Thank you for helping us make a difference
One of the amazing parts of my job is getting to support my favourite charities each month and receiving mail from the children at The School of StJude, who are our major benefactor. There is just no way that I would run a successful business without an active charity program in place. In Australia, we are so blessed and take many things for granted - clean water, toilets, electricity, being able to borrow money safely. Each month, I share some of the Shop Naturally love around the planet, ensuring that we have a positive impact with people that can't always afford to help themselves. Thank you, truly, for supporting us and allowing me to do this.
~ Joanne Musgrave, General Manager & Founder of Shop Naturally
The School of St Jude
The School of St Jude is a school in Tanzania, started and run purely on donations. It was founded by Australian woman Gemma Sisia, who many of you may know from the features done on the ABC's Austalian Story. From the humble beginnings of a $10 donation to open a bank account and 3 students in 2002, in 2010, the school boasted 1300 students, three campuses and boarding for students. It just keeps getting bigger each year.
The education at St Judes is free and is offered to gifted hard working students whose poverty would never allow them to get an education otherwise. These children live in mud huts with no windows, no electricity, and some of them spend up to 3 hours walking to and from school each day just to get an education. Parents struggle to afford to buy the soap it takes to wash the school uniforms the children get given.
150 new students are taken each year, and thousands of applicants travel long distances by foot and wait for hours for the opportunity to apply. Not only does the school provide an education for these children, but it employs hundreds of locals to keep it running and to build the ever expanding rooms and lodgings needed to expand the school each year.
Shop Naturally started by in 2010 by sponsoring one of the teachers at St Judes. In 2014, we now sponsor a student and also a boarding room that allows 8 students to spend their week on campus, with all food & education provided.
I have both family and business associates who have travelled to Tanzania to see first hand how the school operates and what they manage to do with their donations. They're magicians at whipping a small amount of money in to something fantasitc.
Kiva are a non-profit microcredit organisation who give out 'loans that changes lives'. Actor Hugh Jackman is an avid supporter of microcredit. We love supporting small business people in third world countries who struggle to find a safe way to borrow money to keep their businesses alive.
We joined Kiva the year our business started and also periodically give out $25 Kiva credits to Shop Naturally customers who want to get in to the giving spirit but can't afford to participate on their own. All money is re-paid to us (we've never had anyone default on a loan) and when we get the money back, it gets loaned out to someone else.
Past charities we've supported
Over time, we have made many one off and regular donations to the following charities.
- World Vision Child Sponsorship
- World Vision's Water Health Life program
- ME/CFS Society of Australia
- The Smith Family Christmas Appeal
- Aunties & Uncles