CSR – it’s just hogwash isn’t it?
Yes! For most businesses, especially ones that write about their own Corporate Social Responsibility, it is true that the majority of CSR is at best hogwash and at the very worst misleading diversion from what they are really doing to people and planet.
So what is true CSR?
For two decades I have been working in this field and to be honest I have been impressed by only a few stunning exceptions – either personalities or corporate projects – from an ocean of mediocrity. However, something has happened that has completely flipped my thinking. When I share the story below – tough read as it might be for many – you will see the outcome of something very special.
The most socially responsible project developed by a corporation, ever?
Yes! That is my belief from my own meandering experience. There are numerous reasons why, but think about this: the company makes very few claims about this project themselves. It is those that have experienced extraordinary outcomes that want to tell the world about how it has transformed their lives!
The courageous story of one young Mum…
“I am the mummy of two small children. I am very happy to share my story in the hope that it can help just one more person facing the same issues I have faced to make a transformation in their life.
I was in a relationship with the kids’ Dad that was controlling and violent.
The kids (mainly my little boy, as my little girl was just a baby) witnessed a lot of things children shouldn’t see. I attempted to take the kids and start afresh a few times, but it’s not easy to escape from a relationship like that. Eventually things came to a head in the early hours one morning when I had no choice but to escape from my own home leaving my children sleeping on their beds, a move that destroyed me, but had I stayed, well it’s not worth thinking about.
I was refused access to both my children for just over a month. Courts, police, social work, woman’s aid, you name it I contacted everyone to get involved. At the first court meeting I was granted immediate custody of my little girl (her age secured that). But I was homeless so my little boy had to stay with his Dad as he had nursery to attend and he needed some level of normality.
It was a turbulent two years: court battles, contact agreements continuously being changed last minute and so on. My little boy was affected badly. He withdrew into himself, had a lot of hatred for me because he was convinced I no longer loved or wanted him. His anger became a big issue, he would lash out, hurting himself and anyone who tried to calm him. He was only 3 at the time. The social worker played a big part in helping me begin the process to help him see I had not abandoned him.
In June this year I was granted full custody of both of my children. My little boy moved back home with me and his sister full time a week after the court case. But he had gone from a happy little boy to a troubled child with so much anger and confusion he didn’t know how to handle it. He was full of questions, he would hurt his sister and me, and on numerous occasions I had to get friends or family to step in as I physically couldn’t restrain him. He was angry with everyone. He refused to eat anything that wasn’t full of sugar or from a packet, he had troubles at his new nursery, refused to stay or cooperate! I’d find myself wrestling with him on a daily basis. He fell behind with his education. Life was tough for us all and my own personal confidence was at an extreme low which meant I would avoid being around people and I withdrew to a very dark place. My access to the outside world was often only social media…it also became my saviour.
In August I started talking to the person that may have saved my life. A stranger who wanted to listen and help! She actually cared. I watched her story online and she told me all about the results other parents were seeing through something called the Children’s Health Study. I was excited by what I saw and I wanted to join in. A few weeks later I was able to access the study. The impact for me and my confidence is a story in itself, because within a week or two of taking the capsules I started feeling different, I was calmer and had better energy to deal with the outbursts. However, my little boy’s story is what I feel I must share.
I started to give him his free chews – they are simply good nutrition – with his breakfast and off he’d go to his new school! Soon he began to come out with apples and bananas from the tuck shop (not like him at all!) He started eating and enjoying the meals I made, even requesting carrots and broccoli for his tea. He started to open up about his feelings and emotions, we began to be able to sit down and talk about the past, his questions would get answered with honesty but respect for his family on his Dad’s side. We started to get our relationship back, our close bond. He now comes and talks to me if he’s angry or confused, rather than bottle it up. He’s doing so well at school, his increased concentration means he’s learnt his alphabet, how to write his name and other little words, and also how to read! (He had no interest in trying before as he’d get frustrated and angry.) His teacher always compliments him on how polite and helpful he is and how he’s always helping the other kids . In just a few weeks a total difference from those darkest days. I believe it’s thanks to the Juice Plus Children’s Health Study, the free chewies and what I’ve learnt to fuel his little body and mind with! It’s helped my confidence and I am blooming with pride at how much he has gained in so many aspects of his life. I am so grateful to everyone of you for accepting me into your lives and helping me to help myself! I’m so glad I found you all, that I found Juice Plus and most of all that my amazing saviour found me – she knows who she is!
Best of all. My little boy and I are best friends again…”
I will continue to blog about the amazing Juice Plus CHS project in the coming weeks, because for many reasons this is true Corporate Social Responsibility.