Giving Back to Community
Living and Giving with Pride: Auburn, Alabama
Campus Beauty Brand Gives Back by Supporting College Volunteerism
In 2014, Jennifer Walsh launched Pride & Glory, a beauty brand that creates college-labeled products and returns part of its revenue to student-run charitable efforts on those campuses.
Here, she shares her experience working in Auburn, Alabama, where a portion of Pride & Glory's proceeds go to Auburn University's Center for Community Service.
Generosity and giving seem to be the way people live in Auburn, Alabama, and how they do business. This people of this city are rich in pride for its heritage and for their university.
I can't drive through the city without admiring the sheer beauty of the campus and the quickly growing community surrounding it. What is so impressive is the number of small businesses that are popping up all throughout the city.
"As a big school with a small town feel, the history and the support of the community really makes the difference for students," says McKenzie Huggins, a junior. "Mostly all of the people that work in the shops downtown are Auburn students, Auburn alumni, or big supporters of the university, so you're more than likely to run into a friend or make a new one."
That community feeling extends to charitable work as well, with extensive campus programs that match students with local organizations.
"The university has made it so easy to get involved with volunteering on campus and in the Auburn community," Huggins says. "There is an organization on campus called IMPACT where you choose a site you want to volunteer at, and then meet on campus, and you will be provided transportation to go volunteer with a group of students. Greek life at Auburn is also very service-minded. My sorority's national philanthropy is Autism Speaks, so I have been fortunate to volunteer at events that benefit our philanthropy and increase awareness."
I recently had the pleasure of meeting local business owners when I was asked to give the keynote address at the annual Women's Philanthropy Board Winter Luncheon this past February. It was an impressive crowd of men and women who joined together to hear inspiring stories and network at The Hotel at Auburn University.
I was in awe of their stories and what they do within the city of Auburn.
Stacy Brown, founder of Chicken Salad Chick, had a story that really stood out to me. She said she set out to create the best tasting chicken salad, but soon realized that people had varying opinions on what tasted the best. She began mixing up batches in her kitchen and selling them door-to-door until the health department told her that was illegal.
That lit a fire under Stacy and her husband to open their first restaurant space, and they now have locations throughout the southeast. Stacy had a passion and a true love for what she was creating, and best of all, she felt a true connection to her customers. Her tight-knit community helped inspire her to keep going.
It is that same connection that has inspired me throughout the years. It is why I chose to work in college towns, with college students and with the businesses that make these communities vibrant and charitable.
Photo: iStock/Getty Images | Jennifer Walsh is the founder of The Beauty Bar and Pride & Glory.