Lately I’ve often found myself recalling the words of Fred Rogers: in times of crisis, we should look to the helpers to guide us through. That’s just what Catherine Hildner of Kitty Meow Boutique in Naperville, Illinois, did, and in the process became something of a helper herself.

It all started when Lisa Zahakos of Mia Girl XO, a children’s boutique in Old Bridge, New Jersey, reached out. Lisa, who pivoted her business to help #SewAwayCorona via the 100 Million Mask Challenge, asked if Catherine would donate any of her new TY Nurse cards to be included with the masks Lisa was donating. Catherine rose to the occasion and donated some 700 greeting cards — that’s a lot of gratitude!

If you’re unfamiliar with Kitty Meow, it’s a very polished range, but it definitely has an edge to it. Catherine describes her brand as “fun, FIERCE, and designed to make women feel confident, empowered, and courageous enough to take the bull by the horns.” So now that all stylish snark is supporting others — and really, what front line hero can’t benefit from a bit of that?

As Catherine put it, “I’m not out there risking my life & health, but if using my own talents and resources to show gratitude and to bring a smile to a health care heroes face, then sign me up. We all can do our small part, and this is simply contributing by doing what I do best.” 

Meanwhile, the card above is a finalist in the Most Encouraging Card Category at the Noted@*Noted awards, so congratulations Catherine! I love that sweet little heart band-aid. (I’m planning on showcasing all the finalists here next week so stay tuned!) Meanwhile Catherine is offering free shipping with the code THINKINGOFYOU.

Big cheers as well to UWP Luxe, for donating their entire remaining supply of gift soaps to Freestore Foodbank and Shelterhouse in Cincinnati — that’s some 45,000 bars! Even without the packaging, these are top-notch soaps in terms of scent, smoothness and softness (over the years of covering the gift industry, I have become something of a soap snob).

UWP Luxe’s George White (who is also the current president of the Greeting Card Association) told me, “with the CDC’s hand-washing directive, soap is at a premium and calls for soap were increasing, even from the likes of Children’s Hospital here, so we decided this was the best use of our soaps. Freestore will get them to those most in need. We’re all in this together.”

Use the code KEEPINTOUCH at UWP Luxe for 15% off your order of $20 or more.

Meanwhile, every day I’m stumbling across more paper and gift peeps making a big difference.

Lovepop has completely pivoted manufacturing its luxe popup cards to manufacturing face shields. Eventually Lovepop will be churning out up to 40,000 a day, and is working on a prototype to start manufacturing hospital gowns soon.

I came across all the below courtesy of NY NOW, who is also highlighting how all its exhibitors are making a difference.

Lauren HB Studio, based here in Cleveland, started making masks for frontline workers and is now offering them to the public as well.

The Scottish family operation Essence of Harris has put scented candles on hold to produce free hand sanitizer for their community. They’re also running weekly meditation, yoga and self-care sessions via IGTV.

In Minnesota, Moxie Malas specializes in jewelry, but is also now sewing masks for COVID-19 patients and providers. 100% of the proceeds from the I AM FEARLESS bracelet linked above funds their materials.

Finally, this dwell article delves into 50 retailers getting into the act as well.

When we come out on the other side of this, I know I won’t be the only one who remembers everyone out there now helping out in their own way, as they can! Stay well all.

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