Using Business for Good | An Update on The Okra Project
Bluebird Botanicals has always aimed to be a company that leads from our heart, not our bank account. We let compassion guide our business decisions by offering customer assistance programs, supporting nonprofits, and working to standardize health- and environmentally-conscious standards across the CBD and larger supplement industry.
This year has been especially tough. From a global pandemic to tough conversations and ongoing demonstrations about the fatal impacts of racism, standing up for what we believe in and supporting one another has become a top priority. And one way Bluebird continues to use business as a force for good is by supporting organizations already doing good work for the causes we believe in. One of those has been our ongoing hunger-relief work with Conscious Alliance.
That’s why during Pride Month, Bluebird Botanicals decided to focus our food insecurity work on supporting the Black Trans community. We offered a special Pride Label version of our Hemp Classic product in support of The Okra Project. The Okra Project seeks to address the global crisis faced by black transgender people by bringing home-cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources directly to them.
Founded just over a year and a half ago, The Okra Project has been making a big difference in the black transgender community - especially during COVID. While The Okra Project is still addressing food insecurity, they’ve also shifted their work to include financial distribution and otherwise supporting people. This includes paying rent or bills, posting bail, doing anything possible to make sure that people are taken care of and have what they need during this time of crisis.
The Okra Project also established the Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund and the Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Fund following the recent killings of Nina Pop and Tony McDade, both transgender individuals. These funds are dedicated to connecting Black transgender and nonbinary people with mental health services. The initial $15,000 commitment from The Okra Project for this fund has already been more than doubled through community donations.
But their main programming centers around hiring black trans chefs to cook healthy meals at absolutely no cost for other black trans people in their homes. For those currently experiencing homelessness or those whose homes cannot support cooking, The Okra Project has partnered with institutions and other community spaces to deliver foods.
Bluebird’s Pride-edition Hemp Classic product allowed us to donate a small portion of proceeds to The Okra Project. However, this was just one small way to support the work of The Okra Project. We still want to call attention to their greater impact and encourage you to provide further direct support to their programs, if you are able.
The Okra Project provides meals free of charge to the black transgender folks they serve. Their programs cost $90 to operate, including chef’s pay and groceries. It would take just 18 donations of $5 to cover the cost of a dinner from The Okra Project!
Bluebird’s work with The Okra Project continues our quest to use business as a force for good and supports our mission to make happy and healthy lives radically accessible to all. If you know an organization you would like to nominate to be a benefit of a future Bluebird Botanicals project, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Bluebird Gives Back,” so we can open a conversation about a partnership for future fundraising.