WE’VE GIVEN 44% BACK
FOUR was founded on the idea of creating women’s apparel within a circular community. Honoring the makers, the wearers and the values that connect us all. We’ve committed to giving 44% of our profits back to the community where our products are made and we’re proud to say we’ve made our first donation!
When we began working with Rabbit at Thistle Hill Weavers in Cherry Valley NY, we spoke about the issues that affect their community in rural upstate New York. Rabbit explained that the community is full of farmers, so food was plentiful, but being a rural community, people have to travel long distances to get medical care and often went without. With our focus on women, we identified the main provider of medical care to women in the community: Family Planning of South Central New York, Oneonta, a 45 minute drive from the mill.
We were immediately inspired by FPSCNY’s mission: to advocate and provide individuals, families and organizations in our region with information, education and health care services pertaining to human sexuality and reproductive health in a private and confidential manner, respectful of all beliefs, supporting individual freedom of choice and responsibility.
They promise to: Serve all patients, offer discounted fees for patients who qualify and not deny services based on a person’s: Race, Age, Gender identity, National Origin, Sexual orientation, Disability, Inability to pay or Religion.
We spoke with Debra Marcus, CEO, and Alexis Savidge, DIrector of Development of FPSCNY:
Mae and Ku: What are the most impactful ways FPSCNY is serving women in the upstate New York community?
Debra and Alexis: Family Planning of South Central New York has been working to improve the overall health of our community for 80 years. We provide women (and men) in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, and Otsego counties of upstate New York with basic reproductive and gynecological medical services at our five medical centers in Binghamton, Norwich, Oneonta, Sidney, and Walton. These services include annual exams, cancer screenings, contraception, including Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs), Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing and treatment, rapid HIV testing, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV, and rapid Hepatitis C testing. We accept Medicaid, most commercial insurers, and offer a sliding fee scale, ensuring that cost is not a barrier to receiving services. The patients we see are often high risk, low income individuals who often have difficulty navigating the traditional health care environment, with 75% of our patients having incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty level.
We do more than just provide services - we empower women (and men) to meet their own health needs.
Mae and Ku: How have you innovated to serve your community since Covid-19?
Debra and Alexis: In order to ensure continued services during this unprecedented time, we offer telehealth visits - both by phone and video - for patients who have needs that do not require an in-person visit. Our talented staff were able to quickly mobilize a telehealth program within just a few short weeks. However, it is important to note that the vulnerable population that we serve often do not have a reliable device, access to broadband internet, or even enough minutes to complete a call. We know that it is crucial that we remain open during this time and we are fortunate that in New York State, our Governor recognized family planning services as essential from the beginning, so we were able to remain open.
Our education staff, which typically provides in-person, in-school education services, have developed an online curriculum featuring topics such as STI prevention, consent, social media safety, healthy relationships, etc. to share with teachers via platforms such as Google Classroom, Blackbaud, and Schoology. They have also developed a Zoom Parent Workshop Series where parents can interact with an education on topics such as social media literacy/trends, puberty, parent/child communication activities, etc. Our educators also began a social media campaign called “Quarantine Chronicles,” which offers daily insights, information, and resources on our organization's Instagram page and uses popular hashtag catchphrases to generate traffic. This targeted campaign is intended to reach teens who are not able to engage with us in-person at this time.
Mae and Ku: What did you think when we approached you about the donation? Was it strange to have a clothing brand want to become involved?
Debra and Alexis: We were so excited! We are always so humbled by the generous support of our community, especially during this uniquely tough year. Earlier in the year, at the direction of the NYS Department of Health, we rescheduled all annual and initial exams for nearly two months, resulting in significantly reduced revenue. In addition, New York State has notified us, along with other non-profit and state-funded entities, that the payments on our contracts will be cut by 20% for an unidentified amount of time. Though we hope this is temporary, we are well aware of the toll that COVID-19 has had on the state and are expecting that state financial assistance may continue to be decreased in the future. Any and all support from our community means that we are able to continue to provide critical reproductive and gynecological medical care for years to come. It is more important than ever that we not only remain open, but that we remind people that we are here for them, regardless of income, insurance coverage or immigration status. Sex, pregnancy, and reproductive health needs do not pause during a pandemic -- these services are just as critical for people now as they were before this began.
Donation Amount: $2,903.67 has been donated to Family Planning of South Central New York (FPSCNY) www.fpscny.org
Inspired by their mission? Donate today and help them receive a A Community Thrives grant by reaching their goal of $6,000 before October 16th!
How the donation amount is calculated: Each company defines “profit” slightly differently in how they are structured, so we had to figure out what that meant for FOUR. Since this was our first donation of many to come, we kept it simple. We took the total retail value of Rabbit Jackets we have sold to date, subtracted the cost of developing the fabric, the prototypes and the cost of making the actual garments. We then calculated 44% of the remainder and came up with our donation. We did not include any of our operational costs, which we will probably have to calculate in the future, but we wanted this first donation to be meaningful and truth be told, we’re still working on how this business model works and evolves. We believe in experimentation and transparency, so we will keep you informed as our model evolves!