Twinkle Twinkle Super Star: Giselle Mendes
We love meeting kind people who are doing great things.
Meet Giselle Mendes, founder of Ecards4charity.
Giselle started Ecards4charity because she wanted to give back during this difficult time. Her story is a great reminder that we all have the power to do good, and it doesn't have to take long!
Tell us about Ecards4charity.
Ecards4charity is a charity initiative that I started to raise money for the Canadian Red Cross. At first, I only sold e-cards and graphic designs, but I’ve recently expanded into making physical cards as well! Currently, all proceeds are donated to the Canadian Red Cross.
How did you come up with this idea?
Good question! During the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to help and give back in some sort of way. I enjoy graphic design, and so I guess the idea popped in my head! I reached out to the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) via Instagram, and they directed me to fill out their fundraising form on the website. I filled out the form, outlining the key elements of my idea, and submitted it for review. To my dismay, one of the members of the CRC’s community engagement team emailed me back saying that she’d like to discuss the idea further. After a brief call on the phone, the idea was finalized, and I’ve been fundraising ever since!
That's amazing! When was that and how long did it take to turn an idea into reality?
The initiative started mid-May of 2020. If I remember correctly, it only took a few days to a week to become a reality. However, when I first submitted my idea to the Canadian Red Cross, I didn’t really give it too much thought. When they emailed me back, I was a bit surprised, but I decided to go through with my idea. I’m very glad I did!
Any special reasons why you chose the Canadian Red Cross?
I was actually completing my Standard First Aid certification with the Canadian Red Cross, which was how I got to become more familiar with the organization. Through my initiative, I feel as though I’m giving back to my country. I love Canada so much. I was born and raised here, and feel a special connection to it. I love the culture, the beauty of the land, and of course, the people. Canadians are so nice, so warm, and so friendly. They’re the type of people who make you feel at home even if you’re not. I know this was especially true for both my parents when they first immigrated here. I feel as though I owe this country so much. The way I see it, supporting the Canadian Red Cross, an organization dedicated to helping Canadians, is the very least I can do to give back to my beautiful country.
We are also proud to be a Canadian business! Do you have plans to work with more charities in the future?
Yes, I definitely want to! I want to support more organizations through Ecards4charity. Once I raised at least $500 for the Canadian Red Cross, I’d love to start doing the same thing for other charities. I’m very passionate about charities that help the homeless, victims of abuse, at-risk children/youth, the LGBTQ+ community, the Black Lives Matter movement, those affected by mental illness, refugees, and Indigenous peoples. My goal is to make as much of an impact as possible!
We love your passion to help others! What's your ultimate goal for Ecards4charity?
My ultimate goal for Ecards4charity is to help as many people as I can and make the world a much better place. I feel that selling cards/e-cards truly represents my overall mission. Receiving cards make people smile. I want to make as many people smile as possible :) I am also interested in partnering with local businesses! I have some ideas that I’m not ready to disclose just yet...stay tuned!
What does being kind mean to you?
To me, being kind means so many things. It means treating people with the dignity and respect they deserve. It means celebrating our differences, but also acknowledging the fact that inside, we are all the same. I feel as though in this day and age, people are not kind to themselves, which is why they’re not kind to others. I try my best to be as kind to myself as I can. I allow myself to make mistakes. I forgive myself. I always prioritize self-care! I’m not ashamed to reach out for help when I need it. I do this because I truly love myself. I find that by giving myself the respect and dignity I deserve, it’s easier for me to acknowledge the respect and dignity that my peers are entitled to. I encourage others to do the same!
Absolutely - such wise words! How do you stay positive?
No one is positive 24/7, but there are definitely things I’ve found that help me stay as optimistic as possible! The main thing I do is stay young at heart as much as I can. I’m 17 years old, so I’m on that weird brink of saying good-bye to my childhood and saying hello to adulthood. Nonetheless, I make it a point to play like a child. I play with teddy bears. I climb the trees in my backyard. I laugh at the silliest things. I love spending time with my parents (who are, may I add, super cool!). Children have a love for life that is like no other. We should all strive to mirror this energy in order to stay as positive as possible!
What’s your favourite piece of Twinkle Links jewelry?
This is a hard question because all of Twinkle Links’ pieces are beautiful! If I had to choose one though, I think it would be the Star Cluster Earrings in sterling silver. They’re so dainty and elegant! I love wearing bigger sized studs because I think they add something special to my look. I’m also not a big fan of dangly earrings, so I feel like these are some really chic studs to take my earring game to the next level!
Where can people find more about Ecards4charity?
I’m hoping to get a website up soon! But as for now, you can see all of my designs on my Instagram page @ecards_4_charity, either DM me on IG or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase cards.
Donate to Canadian Red Cross on my fundraising page here