Podengo Market Research Competition – Choose Love

It’s competition time here at Podengo Market Research.  We would like you to explore the relationship you have with your clothes, by writing a love letter to your most cherished item of clothing.

What’s the prize we hear you ask? Three winners will be selected to win a T-shirt from the non-for-profit organisation – Choose Love. An organisation dedicated to helping refugees and displaced people. Inspired by the work that they do, we wrote to them to see if we could get an interview and to our delight, they kindly agreed. Read on to hear from co-founder and CEO of Choose Love, Josie Naughton.

We are big fans of the Choose Love movement but for those of our readers who don’t know you, please can you introduce yourself?

“Choose Love does whatever it takes to identify, close and prevent gaps in services and protections for refugees and displaced people. We elevate the voices and visibility of refugees while funding agile community organisations providing vital support in the UK, across Europe, the Middle East and on the US-Mexico border. In just five years, we have provided over 1M people with everything from lifesaving search and rescue boats to food to legal advice. We are powered by our vision — a world that chooses love and justice every day, for everyone.”

When did the non-for-profit organisation Choose Love begin?

“We started as nothing more than a hashtag in August 2015, #helpcalais. A group of friends wanted to raise and fill a van full of donations to take down to Calais. Within a week, they had raised £56,000 and were soon receiving 7,000 items every day!”

The items listed for refugees are separated into categories – Emergency Needs, Daily Survival and Building a Future. Just reading each title really puts into perspective the work that Choose Love is doing. Right now, which would be the most helpful thing that someone could purchase from Choose Love?

“Everything in the Choose Love shop is vital so it’s difficult to choose. Medical care is incredibly important, living in overcrowded and unsanitary camps, refugees are still some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Legal support is also incredibly important. There’s nothing more appalling than the idea of being separated from loved ones, but this is all too familiar for refugees – this item helps to reunite families.”

Besides purchasing items directly for refugees from the shop or Choose Love merchandise; for anyone that’s reading this that wants to do more to help, where would be a good place to start?

“We’re living in an increasingly divided world where refugees often face hostility. The world needs more people who are allies to those forced to flee their homes. 1) Get educated: arm yourself with some facts so you can bust myths/fake news about refugees. 2) Register to vote: you have the power to help shape a society that is truly welcoming to refugees 3) Volunteer: whether it’s with your local volunteer support group or in a refugee camp in Europe, there are volunteering opportunities everywhere so you can put your compassion truly into action. 4) Choose love regularly: by choosing to give a regular monthly donation via direct debit, you’ll mean we can plan for the future and invest in projects making a long-term difference to refugees and displaced people.”

Finally, which question are you most frequently asked? This is a great chance for you to answer it for our readers as well.

“Charity donation can be a bit intangible: the world’s problems can seem so vast. It’s hard to know what to do. But it’s easy to understand that if a child doesn’t have a coat, you can buy them a coat. We are most frequently asked how people can help – we try to make that as easy as possible. If you’re not in a position to give, you can help spread the Choose Love message. Follow us on our social media channels to keep updated, we regularly have petitions, collections and other activities and events people can get involved in!”

100% of the proceeds from merchandise purchased from Choose Love go to supporting refugees and displaced people. By entering our competition ‘Write a love letter to a cherished item of clothing’, you are also contributing positively, as through this we intend to spread some love for Choose Love ourselves. Thank you Josie for taking the time to talk to us. And thank you to the Choose Love team.

Want to enter our competition? Here are the rules…

The competition will run from 1/6/21 – 30/6/21. Which means you have 30 days to write and submit your love letter. Think about your long lost scarf or jeans that you wore until they were threadbare. Sit down and write a love letter to them. The letter should be 100 – 150 words. All entries are to be submitted to Hayley@gopodengo.com

Read on for an example submitted by social media manager Hayley.

Hello dungarees my old friend. I just wanted to say thank you for all of the good times. Who would have thought that a chance meet in Tammy Girl 17 years ago would have lead to a friendship that lasts a lifetime? You’ve been there for me through thick and thin. I really appreciated your support during my pregnancy. It was tough. It nearly tore us apart but I’m so happy we got to patch things up. And if anything it made us stronger. I know we don’t get to see each other often but I want you to know how much I love you and how much joy you bring me whenever we’re together. All my love, Hayley

One Thought on “Podengo Market Research Competition – Choose Love”

  • To my beloved shorts, Who would have thought a chance meeting on Oxford street in 2003 would have lead to 18 years of happy times together. You’ve been in my life nearly as long as you haven’t been and gosh we’ve done a lot together. Festivals, BBQ’s, Holidays and not forgetting 2 very long hot summers whilst l was pregnant. I still feel terrible that my enlarged pregnant bottom caused you to rip. But the compliments you’ve had with your added embroidered rainbow when l patched you up has defiantly made up for that, right! Can’t wait for more adventures in the future and l promise to take you to a festival again soon! Love Kat x

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