. Matt and I believe it is just as important to raise our kids with an emphasis on social awareness and giving back to the community, as it is to teach them how to do chores and how to learn academically.

When our first born was two and a half, Hurricane Maria ravaged the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. At the time, we were living in a latino neighborhood in Chicago and many locals were Puerto Rican. After the disaster, local organizations were collecting money and goods to help the people impacted. Our son was immediately enthusiastic and gave a few dollars to the people collecting on the street. We talked about what happened and how we could help. He talks about that simple task today. **Hurricane Maria still negatively impacts Puerto Rico. Find out how to help here.

When we lived in Chicago we also had the opportunity to grow a relationship with a Syrian refugee family. We visited regularly, eating and playing our way to friendship. Our kids connected to children that didn’t look like them, worship like them, speak like them, live like them or have the same opportunities as them. Even though they were very young and we live in North Carolina now, they still talk about playing with their friends and the impact those relationships had on their lives.

In an effort to eliminate clutter and live more minimalistically, we collected our well-loved toys to donate to our local shelter. Our children were delighted and excited to find the toys that could go to kids that don’t have toys or books at their house. Seeing their enthusiasm sparked a thought in us that kids are inherently giving, we just don’t give them enough chances to flex those muscles.

We are in a time of growing equality and transparency. This is not without growing pains and tension. As a white family benefiting from a systemically racist society, how can we help amplify the voices and power of people of color? Listening, awareness and doing work in ourselves is a start. Kind P.O.D.S. is a way to learn about the racism that still permeates our world and to support people of color, specifically authors and illustrators of color. To learn more about racism, white privilege and how to do your work and be an ally in every situation, take courses/buy books /follow these powerful people: Rachel Rickets, Catriciology, Shishi Rose, ACLU, among others.

Social entrepreneurship is an increasingly popular business model and one that we value when we shop. I had the extreme privilege to work with Robyn Hill-Emmons through establishing a community garden a few years ago. She has written a very thoughtful essay about the future of giving, serving, non-profit and social entrepreneurship. This inspired my passion to take the social entrepreneurship route vs. a traditional business or non-profit model.

All of these circumstances as well as the opportunity to spend more time at home with my kids have brought me to “such a time as this”. I am excited to see what ripples through this venture. Diving into the P.O.D.S. has not only been a passion project but an honor. Join us…

From Rachel:)


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