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Holiday Guide

The Art of Double Giving - One Fort McMurray man’s socially responsible business

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The Holidays are a season of giving; we share warm meals and great conversation with friends and family, we donate to greater causes, and we often exchange gifts with others to show we are thinking of them. But what if we could buy a tangible gift for a friend that also provides a charitable impact, the art of double giving.

Dylan Corbett holds a degree in Business Administration and currently works for Thurber Engineering here in Fort McMurray, but it is his side business that warms the hearts of many on a global scale. In October 2014 he co-founded The Hunger Republic (THR), an apparel company, with his business partner Danika Gagnon of Ottawa.

The Hunger Republic offers customers the opportunity to purchase an item with an international impact. For every purchase through THR a donation is made to a charitable organization in Kenya.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the holidays and lose sight of how truly fortunate we are in North America. Simple things we take for granted, like food and school supplies, aren’t readily available for others in different parts of the world,” says Dylan. “By supporting The Hunger Republic, you can turn something as simple as shopping for gifts into a charitable donation that will have a huge impact for those in need.”

THR was founded on the premise that collectively we have the power to make a difference. This organization doesn’t just send money, but gives the area the necessary tools it needs to grow in a sustainable way.

‘’Social responsibility is becoming increasingly important to consumers. Our brand enables people to shop and make a positive impact at the same time,’’ explains Danika. ‘’The added value of the charity component creates a shopping experience that consumers find both appealing and rewarding.’’

The customer can choose from four options where they want their donation directed; funds can be contributed to sporting equipment, education, community development, or food. Danika and Dylan’s plans were just pen to paper during the summer of 2014, until a few months later when Dylan took a trip to Africa and ended up volunteering with a charitable organization in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi. After that THR has been feeding the hunger through its partnership with The Gatina Youth and Empowerment Program.

“I was amazed by the positive impact this local charity had on the community, and how much they were accomplishing with the limited resources they had. It was a very humbling experience,’’ explains Dylan.

Since THR’s development, just over a year ago, the organization’s after school soccer program has been equipped with new jerseys and shoes, over 50 kids have benefited from two semesters’ worth of school supplies, new vegetables have been harvested at the charity’s farm, and most remarkably, construction of a well has begun in order to provide irrigation for the farm.

“We’d like to grow the company so that we can partner with additional charities and help out as many communities as possible, especially right at home in Canada. We’d also like to use THR as a platform to raise awareness of these important social issues,” added Dylan.

So this holiday season consider sharing the warmth across the globe by picking up a THR sweater for a friend, while making a contribution to an amazing cause.

“Fort McMurray has provided amazing opportunities and resources that I could not have gotten anywhere else in Canada. Like many others here I follow the ‘work hard, play hard’ motto. My playing comes in the form of frequent trips volunteering in less fortunate areas of the world,” adds Dylan. “These experiences keep me grounded and focused on what is important. The creation and inspiration of The Hunger Republic is directly related to these experiences.”

This Fort McMurray resident is hungry to make a difference and hopes you are too! 

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