Why We Give

I was recently telling a friend about our plans to partner with About Fresh this Holiday Season and to give a significant portion of our proceeds to their work of getting healthy food to communities that need it most. My friend asked me why we would do this when we still can't even pay ourselves a salary. 'You guys are only just making money, why would you give now?'

With the ongoing, and now a surging pandemic, it’s a tired realization that this holiday season will be different. It will be lonelier. Many of us will remain isolated from our families and loved ones. Even in a normal year, the approaching of winter can feel dreadful and sad. As the temperature drops and the days shorten, I often find myself sinking into a seasonal depression resulting from a deficiency in social connection and Vitamin D. In most years, I will visit my family in Florida in the last week of December where I can receive an emergency dose of both, but this year that will not happen.

I think the dread of winter can feel like a pit, a hole where something important is missing and I think a lot of times we try to fill it by buying things. Since the start of the pandemic, the 'goods' economy has grown by 6%. We buy shoes and games and amazon echoes, and most of us know that this won't work.

Clichés that tell us to give abound. 'It is better to give than to receive.', 'The more you give, the more you get.', etc. We've all heard this countless times and yet the idea that you can fill in something that feels like a pit, by giving things away is so counterintuitive that many of us still fail to take the idea seriously.

As of today, Hot Dates have been on the market for a little over two months, and though we are doing better than we hoped for, we are still quite a ways away from recouping our initial investment and from being able to pay ourselves a salary. Nevertheless, in addition to donating to GiveWell and The Clean Air Task Force on an ongoing basis, we will also be partnering with About Fresh through this Holiday season. We will be donating 50% of profits from our online sales to their efforts to strengthen communities by getting healthy food to households that need it most. About Fresh operates its mobile market, Fresh Truck, to bring affordable, healthy food to 15+ Boston neighborhoods in a convenient and safe experience that honors local food culture. In response to Covid-19, they are also working with health systems and government agencies to bring fresh produce and staples to households that need them most through their Fresh Box program.

We choose to make this partnership because despite being such a young company, we could. We don't have any outside investors and we have other jobs that allow us to pay our own bills without drawing a salary from Hot Dates, and for a small business, this is a very rare circumstance. We have the opportunity to support our community from day one and like many others this Holiday season, we are looking to fill a pit. That is why we give, especially now.

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