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Making a Difference – On Our Terms

March 16, 2018
Redstitch Team

When our co-founders Todd Chase and Wes Davis were both given the choice in March, 2013 to pack up their families and move to a new city or venture out on their own – they chose the latter, and created some terms of their own.

They left their old job on a Friday, and the following Monday, they returned to work; reporting to their new “office,” a loft above Todd’s garage. Both Todd and Wes had bigger dreams for their lives, their families, and for the impact they wanted to make on the community. They wasted no time bringing those dreams to fruition, once given the opportunity.

Five years later, what began as two friends working alone from a garage, has evolved into a 3800 sq. ft. office space with eleven of us working together – and we’re still growing.

We’ve come a long way from the garage, and now Redstitch is in a position to do something Todd and Wes have been planning since the company’s inception: to give back.

“We started Redstitch with a purpose bigger than dollars and cents. We don’t want our employees coming to work and simply punching a clock and going home. Charity is a major aspect of that bigger purpose. We know if we can be successful and create revenue and growth for our own agency, we can give some of that back and make an impact in our community and on the people and organizations we care about outside of Redstitch,” says our CEO, Todd Chase.

This year, Todd and Wes are giving us a new opportunity: to choose a charity, and come to work and fight for it each day. During 2018, we’ll all be given a paid day off to work with our chosen charity. Additionally, if we meet our growth targets for the year, we’ll also have the opportunity to present a charitable donation on behalf of the company, our hard work, and our success in meeting our goals.

Each of us have written the name of an organization on our new chalkboard in the company kitchen titled: “who we fight for.” The board acts as inspiration and a daily reminder to who we collectively fight for, and what hard work and dedication can do for our community.

Here’s who we chose, and why:

Todd Chase, Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer

Having recently lost his mother to cancer, Todd wanted to choose an organization that addressed cancer research on some scale – Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. His 7-year-old daughter, who is an aspiring pediatrician, helped influence his decision. His choice is also an homage to his mother’s 35-year background working with hundreds of thousands of people in the Deaconess Hospital ER, as well as the ten years she spent assisting in the opening of a local VA clinic. Todd plans to visit Riley with his daughter, and is thrilled to be fighting for the opportunity to do even more.

Wes Davis, Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer

Helping others has always brought Wes personal fulfillment, and it’s the kind of joy he wants to share with everyone around him.

Inspired by his neighbor Tina, the Executive Director at the Spencer County CASA, and her family’s devotion to giving back, he chose CASA as the organization he’s fighting for. Wes says Tina gives her life to giving back, and he is in awe of her advocacy for displaced children, and inspired to make an impact in their lives in his own way. In the past, he’s donated his landscape photography to the charity’s annual auction, and this year he is even more motivated by the possibility to make an additional contribution.

Jennifer “J.V.” Vaughn, Chief Operating Officer

Like Wes and Todd, J.V. has also lost a parent to cancer, her father. Since then, her family has become acutely aware of the challenges families deal with regarding cancer, especially those involving children.

She’s especially fond of St. Jude Children’s Hospital because of their mission, and the ways charity and financial contributions are allocated. For example, a person can donate specifically to certain aspects of how St. Jude’s helps children – like purchasing the red wagons the caregivers use to transport the children around the hospital. Additionally, every family who receives care from St. Jude Children’s Hospital never has to worry about a bill, namely due to individual contributions from people like J.V.

Brian Harding, Web Developer

When Brian was a kid, his father started an organization called Shoe a Kid. He contacted local schools and worked with counselors and teachers to form a list of students who needed shoes; he and his wife would cover the expenses needed to buy each student a pair of shoes. The counselors and teachers they conspired with would wrap the shoes, and gift them to the students on the last day of school, prior to Christmas break.

As a skater, Brian himself has always worn his shoes – holes and all – as a badge of honor. The more worn down his shoes, the harder and better he was skating, but he knows this isn’t the case for every other kid. Over the years he’s realized how much confidence children gain from the shoes and clothes they wear. Because appearance is something kids are bullied about in school, he chose a charity that helps kids in need get new clothing, head-to-toe: Santa Clothes Club. They help clothe thousands of kids, which he hopes levels the playing field, and encourages children to know they have the same opportunities as their peers.

Emily Bridges, Digital Marketing Strategist

For Emily, the closest thing to her heart right now is being a new mom. Despite how much she loves being a mom, it isn’t always easy.

“Even when you have every resource available to you imaginable, it’s still a really hard job to raise a child. I didn’t know that until I became pregnant with my own daughter. I can only imagine what it is like for women who weren’t expecting their pregnancy, or who can’t afford it, or are first time mothers or teen mothers, and have nowhere to go.”

Her chosen organization, Marsha’s Place, is a non-profit that empowers pregnant women. It is a place that helps make women more knowledgeable so they can make what they feel is the right decision for themselves; as a mom, she feels it’s a mission worth standing behind.

Scott Wambach, Web Developer

Five years ago, Scott and his wife, Rachel, together with his father and brother, collectively decided to no longer exchange gifts at Christmas. Instead, they’ve all been donating to a charity: United Caring Services. In his words, the “Who we fight for” board is a promise from Redstitch. It is a promise to ourselves as a company, and to the community, to always be working toward a greater cause, and one that earns us a reputation: Redstitch can be counted on. Being able to give back at a larger scale, and to give more than his annual contribution means a great deal to him, and is something he feels gives him a voice within our company, and the community.

Jamie Pate, Content Strategist

Jamie became affiliated with the YWCA at age 9, participating in an afterschool program called Live Y’ers. A few years later, she benefitted from their shelter services, and lived at the Y for a period of her life. Throughout middle school and high school, Jamie participated in the YWCA’s mentor program, where she met and became lifetime friends with her then mentor, Amanda. She also received a scholarship from the Y every year during college. The YWCA continues to impact young women through these same programs, and when given the opportunity to give back, the YWCA was the obvious choice for Jamie.

Kristin Truelove, Digital Marketing Strategist

Throughout junior high and high school, every Christmas without fail, Kristin would find a card in her locker with $100 dollars cash inside. No one ever left a note, or signed the card. Remembering this, she wanted to choose the school charity that was behind this annual gift.

However, she discovered the Christmas card wasn’t a part of any program Perry Central offered, and it was likely a teacher who must have cared for her and wanted to help.

This got her thinking, and she decided to help students at Perry Central with something even more: college assistance.

In true Kristin Truelove fashion, she is starting her own program in collaboration with Perry Central to award students with financial need a scholarship for college, based on her own elected criteria. Kristin plans to incorporate our core values into the prompt criteria.

“There aren’t a lot of scholarships for students interested in marketing, web, technology, and writing. I’m setting the criteria for winning the scholarship to be relatable to our business. A scholarship fund that doesn’t exist for encouraging careers in these areas, and the sky’s the limit.”

Jason Burton, Solutions Architect

When Jason accepted his new position as a solutions architect with us, one of the things he was most moved by was Wes and Todd’s devotion to giving back to the community. And when given the opportunity to have a voice in that commitment, he chose a place that resonated well with his own core beliefs: Young & Established. Jason met the founder, Courtney Johnson, through his professional network, and has been inspired by his work mentoring inner center youth, and his drive to affect change for young men in the community. He says he and Courtney share a common goal for caring about the community, and is excited to strengthen and build his relationship with both Courtney, and Young & Established, as the organization he fights for.

Danielle Barron, Digital Marketing Strategist

In her interview Danielle was eager to learn about Redstitch culture. When given the tour at Redstitch and shown the “who we fight for board” she instantly knew what organization she’d choose if she got the gig.

Another Chance for Animals is a local foster and “re-homing” organization for dogs and cats whose fate has landed them in animal control. Instead of letting these animals be put down, ACA works with prospective foster families and trains them to take in these animals. Adoption events are held around town to help find the dogs and cats permanent homes.

While picking up dog food for their dog, Danielle and her husband met Lenny at one of these adoption events. They left with dog food, and a new dog that day!

Rick Iorio, Digital Marketing Strategist

According to Rick, the “who we fight for” chalkboard is the manifestation of something we have been building for a long time.

“We’ve all be waiting for this. Charitable giving has always been a big part of who we are, and we are excited to be able to do it in a way that is impactful, and that matters,” says Rick.

First up on Rick’s list is an organization called Give a Girl a Glove, a charity dedicated to helping inner-city young women who feed into Bosse High School acquire softball gloves. Rick believes facilitating a young woman’s passion for sports can open several doors and give the girls opportunities they may have never had otherwise.

To learn more about Redstitch, our purpose, and how we can help your business grow, call us at 812-618-3785 or stop by our office. We’d love to talk.

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