One of my favorite things about The Smile Project is the opportunity to connect with other people in the nonprofit and social good space. As a grantee of The Pollination Project, I can connect with others who care about making their world better.
That’s how I virtually met Meghan Freebeck, the founder of Simply the Basics in San Francisco. Even just watching this quick video about their work gives you a comprehensive idea of the ways they are bettering their world.
Her work speaks for itself, so without further ado, allow me to share Meghan and Simply the Basics.
Liz: Let’s start in traditional Smile Project fashion – give me a "Happiness is.”
Meghan: Happiness is building something challenging with the intention of helping others and realizing you don't have to do it alone because so many other people will show up to make it possible. It is even better when those people are your closest friends!
Liz: Tell me about your organization.
Meghan: Simply the Basics is a national organization that provides basic needs to people in our communities. We allow people to focus on greater goals because we have removed their barrier to basic human needs, such as hygiene, health, and shelter. Simply the Basics has over 80 nonprofit partners that receive basic needs for their programs and clients, allowing them to focus more directly on their Missions. We distribute 70% hygiene related products, but it is not limited to those.
Liz: What is the driving force behind what you do?
Meghan: I was unhappy in the city I moved to because so many people were without homes and resources, so rather than leave, I put my time and energy toward making the city a better place to live for everyone. What drives me today is knowing that what we are doing really works, it is improving lives and making a difference, and the more we commit - the greater impact we can make!
Liz: What does service mean to you?
Meghan: Service means recognizing what you have available - time, money, resources, skills - and providing it to those without.
Liz: How can people get involved?
Meghan: Some great ways to support us are hosting Hygiene Drives, volunteering, and donations - we are 100% volunteer based so everything supports our programs! You can also check us out on our website and Facebook and Twitter.
Liz: Anything else you'd like to add?
Meghan: We consider ourselves very impact driven: Our goals are
1. to improve the health and wellness of the community and
2. to save nonprofit partners time and resources.
We never simply distribute hygiene, but rather focused products that improve physical health, reduce infections, and basic human needs that can enable someone to reach their greater goals. We have saved nonprofit partners over 14 hours of staff time weekly on average and grow every month.
Liz: Any parting wisdom? What’s your favorite quote?
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”