In the beginning I just wanted to inspire people, spread positive vibes, and give back wherever possible. We gave back to multiple organizations, local teams, and other initiatives. I quickly realized the brand would never make a dent in any meaningful way, without a specific mission.
Finding the brand mission came after a deep dive experience during nine months of participating in Leadership Kauai . It was during this experience that our mission became clear. CAN. started out as a go to word, to snap my mind back into the positive. When you find yourself doubting your abilities or your path in life, you need something positive to remind you of what’s possible, and how beautiful life is. I also realized a deeper part of our experiences were related to overcoming significant mental trauma and hurdles. Times when you’re not able to climb out of the negative hole your mind has dug… Mental trauma is something all humans will deal with in their lifetime. Trauma is as common as a twisted ankle in our opinion. In our lives we'll have many experiences, and negative ones are just part of being human. Life is going to throw everything at us; broken relationships, loss of family and friends, loss of a child, lost dreams, setbacks, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse... Most of us bury emotions deep inside and then they manifest into what our favorite Mental Health Counselor Hannah calls "being a dick to yourself". We want people to recognize when they're in crisis or someone close to them is, and then #askforhelp. And, "no shame". We want asking for counseling to be as common and accepted as going to physical therapy. Hawaii is not going to be the easiest place to attack this important issue… Our communities and ohana are filled with deep pride and fear of letting others into our business. Our advisor and therapist on island explains this in an awesome blog post. Therapy - FAQs on Kauai
So our mission is - To inspire individuals to embrace their own inner Spirit of CAN. while supporting mental wellness organizations who are dedicated to education, removal of stigma, access to care, and those perpetuating maximum STOKAGE!
We’re not the experts, but we are passionate about making a difference and raising awareness. There are two things we CAN. do. First, support those organizations making a difference with 10% of all profits donated to these awesome organizations and professionals. Second, is bring awareness to the issue and support Hawaii with compassion and love.
Spirit of CAN. also supported the Lei of Aloha to honor the victims of the 1 October shooting in Las Vegas. We took part in lei making (small kine). Made financial contribution for shipping (larger kine:)
Since CAN. started we have given $5,000 away to various non-profit organizations in Hawaii. As mentioned above, we started out with wide interests supporting lots of non-profits. In our mission statement, we also included supporting organizations “perpetuating maximum stokage”. We think it’s important to support things like youth sports and individuals who are chasing dreams and inspiring the rest of us to find our own inner Spirit of CAN.
As we have turned our focus to the mission and helping organizations who are aligned with us, we’ll be looking for specific organizations to support. More recently we have been making some gifts to YWCA Kauai. They’re doing amazing work with counseling of women, families, and LGBTQ communities. Eventually we hope to find an organization that is focused on educating youths prior to experiencing trauma. We want people to understand they’re going to encounter trauma, and it’s ok, and acceptable to ask for help. The big dream, is to contribute to a generation of mentally healthy and knowledgeable humans who are spending less time battling their minds and more time doing awesome in the world.
So, we’ll keep trying to inspire and build our army of CAN. Ambassadors. Please join us, by reppin CAN. gear, sharing posts, and sending us feedback – firstname.lastname@example.org