The Giving Keys Founder Caitlin Crosby Shares Her Inspirations

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We are always inspired by moms who find unique ways to make a difference in other people’s lives. Many know Caitlin Crosby as a successful singer, actress and songwriter (“Flawz”), but she’s also the founder and CEO of The Giving Keys.

The Giving Keys, which Crosby launched in 2008, employs those transitioning out of homelessness to make jewelry out of repurposed keys. Each key is engraved with a message like “Hope,” “Strength,” “Courage”—and “Brave,” which she also named her almost-1-year-old son. When the person wearing the key encounters someone else who needs the message, they are encouraged to pay it forward and give it to them.

According to The Giving Keys website, in the last three years, they have employed 28 people who have struggled with homelessness, helped 22 move into permanent housing and collected thousands of pay-it-forward stories.

Caitlin shares with her inspiration for starting The Giving Keys, as well as advice for other working moms.

Describe the moment when you were inspired to start The Giving Keys.

Almost 10 years ago, I was passing through New York City on my music tour, and it all started with a hotel room key. I turned the key into a necklace and had the idea to start engraving other old, used keys with inspirational words. I encouraged everyone to “own” the word on their key and then keep their eyes open for someone who needed the message more than them. People started writing me the stories, and I knew I needed to start a website to post them so other people could read them too. Once that started taking off, I knew I wanted the money to go to some sort of charity. I then met a young homeless couple on Hollywood Boulevard. I took them to dinner and had an “aha” moment to employ them to engrave the words on the keys. When I met them, they slept in a cardboard box in a dumpster, but little by little they saved up enough money to stay in a motel and then got their own apartment, all from the sales of these keys.



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