This isn’t necessarily a story about restorative justice, although many who find themselves homeless after incarceration are as likely to benefit from The Giving Keys as anyone else.
A few months back, I noticed a necklace my daughter was wearing that had a key on the end of it. I asked her about it and she said it was given to her as a bridesmaid’s gift from her friend, the bride, for being one of her bridesmaids. She told me the key came from this place in Los Angeles called, The Giving Keys. So, I checked it out and was very impressed with their mission and story. A story of paying it forward in a loving and unique way.
Caitlin Crosby, actress and singer/songwriter, founded the company through a series of serendipitous circumstances that created a jewelry line made with keys, each stamped with an inspiring word that holds its own story for the wearer of the key. The hope is that when the owner doesn’t need the “story” any longer, the key will be passed on to another that may need the word and the key to unlock the empowerment inside themselves to create their new story. As Caitlin puts it, “Realizing that, in a way, we are all like these keys – unique, flawed, scarred, and sometimes discarded by others.”
The Giving Keys partners with Goodwill, PATH and Chrysalis, to assist individuals transitioning out of homelessness into a self-sustaining life. Each person working with Giving Keys has their own unique story to share and I would invite you to read them along with the stories of others who have shared their stories of Paying it Forward to others who were in need of that human connection and support. These are truly inspiring stories and incredible people sharing of themselves in a very simple, but open way.
I have my own giving keys and I have given keys to others, who just needed to know someone was there and understood what it was like for them.
By paying it forward, we all benefit.
Inspired by Herb Blake
This section is devoted to the inspired work of those dedicated to addressing the needs of the recently released from incarceration, individuals that have been victimized and the community to heal and know that in the human community all things are possible.