About Rani and SOS Children's Villages
Opening the shop
Simply The Best opened in November 2009. In the beginning, all we wanted to do was get the shop up and running as soon as possible - time kept slipping by and then we were on the road towards Christmas. However, we managed to open on the 16th and then we were very busy all the way to Christmas. Happy days!
Where to go now?
Now we wanted to consolidate our ideals. We'd started off as a Fair Trade shop - we started branching out into organic and recycled products, while recycling as much as possible as we could ourselves. Next step was 'Giving Back'.
We decided to start selling some promotional items; pens, LED torches - and jute bags. All branded with 'Simply The Best' - and offering a portion of their profits to 'a cause'. But what should the cause be? We decided that as children were very important to us, we should contact a children's charity. Again - which one? As we were a 'Fair Trade' shop, involved in trying to make lives better for those overseas, by buying their products, we found out about SOS Children's Villages.
SOS Children's Villages
A worldwide organisation, one of SOS' big selling points to me was the fact that *every penny* donated - goes directly where it should. They make *no* administration deductions from donations. How does this work?
They rely solely on 'Gift Aid', whereby the UK Government gives the charity the tax you would have paid. The cost to you, the benefactor, is the same; your intended recipient gets the full amount of your donation and the Government effectively pays for the running of the program. Sounded good to me.
Contacting SOS - and discovering Rani
We contacted SOS and they sent us details of a wee girlie named Rani, who had just come to a SOS Children's Village that year. Perfect! We wanted to sponsor a young lassie, as we knew we were in it for the long term. And this is how we came to sponsor Rani. We send a small amount every month, ongoing - and reserve other money from the sale of our promotional items for when she is older.
Distributing the pot
Depending on the size of the pot, we will split it between Rani and the SOS Children's Village in Kolkata, which is where we have our 'Simply The Best' jute bags made. We give *all* the profits from these to SOS, as we believe as we get the exposure by folk carrying them, as long as our costs are covered, then the rest should go to 'our cause'.
All About Rani
This blog is about Rani - the updates we receive from SOS Children's Villages about her and her Village. And, of course, we get yearly photo updates!
- Gavin Wright