Ever since Mimochai started in 2015, we've been donating a portion of our proceeds to causes we hold dear to our hearts. It's always been an important part of our mission and values.
We took another step to create this Giving Back post on our site in 2020 to specifically highlight the wonderful organizations we support. We're inspired to share more about why we created the page and our giving back philosophy.
We generally seek to support organizations in our local communities that are helping to bring the creative arts to children from marginalized backgrounds, such as Inner-City Arts and 826LA. While we admire the work of large non-profits, we believe smaller local organizations can have a unique immediate impact and better understand local needs.
In addition to financial contributions, we have also donated our time to:
- Presenting at Career Day for Inner-City Arts;
- Speaking at Arts Career Exposition Day at Garfield Elementary;
- Illustrating and designing a book cover for 826LA and their partnership with Paramount Pictures and Helen Bernstein High School;
- Speaking as a panelist at New York City's High School of Art & Design;
and other volunteer efforts.
Inner-City Arts in particular is personal to me because they serve the community in the middle of Skid Row, the homeless district in downtown LA. I lived in downtown LA for ten years and often drove by this area, a constant humbling reminder of the need to find a better way to serve the thousands of homeless people living on the streets next to million-dollar condos. Inner-City Arts is a beautiful non-profit campus that is a literal oasis in this community.
Images of Inner-City Arts Campus via inner-cityarts.org
As a child, I grew up in the public school system and had very little exposure to the arts. I think the arts are part of an essential education. I believe an arts education can make a world of difference in helping kids learn to express themselves, nurture their creative thinking, and become more open-minded citizens. Communication, creativity, and empathy—these are all critical skills many are lacking in adulthood.
While I wish a quality arts and mindfulness education was a part of every school program, I am glad there are organizations trying to bridge that gap and we are proud to support them.
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard (image via Fast Company)
I've long admired companies such as Patagonia who are very successful in their business and principled in their charity. Founder Yvon Chouinard has been a leading example of someone who isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes in and find ways to use his company's resources and influence to make a real difference. (Read also: Fast Company, "Patagonia founder Yvon Choinard talks about the sustainability myth, the problem with Amazon—and why it's not too late to save the planet.")
I'm also deeply inspired by spiritual leaders such as Thich Nhat Hanh and the sense of service that drives the mindfulness work they do with children and others in need.
Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, via dnaindia.com
That's why we created this Giving Back section and made it a more central aspect of Mimochai. In addition to simply donating to our selected organizations, we think it's important to amplify the good work being done in our community.
We will also begin to better highlight the various volunteer and in-kind donation programs we participate in, including our volunteer speaking engagements at schools across the country.
A happy shared moment while volunteering at the Inner-City Arts Career Fair
Thank you for supporting Mimochai, in our mission with both our direct art work and our giving back efforts. -M