With the idea and mission of helping homeless people in mind, The Giving Keys brought worn-out keys back to life by giving them a new purpose — to inspire and help. With ten years of experience up their sleeves, The Giving Keys has gathered a large following of celebrities and thousands of supporters whose desire is to help those in need. The Giving Keys was founded to inspire people everywhere across the globe to “pay it forward.”
I had the chance to interview Caitlin Crosby, a singer-songwriter and actress who founded the company in 2008, intending to create jobs with a social impact. The Giving Keys began as a jewelry firm that specialized in keys with words engraved on them. It has since grown to be even bigger, better, and more fashionable than it was before. Their products are not just inexpensive, but they are also not just necklaces. The jewelry line has since grown to include earrings, bracelets, graphic tees, key chains, and “has more to come,” according to founder Caitlin Crosby.
Caitlin gave me a snippet on what the catalyst for The Giving Keys was. “I was in a New York hotel. The key that I got was old and rusted, and I had an idea to use it as a pendant for my necklace to not lose it. When I got home to Los Angeles, I had a locksmith engraved the word “love.” Everyone who saw me wearing the pendant loved it and gave me endless compliments. I bought other keys and engraved “faith,” “strength,” “hope,” and other inspiring and motivating words and sold it during and in between tours. People who bought these pieces of jewelry resonated with the words and got inspired.” The Giving Keys has a mission that is one to support. “Paying it forward” is their motto and mission, and every purchase made from them helps create jobs for persons moving from homelessness to stable housing.
I asked Caitlin how paying it forward helped in changing the lives of those who are in need. “Before the pandemic, we were employing people who were trying to transition from homelessness. We employed 140 people for over a decade,” she answered. Employees are offered a variety of wonderful benefits with each position, including time off to find housing, schooling, and case management appointments. They also aim to foster an encouraging environment that supports the individual as a whole, not just their financial well-being.
Caitlin also made some changes throughout the pandemic to still be able to help those who are in need. “Since the pandemic, we had to lay some of our employees off. We lost the office and have shifted to donating the proceeds from our online sales to our favorite non-profit organization, Chrysalis, where they help people that are trying to transition from homelessness.” A percentage of the earnings from their eCommerce platform go to individuals shifting out of homelessness and unemployment.
The Giving Keys pushes to continuously make a difference in the community not only through financial help but also through inspiring people who are at their lowest. The idea of “paying it forward” is to pass the necklace to someone the initial user thinks would be helped by the word engraved on the key. “It’s important to pass on these keys, which have stories of hope behind them and are used as words of inspiration for others to keep going through tough times: words of positivity, strength, hope, love, and light.” She adds.
Another thing that motivates her to continue the excellent work they do at The Giving Keys is the joy she found in helping people. “I just love spreading goodness and positivity, and I know how much they help me in things I’m going through with my life. They help me through life and life’s challenges and different seasons. I love seeing them help other people as well. Helping people by encouraging them through this crazy, roller-coaster world we live in.”
As my interview with Caitlin was coming to its end, I asked her what legacy she would like The Giving Keys to want to share with the community. Her answer was short yet inspiring – something you would expect out of a person who just wants to show people that there is hope amidst the darkness. She ended the interview with a strong message: “There’s always hope and you are not alone. Use the things – everything we’ve gone through — whether it’s a pain or hardship and turn that into your life’s testimony. Use that to help other people knowing that they can go through what they’re going through as well.”
The Giving Keys is an incredible source of inspiration for everyone, and supporting their cause can help change another person’s life. It’s mind-blowing and amazing at the same time to consider that positive words – words of inspiration and motivation – might boost one’s confidence, optimism, and drive. Each key can help a person change their perspective in life and help them overcome the hardships they are going through – transforming a person’s life one key at a time.
Check out some of The Giving Keys’ products on Amazon or on their website, www.thegivingkeys.com, where you can get 25% off with the code FRIENDS25, thanks to Caitlin Crosby and the rest of the team at The Giving Keys.