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See a company that only hires people deemed 'unemployable.'

Finding a job with a criminal record is now a little easier thanks to one Kansas company. I think they are onto something.

See a company that only hires people deemed 'unemployable.'

Looking for work can be a nightmare.


GIF via jessimeh.tumblr.com.


Looking for work with a criminal record? Even worse.

There are a lot of employers who won't even consider someone with a prior felony conviction. And in the United States, there are an estimated 12 million people with those.

12 million people. That's so many. But for those who have done their time and wish to rebuild their lives, where the heck are they supposed to start?

There may be a job open in Lawrence, Kansas.

It's at a place called Sun Cedar, and they will only hire you if you're a reformed felon or a recovering addict or homeless. Essentially, if you've been deemed as "unemployable" in today's workforce, you're just who they are looking for.

It's kind of genius.

Shine Adams is the brain behind it. After his friend was released from prison and wasn't able to land a job, Adams came up with a solution.

It only involved three things:

  1. Cedar wood scraps
  2. A basement
  3. A friend seeking work

They started making little cedar trees out of the scraps, and people bought them. I mean who doesn't love the smell of cedar? BAM! An inspiring small business idea was born.

Image via Sun Cedar.

Business is boomin', but bigger would be better — for everyone.

Sun Cedar has seen such success at providing meaningful employment to community members deemed "unemployable" — so why not try to reach out to even more people?

By giving more people work experience and allowing them to build their resumes, these folks will eventually be able to move forward into other careers. Shine and his crew hope to expand Sun Cedar, finalize their nonprofit status, and keep making great products that people love. They've got some cool stuff going on.


They are more than just air fresheners!


Amy Solomon sums it up best. (She's a senior adviser to the assistant attorney general in the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice):

"It is critical that we, as a society, provide a path for individuals who have served their time and paid their debts to compete for legitimate work opportunities. It is, in fact, our only choice if we want people with past criminal involvement to be able to support themselves and their families, pay their taxes, and contribute to our communities."

It's true.


An employee of Sun Cedar. Hello! Image via Sun Cedar.

Sun Cedar is giving people a second chance and a reason to keep trying.

And — bonus! — they're fighting the stigma of criminal records and homelessness at the same time.

Check out this feature on their company, and if you think it is making a difference in the lives of its employees and community, consider sharing this, checking out their website, or supporting their Kickstarter to keep them going!

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.