Since 2004, Made For Good has been donating proceeds from its Jedidiah clothing and apparel brand to various humanitarian aid organizations. 2014 marks the beginning of a new way of giving. This year, proceeds will go into their Orphans and Widows fund to be shared with various organizations dedicated to helping widows and orphans.
As I prepared for my own pilgrimage along the Way of Saint James in Spain, I couldn’t help but notice how this effort reflected the words of St. James in his call to visit the orphans and widows in their affliction. So I reached out to Made For Good with a few questions to see if I could get a better understanding of what they were up to. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a response directly from the company founder himself, Kevin Murray, and I was encouraged by what he had to say.
Q: Who is Made For Good?
A: It is the DBA of the parent company, KJM Enterprises Inc that I started 30 years ago as a screen-printer that still functions today.
Q: What is Jedidiah?
A: A brand that exists as a tool to raise money for non-profits
Q: What does Jedidiah mean, and why did you choose that brand name?
A: “Friend of God” or “Loved By God”. In our business we are trying to be a friend to God by showing love to others.
Q: How does Jedidiah raise money for the organizations you support?
A: By selling our goods to others. It is not just Jedidiah, we contribute a percentage from all our business operations at MFG.
Q: On your About Us page you say, “We also believe in the idea that capitalism can make a major difference in how nonprofit organizations are funded today and into the future. Jedidiah is part of this new economic culture of social good and consumer driven philanthropy.” Can you share some of your ideas about consumer driven philanthropy and how it can change our view and use of capitalism?
A: My hope is that more for profit companies reach towards a second bottom line. The first is about profitability, the second is about giving. A business can be a tool for philanthropy, you simply have to build it into your income statement as an expense in doing business.
Q: Sustainability – being able to continue the process – is the difference between a fund raising event and a revenue source. How do you maintain sustainability with your Jedidiah sales and giving?
A: We work very hard each month to make sure we are good stewards of what we have. We don’t waste and we don’t take anything for granted.
I had to pause and reflect on Kevin’s words, for I realized that they were sound advice for the individual, too. How often had I neglected giving on the premiss that I did not have enough when in truth I simply did not budget giving as a priority? What kind of changes would I see in my own life if I were to work hard at being a good steward with and grateful for what I have?
Q: What is the Widows and Orphans fund? And what was it’s inspiration?
A: James 1:27 was the inspiration. Caring for orphans and widows is the best way I know how to show my love for Jesus.
Q: The Widows and Orphans fund is a change in your method of giving, right? What is that change, and why has Jedidiah chosen this new method?
A: In the recent past, we gave to just one organization per season. With the O&W fund, we can give to a variety of groups and fill a variety of needs. We think it will also be a way for us to connect more with local churches. We made this change as a result of just trying to follow our hearts and being willing to walk down a path that is unclear, but exciting at the same time. we don’t know who we might give to next month, but that’s ok.
Q: Where has Jedidiah gone around the world, and who have you worked with?
A: Too many to list, but some highlights are; to Cambodia to build a trauma recovery center with World Vision; to Uganda with Invisible Children; to Nicaragua with Love, Light and Melody; to Haiti with Compassion Int’l
You can check out all the places Jedidiah has been and the organizations they have worked with on their About Us page. It’s quite an extensive list and an exciting read.
Q: If an organization wants to work with you, or another business wants to follow your example, what is the best way to connect with Jedidiah?
A: The best way is through the website.
Q: Word of mouth and social media are great ways to spread the word about Jedidiah. So is buying and wearing the clothes! Where can Jedidiah clothing be purchased?
A: We are selling fewer stores today than ever before, this is intentional, [so it’s] best to direct people to the website.
Q: Will more money make it to the Widows and Orphans fund if I order online or through a retailer?
A: Online for sure, we give 50% of the sale
Q: What message, if any, does Jedidiah have to share with the world?
A: That we are all loved by God. If someone truly seeks the truth in this statement they will find it.
El Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage route through northern Spain that leads to the burial place of Saint James the Great in Santiago de Compostela. As I travel the Way I will be meditating on the Patron Saint’s words, and taking inspiration from the Jedidiah brand, on how I too can be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer only. While I do not expect to be working directly with orphans and widows, I will be showcasing the Jedidiah apparel I have purchased and sharing their story on my blog, www.jedidiahsjourney.com.
You see, Jedidiah is my own coming of age name given to me by my father. The significance of wearing the name along the Patron’s trail in support of orphans and widows has inspired me to make my pilgrimage as much about giving as I possibly can. Instead of setting out on a pilgrimage focused internally on myself, I hope to be able to pay my blessings forward to the people I meet, the places I visit, and the friends who follow my journey online. Perhaps the first thing I share will be inspiration.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”James 1:27 (ESV)
* * * EDIT * * *
While on the Camino I learned that St James the Great is a son of Zebedee, brother of John. Tradition says he preached in Iberia, Spain before returning to Jerusalem and becoming the first apostle to be martyred by King Herod in AD 44. So fighting against the Moors was not something he did in his natural life, but as a miraculous appearance much later.
Here is an informative Wikipedia article that I should have read before my trip: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/James,_son_of_Zebedee#Spain
The brother of Jesus that we read about as the leader of the Jerusalem Church in Acts was known as James the Just. My apologies for the error!