Mind, Body, and Soul Totes: An Interview with Carrie Dorr Courtney Hayes November 16, 2016 DOING GOOD, LIFESTYLE, POPULAR Carrie Dorr is a woman on a mission to make the world a better place and that’s how she dreamed up the Soul Day Foundation, where she works to “spread kindness and lift the souls of children and women in need,” and Soul Totes, where each tote bag sold means someone in need will receive one filled with both essential and wellness items to bring joy. Find out more about her inspiration, how you can make a difference, and get advice to be healthier inside and out. Surround Yourself: Both Soul Day Foundation and your previous business have been geared towards promoting physical and mental health. How did you become interested in helping people address those important issues in their lives? Carrie Dorr: I started teaching dance and fitness when I was just 13 and coaching and refereeing soccer around the same time! From the beginning, I innately understood the importance of a mind-body connection and its role in living a healthy life. It’s only been the past few years that I haven’t been teaching movement of any kind and I’ve realized how important the teaching and sharing components are to me. It inspired me to launch the Life Smart blog! Carrie Dorr via Carrie Dorr SY: One of the big things Soul Day Foundation does is have Soul Days for women and children where you incorporate both mental and physical health into a “day of delight.” What inspired you to come up with such an inventive way to care for people? What do “days of delight” entail? CD: When I began researching the nonprofit space I met many organizations which were doing great work but due to financial and staffing restraints could only provide the basic necessities to the people they were serving. It made the most sense to partner with select nonprofits and help them provide a “next level.” I also observed that the nonprofit teams were small, overworked and underpaid. So we decided to help take care of the caretakers and they are included in our SDF mission. Our Soul Days provide an experience which is “good for the soul.” The details vary by the group we are serving but include things like, bikes, yoga, healthy cooking, painting, outdoor retreats and always a good meal. Days of Delight via Soul Day Foundation SY: One of the fun things about Soul Day Foundation is your Soul Totes program, where you hand out tote bags to participants that are filled with a variety of items. What makes the items in the bags important? CD: In SDF’s first year we handed out a lot of totes at our events. We also learned that our partner organizations needed help with ongoing self-care and support items (which fit in a tote) for the people they were serving. Thus, Soul Totes was born! We are currently distributing approximately 1,000 totes each year. Our Soul Totes, like our Soul Days, vary by the group we are serving but always include non-toxic hygiene products and food without hydrogenated fats, artificial ingredients or artificial preservatives. Mama Soul Tote via Soul Tote SY: What’s been the most memorable or surreal moment for you since starting Soul Tote and Soul Day Foundation? CD: At our first Roll With Soul Day we gave away 60 bikes, helmets, and locks to kids living in higher risk environments. The kids receiving bikes each brought their families, my husband Frank ran the event, we brought our three kids and so many businesses, volunteers from the community, and our Board members got involved. To have so many people from all different walks of life come together that day was a pretty awesome experience and really what life is all about. Roll With Soul via Soul Day Foundation SY: What are some of the ways you’ve seen your organization make an impact? How are people responding to the work you’re doing? CD: One of our first Soul Days was taking a group of kids back to school shopping. We try to integrate the message of spreading kindness regardless of income level at our events so at lunch I asked the kids what was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for them. Almost all of them said “this”! Soul Days via Soul Day Foundation SY: If you could share one piece of advice with readers who are interested in taking a step towards better physical and mental health, what would it be? CD: Start with a small change. It could be something like walk 15 minutes three times this week or limit an evening snack size to a handful of something. It’s less intimidating and sets you up for success. That success feels good and motivates you to want to add on a next goal. They stack up like building blocks before you know it. My Morning Smoothie via Carrie Dorr SY: Tell us about the Soul Totes we can purchase—how do they fit in with your Soul Day Foundation program? CD: Soul Tote is a social good company. We started it solely to help make Soul Day Foundation sustainable and ensure a long lasting impact. We created really fun wellness inspired illustrated totes which are eco-friendly. When you buy a tote from soultote.com a tote is donated to Soul Day Foundation which we fill and distribute to those in need. Soul Mind Body Tote via Soul Tote SY: How can people help contribute to your cause—whether they’re in Denver or elsewhere? CD: In a few ways! You can buy a tote from Soul Tote, make a direct donation to Soul Day Foundation or get involved with our Corporate Soul Tote Program. In the Corporate Soul Tote program we have businesses and groups of all kinds sign up to fill totes. We bring the totes to the groups, they fill them with the list of items we provide and then we deliver them to those in need. It’s a simple way for a team to bond and do something really impactful for others at the same time. Carrie Dorr and Family via Carrie Dorr Thanks, Carrie! Be sure to check out Soul Tote to find your new favorite tote bag or find other ways to get involved by visiting Soul Day Foundation.