When I was little, my most prized possession was my Curious George stuffed animal. George was more than a toy to me; he was an extension of me. I couldn’t leave home without him. The few times we were separated (once he was left in a taxi and another time a laundromat) there were tears shed, but somehow we managed to find each other.
Decades later, at an exhibit at a the Contemporary Jewish Museum, I learned that the creators of my childhood obsession, H.A. and Margret Rey, had fled Germany during World War II and came to America as refugees. To me, Curious George is a symbol of American childhood and it had never occurred to me that he was any less American than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade or a slice of apple pie.
At Clearly Kombucha, we donate 1% of the purchase price of each Clearly Kombucha bottle to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a global aid and relief organization that helps refugees to build a healthier, more secure future for families uprooted by persecution, conflict or natural disaster. The IRC is a nonprofit that responds to humanitarian crises all over the world and brings people to safety in over 40 countries. Now, more than ever, I know that we have partnered with one of the most stand up organizations in the world.
Every time that I read denouncements against welcoming refugees during this crisis, I am deeply saddened by it. Safety is a basic human right and who are we to leave citizens of the world in perilous situations? If we don’t rise to the occasion with welcoming arms, I am afraid that we could have a repeat of the Holocaust and this time, heroes like Curious George might never stand a chance.
So today, on Black Friday, I urge you to think about what matters to you. Shop consciously. As a shopper and business owner, I understand the importance of shopping for gifts and treasuring some material possessions (case in point: Curious George). But I urge you to THINK about your choices. As you shop, I encourage you to shop smarter. Support brands with a social mission or even better: donate to an organization in honor of your loved ones. Most importantly, be grateful that you have a safe place in this melting pot of a country that we call home.
To learn more about the IRC visit www.rescue.org
Clearly Kombucha Co-Founder & CEO