Katy Hutto, a sophomore at University of Virginia, was making jewelry for friends and family as gifts for a year when she “decided that there was a better way to do something with all of this.” The 19-year-old English major and Education minor founded Katydid – Beads for a Cause in 2009. Hutto began selling her pieces and donating 100 percent of her earnings. She splits her donations among four non-profit organizations – Project HOPE, Habitat for Humanity, Yspaniola, and Seeds of Peace.
Hutto learned about Project HOPE from her mom. “I was looking for organizations that get to the root of problems and spend their money most effectively,” Hutto said. She chose Project HOPE because “it seemed like one of the best ones out there.” She likes that Project HOPE is present in so many countries and that donations are going directly to work. Hutto specifically likes that Project HOPE’s focus on vaccinations and “educating people how to practice healthcare in their own lives.”
Hutto has raised around $3,000 since she began her business and has donated nearly $300 to Project HOPE. Her website is set up so the buyer chooses which organization their donation goes to.
Now that Hutto, a Macon, Georgia native, is at college, her family helps keep her business running. Dorm room space is limited, so Hutto makes and stores her one-of-a-kind pieces while she’s home. When someone places an order online, her parents ship the item out for her. Next year, Hutto will be living off-campus, and hopes to bring her business to school.
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