I woke up this morning thinking about razors.

Specifically, about razors for a homeless teen… along with soap, shampoo, a toothbrush and food for his cat.

But first I have to back up and share a post from pundit Seth Godin.

(He's the one to come up with the catchy title) Because I woke up thinking about making the time to go get the supplies before the school day started, I was amazed at the timing. Seth talks about the internet specifically, but I want to add to this with a belief I’m passionate about: ANYBODY with a good idea can make a huge physical difference in their community—and through the internet, potentially the world.

Four years ago, my sister and I were having lunch. Her youngest was going to kindergarten, and she had some time to volunteer, and asked what I thought were some needs of kids in schools. I told her about my frustration with all the needy kids without needed supplies in our public schools and how stressed out, financially strapped parents can’t provide the many supplies needed just when schools provide less and less… And right there over lunch we dreamed up a nonprofit, Keiki Cupboard.

Our wonderful logo, donated by Maui Design Network!

Keiki Cupboard is a grassroots, 100% volunteer organization. We provide school, hygiene, and shoe supplies to kids in need through the counselors at their schools- no fuss, no calls home, no application forms. We do all our fundraising outside of school so as not to add to demands on already-stressed families. Lately we’ve partnered with the local food bank to give afterschool snacks to hungry kids cared for by schools… and we’ve grown as volunteers joined, and money came in, and now we have Cupboards in 12 schools on our island of Maui.

Keiki Cupboard is an idea that took form and prospered. It’s a model that could work in your community too if you want to take it on! Check out our website here.

Yes, there are a lot of “bandits” out there—spammers, pirates, jerks, wastrels, lubbards, losers and fools. But I think there are even more philanthropists who, if they knew what they could do and found a cause they cared about, could mobilize to change the world—one pair of shoes at a time.

What are you—bandit, lubbard or philanthropist?

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