The end of the year is when we take inventory—not just of the world goods in our stores and warehouse, but of our progress and our goals. In 2018 – our 30th year in business! – nothing gave us as much joy as giving back through our corporate philanthropy program. Mexicali Blues donates a minimum of 1% of sales every single year to support the countries we buy from, the communities we live in and the causes we believe in. So every time you shop the wonderful world goods in our stores, you help us do a world of good!
In 2018, 1% of your purchases donated, sponsored or supported 40 organizations, including community arts organizations, environmental groups, advocacy groups, and local schools and kids clubs all over Maine, as well as international aid providers. A handful of names you might recognize (or want to check out!): Reverb, dZi Foundation, Boys & Girls Club, Seeds of Peace, Camp Sunshine, and Friends of Thai Daughters.
Construction was completed this year on a new earthquake-proof school in Rok, Solukhumbu, Nepal! Partnered with dZi Foundation, through the Mexicali Match program we matched every dollar you donated until we together raised $50,000 in 2017. The school is now complete and the students absolutely love their new cozy and safe place to learn! This is the second Nepalese school we've helped to fund, thanks to you!
We also held our first Cruise for a Cause: a Deadhead dance party on a boat traveling around beautiful Casco Bay, with all proceeds going to benefit Camp Sunshine, an awesome organization dedicated to providing retreats and support for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
In addition, we spent 2018 working on stepping up our sustainability as a company. With 145 solar panels on top of our warehouse and 36 on our flagship store in Newcastle, we now generate enough solar energy to power both buildings and offset the equivalent of driving over 113,000 miles each year! We spent the Christmas season sending buyers home from our stores with reusable recycled silk bags rather than paper, and we are continuing to work on making our packaging for online orders increasingly environmentally friendly. This is still a process, but it feels good to better align our energy consumption with our values, and this year we made some big steps in the right direction! Check out our real-time solar output here.
It’s awesome and it’s amazing, and it’s the way we want to feel all year long. We’re renewing our focus on philanthropy in 2019 by supporting projects that power community development in Thailand, Guatemala and Nepal, by contributing to the fight against cancer, and by continuing to support schools, the arts, health initiatives and environmental action right here at home. Stay tuned for updates on how your shopping sends good vibes where they’re needed most all year long!