This morning I sent an email to the Zealous Good team. January 18th is a special day for Zealous Good and I wanted to share it with the Zealous Good community to reflect, to celebrate, to be thankful.
Today marks exactly 2 years since I filled Zealous Good LLC with the State of Illinois. It’s hard to believe, but I remember it well.
My final day of work at United Way was January 14th, 2011. The bank was closed on Monday, the 17th, for Martin Luther King Day, so on Tuesday, I went to the bank first thing. But I learned that I needed to have my LLC and tax ID number before opening a bank account.
I went home and taught myself how to get the LLC (without using Legalzoom or another resource because I knew I could do it myself)! A few hours later, I had my tax ID and LLC and went back to the bank to open my account. When I got home, I bought “zealousgood.com” from GoDaddy, and got started…
I looked back at emails from that day and found the “blurb” about Zealous Good that I shared with family:
“A locally focused online platform that efficiently enables and manages donating goods and services.”
I’m SO glad I’ve got a little better with our blurb over the years!
As I’ve shared with all of you, Jerry and I decided that I’d give it a shot and re-evaluate at two years. Giving it a two year commitment enabled me to take a measured risk and I wasn’t “allowed” to quit if it got too hard in the early days.
Today marks that two year mark. It’s been a hell of a ride. There have been more hard days than good ones. I’ve made mistakes and gotten lucky. I’ve met the most amazing and inspiring people. I’ve learned so much about myself as a leader and as a person (and I’ve become a better blogger/been smart enough to have Ali write the vast majority of blogs!). I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by teammates who believe and who are passionate about making the world a better place and saying the word “zealous” far more than any person should.
As I think through what today means, it’s clear that we’re only getting started. We have learned so much over the past 2 years and we’ve been able to help so many people. In the years to come, we want more of America to be Zealous Good. And, I think it’s only the beginning of growing Zealous Good – thank you for being a part of this vision and dream. Thank you for making this happen.
To wrap up, here’s a quote shared with Jesse and I from a staff member at Apna Ghar, a domestic violence shelter.
“Your organization is so invaluable to small agencies like ours. As a 15-bed shelter, donations like these mean more grocery money. It truly makes an enormous difference.”
Over the past 2 years, we’ve been able to make a real difference in the lives of thousands of people. In the years to come, I look forward to Zealous Good making a real difference in the lives of millions.
You guys are the best!
Brittany Martin Graunke is the founder of Zealous Good, an in-kind donations marketplace in Chicago. You can find Brittany on Google+ or on Twitter at @ZealousBrittany. You can find Zealous Good on Facebook and Zealous Good on Twitter at @ZealousGood.