by Kayla Sheely

One of the things we are proud of at Voice Systems Engineering is putting good karma into the world. To make the world a kinder place, Psychic Source, one of the brands VSE provides services to, instituted a Kindness Initiative, almost five years ago. After all, who couldn’t use a little extra kindness in their day?  

How It Works 

Psychic Source’s Kindness Initiative offers to make a donation for every customer purchase. There is no cost to the customer – just opt-in, choose one of the pre-selected charities, and Psychic Source will donate 1% of all purchases to that charity, up to $12,500 per month. So far, Psychic Source has donated over $770,000 across three charities:  

  • Paws With A Cause®: The mission of Paws With A Cause® is to enhance the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs. PAWS® increases awareness of the rights and roles of Assistance Dog Teams through education and advocacy. 

  • National Center for Homelessness & Child Welfare: The National Center for Housing & Child Welfare (NCHCW) works to ensure that no child ever enters foster care or lingers in out-of-home placement unnecessarily due to their parent's inability to afford safe decent housing. NCHCW also works to ensure that all young people who age out of foster care have access to safe, decent, affordable housing - not a PLAN for housing - but access. 

  • Futures Without Violence: For more than 30 years, FUTURES has been providing groundbreaking programs, policies, and campaigns that empower individuals and organizations working to end violence against women and children around the world. 

How It Started 

In her 12+ years of working at VSE, Maryanne Fiedler, Marketing and Customer Experience Strategist, has felt that there has always been an effort to care for those in the community and wanted a way to carry that to the Psychic Source brand. Maryanne wanted to choose causes that aligned with the values of Psychic Source’s customers and advisors. She says, “We put a list of things in front of them and asked what was important to them – causes like domestic violence, women's issues, homelessness and poverty, animal welfare, etc.” Taking the results of the survey, Maryanne thoroughly researched organizations before landing on Paws With A Cause ®, the National Center for Homelessness & Child Welfare, and Futures Without Violence.  

  
How It’s Going  

According to Kristin Chianese, Marketing Customer Engager, the response to the initiative has been really good. “We max out at the $12,500 cap every single month,” she explains. “Once we start to see the stories coming in from the organizations that Psychic Source has been donating to, you realize how much we’re really helping. Knowing the good that we've been doing just makes you think like wow, I can't believe that I helped this teenage girl find housing who otherwise would be on the street. The Kindness Initiative did that – it’s been kind of eye-opening.” 

On social media, Erin Gasperi, Social Media Guru, has seen a positive response to the initiative. “There are more millennials on social media, and kindness and socially responsible brands are something that they are really passionate about,” Erin states. “I think it also trickles down from the Caring and Honest value at VSE, so it’s something that we try to really showcase on social media.” 

One campaign Psychic Source ran to advertise the Kindness Initiative asked customers to share stories of random acts of kindness they performed or were done for them. To close out the campaign, there was a drawing, and two winners received a free reading or bonus dollars. “The social media response was all very positive. We got a lot of responses and engagement from the random acts of kindness content contest. It was really nice to see that so many people had stories to share. So much of what's out there on social media can be really negative, so starting a positive conversation around topics like kindness really took off and got a lot engagement,” Erin reflects.  
 

The Impact 

Throughout the year, Psychic Source works with these diverse organizations to spread awareness of their different initiatives.  

While it’s fun to partner with an organization that has so many cute puppies, the work that Paws With A Cause ® does is important. Maryanne explains that their work “allows people living with disabilities to live independently. And it's not just people who are physically handicapped. It's providing dogs for people who are living with autism or diabetes. It's amazing what dogs can do, right?” Psychic Source’s donations have enabled between 5-6 dogs to be trained and placed in a home – which costs around $30,000 each. Psychic Source and its customers have even got to name two litters of puppies for Paws With A Cause ®!  

“The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare is another great one that has shared a lot of success stories with us about different kids they’ve helped find housing for or different initiatives that they've been able to push forward with the support of kindness initiative donations,” Kristin points out. Working with kids who are aging out of foster care and potentially facing homelessness, the NCHCW also advocates in Washington to make the country a safer place for these kids. “It feels pretty powerful to me to be able to say that Psychic Source has an influence on protecting these kids. I think is a tremendous thing to feel proud of,” Maryanne says.  

Futures Without Violence isn’t only about providing support to victims of domestic violence. They also focus on educating teen men to prevent future domestic violence situations, as well as write policies around education.  

Spread Kindness  

“We're doing this because we want to do good in the world, right? Karma. We want to put good energy out into the world. At the end of the day, there's also a hope that if it aligns with your values that you're more willing to do business and continue to do business with Psychic Source,” Maryanne reflects.  

To add a bit of kindness to your day, check out Psychic Source’s Kindness Generator for a random act of kindness you can do today.