I know here at Houndstooth we like to give props to people who give back to this community that we love so much (woo pig, am I right?). However, we also think it’s pretty important for you guys to get to know a few people on this team who inspire US to give back. These people are incredible. They work here, which means they put up with the dogs, the candy-stealing shop boys, and the shrieks coming from the karaoke machine, and they still use their spare time to impact the lives of others. Basically what we’re trying to say here is that we get it, you guys are cool. But guess what… we’re pretty cool, too.
Brooke is one of our super fly Sales Management Interns here at the shop. Every summer Brooke volunteers at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. She also visits the Ronald McDonald House regularly to help with the kiddos and cook meals! Brooke has been volunteering at Children’s Mercy for two years now. Her favorite memory there is being able to make the kids smile when they’re scared or in pain. She says she really tries to focus on bringing joy to their families. People like Brooke remind us to be better and do better. It's also really cool
Leigh identifies as a “photo taker” here at Houndstooth. Some people call that a photographer; we like to call her the modeling agent. Leigh and her mother visit an orphanage in Tanzania, Africa every summer. After five years of dedication to these children, they’ve grown to love the African people. They recently started a non-profit organization called Neema Foundation that supports the orphanage (“neema” means “grace” for those of you who haven’t brushed up on your Swahili). Their love for these children is immense, and it inspires us to love more every day. Also, interesting fact: the children at the orphanage think Leigh’s name is Lili because that’s how it sounds in Swahili. She said she just lets them think her name Lili. And that right there is proof that we hire team players.
Brianna is one of our awesome Sales and Administrative Interns. Every time she is home she volunteers for Western Neighbors which is located in Tulsa, OK. Western Neighbors gives fresh food, clothes, baby formula, diapers, and children’s toys to families in need. Brianna helps the families out while they’re picking out their groceries, packages it all up for them, and sometimes even gives them a ride to wherever they need to go. We asked her if she had a favorite memory volunteering there and this is what she said:
“One day while I was working, an elderly woman came in with her 3 grandkids: 2 toddlers and 1 baby in a stroller. She was in need of diapers, formula and basically everything else. She got all of things together… and then broke down in tears because she did not know how she was going to be able to carry all of her things, her grandkids, and get the stroller onto the next bus. She sat outside in the 100-degree heat for an hour waiting for the bus, so I finally went outside and offered her a ride home. She broke down again and told me she was so thankful for me and Western Neighbors… She came back every week after that.”
Emily Brittain (a.k.a. Britt)
Britt is another one of our super cool Sales Management Interns. She volunteers with Recess, which is a night of fun specifically for children with special needs. The parents drop their kiddos off, and the volunteers hang out and play with them! Britt is also the Director of Development of a non-profit organization called Operation Home Safe (OHS). OHS raises money for under-funded first responder agencies. Her favorite thing about volunteering with Recess is being able to work with the children and seeing them so happy in the end. Britt’s favorite thing about being involved with OHS is knowing she can go out and make a difference in public safety. One time she worked with a 4-year-old boy who she claimed was “the cutest kid ever,” and at the end of the night he told Britt that he was her boyfriend from now on. So not only do we hire team players, but we apparently hire eligible bachelorettes as well.
Emily Vrbas (a.k.a. EmVrb)
EmVrb is a stylist/design/photo intern here at Houndstooth. Basically, her and Leigh pick out a lot of the shirts and do the photo shoots that you guys think are so cute. EmVrb volunteers at Fellowship Church right here in Fayetteville. She’s worked with the 3-year-olds for the past two semesters, and she teaches them how big our Lord is! Her favorite thing about working with them is that they always get super excited to pray before snack. I mean c’mon… how cute is that?
Mackennzie Dutton (a.k.a. Big Mack or Mack Attack or Easy Mac – rarely Mackennzie)
Mack is one of our writing interns! If you see a funny article, there’s a chance it’s hers. She just recently started volunteering for the Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas (HWOA), and she is really excited for the adventure. Mack is actually a Spanish major, so she figured it would be pretty cool to use her extra time volunteering somewhere that could give her some more “immersive practice.” Plus, she has a love for Hispanic culture, so she just flat out wanted to.
Kelley is also a writing intern here at the press. Every year when Operation Christmas Child is going on, she volunteers with local churches to help them pack up the boxes for the children. As a child, her church always participated in OCC, so she really enjoys getting involved here in Fayetteville. She used to pack the boxes with her friends in high school so every time she volunteers it’s like she gets to bring a piece of home to college with her. When I asked her what little extra tid-bits we may think are interesting about her volunteering, this what she said:
“My mom is super involved… even though it's a seasonal thing, she'll look out for toys and flip flops and all sorts of things that could go in the boxes throughout the year and buy them in bulk. She's sweet like that.”
In other words, she got it from her momma.
See… we told you we were cool. But so are you! So don’t forget to keep a look out for the articles in our Philanthropic Ideas section of the website. You might even see an article featuring yourself. ;-)