The Giving Keys is an organization that works to end homelessness on the streets of Los Angeles, one person at a time. It all started with a couple holding a sign that said “Ugly, Hungry & Broke.” Founder Caitlin Crosby was walking along Hollywood Boulevard after a screening of Invisible Children when she came upon Cera and Rob, a homeless couple that would become her business partners in founding The Giving Keys. Caitlin began paying Cera and Rob to engrave keys with words of empowerment such as “LOVE,” “STRENGTH,” “HOPE,” “BELIEVE,” etc. to be put on necklaces. Once a key is purchased, it must eventually be given away to a person who you believe needs the message. As the employees of The Giving Keys pound each empowering word into each key, they are working to transition out of homelessness and into better lives. Two years later, Cera is working at the zoo, while Rob is attending community college. Caitlin Crosby believes that continuously pounding away at a meaningful word really allows the person to embrace the message that the word brings. Engraving “STRENGTH” into a key, for instance, reminds the person to be strong through this transition. Engraving “BELIEVE” into a key reminds the person to continue to believe in the process, that working to better themselves will pay off. The key is then passed from person to person, allowing an unlimited amount of people to feel the message. And it all starts with the homeless. This interconnectedness lets us know that we are not alone, and when the key is passed along, you are encouraged to go back to thegivingkeys.com to share your story and inspire others. All of the proceeds from The Giving Keys go to the homeless working to engrave the keys, and the organization hopes to set up an organization in the future that incorporates all of the tools the homeless need to transition, including drug rehabilitation, job counseling, and skills training.
For more information about the Giving Keys please visit www.thegivingkeys.com