Blue Illusion co-founder Danny Guest stands with photos of some of the 116 children his business sponsors through World Vision.
Australian fashion retailer Blue Illusion founders Donna and Danny Guest sponsor a child for every one of their 116 stores around Australia and New Zealand. We caught up with them to find out why they decided to partner with World Vision.
What first inspired you to sponsor a child?
I saw the ad on television when I was nine months pregnant, that was in 1999. It triggered a feeling within me, I thought that I couldn’t bring another child into this world while other children were starving. I made the decision on the spot. Our first was Tamrat from Ethiopia.
How does Blue Illusion partner with World Vision?
From the start we have held the belief that with every boutique we opened we would sponsor a child, and that’s a commitment we hold to this day. Let’s just say we have a very big family and it is still growing!
How does partnering with WVA influence your staff members?
It is such a positive influence – it attracts like-minded people together and that is a wonderful feeling. We all share the same vision and a community-driven spirit.
How do your employees respond to their store’s sponsored children?
They get really involved, they take ownership but also feel a part of a collective vision, a family. Each boutique also works on a local level within the community including fundraising events for local initiatives, which is nominated by the staff. So this stems back to the idea of each boutique sponsoring a child and having the choice to be the change they want to see.
Do staff members share around the letter-writing duties to their sponsor child?
Yes, they do. Doing this only reinforces their willingness and joy to be involved in the experience. It makes it much more real.
Has sponsoring a child changed your perspective on the world?
I think we feel like we are accomplishing something great, to end poverty in an effective way. I say kudos to World Vision for creating a wonderful and seamless approach to make this happen. The beauty of sponsoring a child is a tangible and colourful experience, and you get to connect and embrace what difference you have made.
See more of Donna and Danny’s story here: