Lindsay Dudeck recently moved from the Farm Belt to the Rocky Mountains, and she still hasn’t gotten over the sense of wonder and perspective that comes with a long-range view.
She thinks about her own impact in much the same way. As a nonprofit professional, Lindsay works to alleviate child poverty half a world away, and as the mother to an adopted son, she tries to instill positive values that will last into the distant future.
Whether it’s a corner lemonade stand that helps local families affected by Covid or handmade clay labels that provide clean water in Africa, Lindsay looks for ways to have a positive impact with her everyday spending.
CC: At the highest level, why do you shop in support of social causes?
LD: I feel a responsibility to love, care for and support my fellow humans, especially those who lead a noble cause. Whether that’s education, health or environmental impact, I will put my resources behind those causes.
I believe most Americans are blind to how good we have it compared to the rest of the world. Too often, we take our health, education, jobs and homes for granted. I look up and out and see beyond my small world and find a much larger one that is hurting – one I can help encourage and support.
If I have a choice as to where I want my money to go – to a box store/chain restaurant, or to the local business owner, I’ll always choose the latter. I admire those with the entrepreneurial spirit and anything I can do to support them is a benefit for all. Additionally, I’ve given my career to working with and for social causes in parks and recreation, churches, and nonprofits.
CC: What was the last item you bought from a social enterprise, and why did you buy it?
LD: A few cups of lemonade from the boys down the street who were selling it on the corner every Friday! They are raising money to give to families in need in our city, amidst the pandemic. I so admire their sacrifice and dedication – it’s a great model and motivation for my young son too.
I also just bought some essential oils from Savhera (thanks to Cause Consumer’s recent story). I don’t love buying my oils from multi-level marketing companies, so I had been purchasing at our local health foods store. But, when I learned about Savhera’s history and mission I was compelled to support them.
CC: When you’re looking to buy an item in support of a cause, what’s the cause that moves you most?
LD: Typically, a few factors come into the decision. First, I think I’m what marketers would call a “shrewd steward,” meaning I direct my giving where I trust it will achieve maximum impact. I want to find organizations that will use my resources efficiently and effectively.
Second, I gravitate toward causes that involve supporting women and children. As a white woman in America, I’m very aware of the privilege I have and know it is not so for most other women in the world. So, whatever I can do to provide them with love, support and encouragement, I will.
Finally, our family motto is “Love God. Love others. Change the world.” Sometimes that looks like something small and close to home, while other times it’s something massive and global. Whatever cause it is, when it can accomplish those three elements, I’m wholeheartedly supporting it.
CC: We like to think about lifestyle spending in five big buckets: travel and leisure, food and drink, home, fashion, and wellness. As you think about your own lifestyle, if you wanted to shift $5 a week (or $20 a month) from “regular” companies to social impact companies, where would be the easiest area to do it?
LD: I value health and nutrition quite highly, and am always on the lookout for products that are local, organic and even better, support a social cause. On Sundays, I drive 30 miles into the country so I can buy fresh, local, organic produce from a small farm stand. I also regularly peruse the aisles of our local health food store to see what social cause products I could purchase.
CC: What are three books and/or podcasts that help you stay focused on your everyday impact?
LD: I’ve learned so much from Krista Tippett’s On Being podcast and always walk away with a helpful piece of knowledge or tangible improvement I can make.
I just finished reading Poor Economics by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, and I’m currently reading When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. Both center around rethinking how to fight and alleviate global poverty.
CC: Finally, what is one social impact brand or product that you’d like to see featured on Cause Consumer? Whose story should we tell next?
LD: People should know about Mud Love, a great group of artists who use pottery to love others, give back and support clean water through Water for Good. From that was also born Belove, a “give-back gift shop” in Winona Lake, Indiana, that sells mission-first products and invests 10% of sales in community projects.
Spend for good: Do you consider yourself a Cause Consumer? Please shoot us an email and tell us how you’re trying to make the world a better place with your everyday spending. Who knows, you might be our next “Why I Buy” feature!
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