Aside from a few stints abroad, this past year was the first time in my life I haven’t lived in Lexington, KY. While I still work there, there is so much about this special city I miss daily. I grew up and attended school in Lexington – all of my life milestones happened there. It’s safe to say it will always hold a special place in my heart. Driving to and from work in Lexington every day, I spend a lot of time at gas stations. My precious little car only has a 10-gallon tank, so a few stops weekly are always necessary. Transitioning from broke college student to employed young professional certainly has positive financial implications. My idea to launch the #LexSpreadLove fundraiser and campaign actually began as I pulled away from the gas station and didn’t even bother to pick up my receipt or check how much I had spent. Being both financially independent and sound at 24 still doesn’t always feel real, but marked my first indication that it was time to give back.
I knew I could personally give to causes near to my heart, but wanted to make a greater impact in the community. One of the most under-utilized resources to do good in our community are our digital influencers. Through a small cohort of the #LexBloggerFam, a philanthropic fundraiser could be seen by an audience of over 150,000 – nearly all locally concentrated. Thus, the Lexington Blogger Community has teamed up to spearhead fundraising efforts this holiday season to celebrate love and community in Lexington, KY. 20% of shirt sales will directly benefit the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center, an organization made up of people with diverse backgrounds, skills, and philosophies who are united by a commitment to end sexual violence. Donations made through shirt purchases help fund critical programs such as a 24-hour crisis hotline, crisis intervention, therapy, and psycho-educational groups, legal and medical advocacy, community outreach to vulnerable populations, violence prevention and awareness education, and community engagement for systems change to reduce power-based personal violence.
This campaign extends far beyond shirts sold and money raised. The sentiment of #LexSpreadLove presents a challenge to community members and business owners to consider their reach and influence, and to utilize it for good especially during the holiday season. An effort months in the making, I am so proud of everyone who has jumped at the change to purchase a shirt, share our campaign, and to capture the essence of #LexSpreadLove.
- $25 raised provides 1 hour of therapy for sexual violence survivor
- $50 raised provides legal advocate for 1 hour
- $75 raised provides 1 violence prevention education workshop
- $100 raised covers 8 hours of volunteer training
Our goal to raise $1,000 for the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center requires the sale of 250 shirts. For all shirts sold today (Monday, November 20th), Space, Place & Southern Grace will personally match all donation amounts. All shirts ordered during the pre-sale window will ship before Christmas and you can use the code LOCAL at checkout to waive shipping fees for Lexington pickup.
Thank you to Bluegrass Script, Push Push Print, Stella Sharpe, and the countless other businesses and influencers who have made this campaign a reality!