Ever see something like a child smile at a playful, sweet puppy? or the way warm sunshine can kiss your cheeks on a spring afternoon? What about the things you hear and it warms your heart, encourages your uniqueness, embracing your flaws, giving hope to others, and well, yourself? Sounds like a grand thing, and how could all those emotions be wrapped up in one thing? The answer, and continuing story, is simple….
The Giving Keys is an organization that gives back to struggling people, as well as provides hope and a reminder of strength to those that need it. The function of the organization is the idea that you buy a key necklace, with whatever word you want; words to pick from include “hope”, “truth”, “live”, “love”, and “peace” to name a few. That key is found somewhere and collected to have your hand-picked word metal stamped and placed on a chain as a necklace.
The premise is that each key has it’s own story – blemished, used, tattered, but beautiful – just like the receiver. And furthermore, when someone gets the key, they must give it away at some point to a person they feel needs the message. After that, The Giving Keys wants to hear the stories of your path with the key and how you gave it away. The word stamped on represents the encouragement you need, a word that got you through a hard time, or something you are working to obtain; truly, just as each key is unique, so is the story behind the key’s wearer, and that word is up to you.
With great encouragement you would receive from the Giving Keys, amazing things start small. It all began with a New York hotel room key. Actress and singer/songwriter Caitlin Crosby, the founder of The Giving Keys, wore a key as a necklace and had the idea to start engraving old, used keys with inspirational words at a locksmith in LA. When she would perform, she sold the keys at her merchandise tables, and the demand was nonstop; she would in between shows run around trying to find keys and engrave them to keep up with demands in fact.
After seeing a need for her growing inspirational keys, she ran into a homeless couple on the infamous Hollywood Blvd, Cera and Rob, and knew she found the right people for the organization. Once partnering with The Giving Keys and making it thrive by finding, engraving, and distributing keys, a once homeless couple came to buy their very own apartment. Not only are The Giving Keys changing the lives of the ones buying them, but changing the lives of the ones engraving them too.
Are you feeling those warm feelings in your stomach yet? As the business started to develop, more partner relationships were built and now The Giving Keys have ten employees that are trying to transition out of homelessness. Through this time, the organization have helped them open bank accounts, provided financial planning support, and now five of the ten earned to get their own apartments and support themselves.
I just recently received my giving keys, and I love them. I order a key with the word “hope” on it, to help remind me the hope I have in the future and in God, despite present circumstances being scary. When I got it, I found that the other side had
accidentally been engraved with the word “grace”; oddly enough, I have been praying for grace in situations that my family is going through with health complications. What a seeming accident turned out to be such a good encouragement and reminder. The other was marked “trust”, where it describes this time in my life. Now oftentimes I proudly wear my keys, filling a reminder of inspiration to my day, as well as looking great to the eye.
These words mean an immense amount to me; in a time where my life was crumbling – family members dying left and right, being diagnosed with a rough body syndrome, and feeling down – hope in God was all I had. Trust, for times when I didn’t understand why life has’t turned around, but believing God to hold us. And grace, for times when you need mercy covering you survive. So what’s your word? your key? When you figure it out, I hope you wear your key, pay it forward, and write a story.
To buy a Giving Key, for yourself or for a friend, visit the lovely site, www.thegivingkeys.com.