Maria Bateman x The Giving Keys: #GiftsThatGiveBack

Maria Bateman x The Giving Keys: #GiftsThatGiveBack

What inspires you to give?

I’ve loved to give to my loved ones, friends, and even strangers since I was a little girl. I think it's so important to give back when you’re able, and this is a quality that I plan on teaching my children.  

My husband and I are firm believers of the "practice of giving" and we truly enjoy helping people out when we can. If we see someone in need on the streets of LA, we will always buy them a meal or even blankets etc.  

When we used to live in Hollywood, under the bridge of the 101 near our place, I would always pass this really friendly man who was homeless. I would give him blankets, food, and any extra stuff we thought he could use. 

He used to have a stressful life, living paycheck to paycheck, until he lost his job and had no where to turn but to the streets. He said he was warmly welcomed by others in the local homeless community and began to love his newfound way of living. He enjoyed the company of passing people like me and just going with the flow of each day.

What words of encouragement do you want to give others this holiday season?

I think we all get carried away with spoiling our loved ones during the holidays and inevitably end up overspending and/or putting ourselves into debt. 

Instead of breaking the bank this year, I would highly recommend making a budget for gifts and sticking to it! I’d also suggest getting your family on board with Secret Santa and start purchasing gifts with a cause like The Giving Keys, which provides jobs for people transitioning out of homelessness. Programs like this are incredible and a great way to give back! If you’d like to learn more about The Giving Keys, you can check out their website!

What word is on your key? What does it mean to you?

On my key is the word BELIEVE. I think this is such an important message to carry with you in everyday life. I think if you truly believe in yourself you can accomplish anything! Sometimes, just having a simple reminder like this on a piece of jewelry is all you need to work up the courage to do something amazing. 

Tell us the story of how you have passed on your key or how you plan to pass it on.

I haven’t passed on my key to anyone yet, but one day when my son is old enough, I plan on passing it on to him. In the meantime, I gift keys to others.The first Giving Key I bought was for my husband with the word BELIEVE on it four years ago and it’s still one of his favorite pieces today.

Why do you want to help end homelessness this holiday?

While I’ve met a lot of homeless individuals that actually enjoy that way of life, I’ve also seen a lot of people who have had no other choice but to be homeless and they’re scared, alone, and sad. That’s no way for anyone to feel in this world.

Some people aren’t fortunate to have family, friends, or other support systems to turn to when they’re facing immense difficulties and that shouldn’t be the case. We should all be able to have somewhere to sleep at night and food on the table.

That’s why I think it’s so important to try and give back during the holiday season if you’re in a position to do so.  If we all did a little bit extra to help out the homeless, whether it be at a shelter, helping on the streets, or purchasing a Giving Key to help a homeless person gain employment, then we might actually be able to help end homelessness once and for all!