Did you know that one in six children in Minnesota face hunger daily? If you think that’s jarring, consider this: 13 million children nationwide are hungry.
Eric and Susan Elwer are fighting those numbers with their new company, Hands & Feet – an apparel company that donates half of its proceeds to organizations working to end childhood hunger in the United States. The idea for the business came about when Susan learned that a four-year-old in her preschool class had been going without lunch for the first three months of school. Having grown up in a single-parent household that relied on welfare, Susan knew this was her moment to do something.
Hands & Feet was recently certified as Woman’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the nation’s largest third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women. We had the opportunity to ask Susan some questions about launching her dream company:
What is your desire?
To be of service to others and to leave a legacy of love.
How does Hands & Feet tap into your desire?
Hands & Feet allows me to have a direct impact on the lives of children in our community and across the United States. By creating inspiring and encouraging messages on our apparel, I’m hoping to change the conversation.
Why is it important to you to create impact?
At the end of my time on Earth, I want to know that my life mattered, that I was here for a reason. It’s important to me that I know I made a difference in at least one person’s life.
What has been surprising about your journey launching Hands & Feet?
How it’s becoming easier for me to step out of my comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not my favorite thing and often times I’m afraid and nervous about being judged. However, I’ve come to realize (although at times begrudgingly) this is where real growth happens.
What are you reading?
What are you searching for?
My passion is children. Whether it’s teaching them or helping them get the food they need to thrive. I continue to look for ways to educate myself so I can make a bigger impact.
What advice do you have for folks looking to create impact in their community?
Slow down and be present. If I hadn’t slowed down and reflected on the need I saw in one 4-year-old boy’s life – Hands & Feet wouldn’t be here today. When you see an opportunity, move on it! One simple act can make an impact beyond your wildest imagination.
Would you like to hear Susan speak about launching Hands & Feet? She and her husband Eric are the subjects of our next Member Morning Series on Wednesday, April 25. This is a member-only event. Register here.