Today we’d like to introduce you to LaShanda Pitts.
LaShanda, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a daily news watcher, I found myself becoming more and more saddened by what I was seeing on television and posted on social media. People seem so angry, so unhappy, and in such turmoil. I kept thinking to myself, “How did we get here?”
Then, one day, it dawned on me that quite possibly the human race had forgotten about the word CARE!! Who cares anymore? Who cares about our neighbors, our children, our youth, and the struggles of both men and women who are pushing hard in life to make it better for their families.
As I pondered this I thought, “Wow… I haven’t been a foot soldier with respect to charity work! No mentoring, no extending my own presence.” Yes, of course, I give at Thanksgiving and Christmas time in conjunction with my employer and provide occasional food bank donations here and there and try to be a kind and pleasant person every day. Yet there I sat saddened by all of the world’s turmoil. So I decided to step outside of myself to get a real blessing — which comes in helping others. I was overcome and inspired by the thought of getting others equally excited and involved about doing charity work. But how? How could I make charity work exciting, fulfilling, fun, nurturing, and the new trend??
The Classy Living Society was founded in 2013 to answer the call to service through civic engagement and help transform lives one community at a time. CLS is an organization focused on innovative partnerships, top-notch community service and premier events that unite women across the nation who share a passion for service and blaze the trail for the change we want to see in our communities.
I’ve lead the organization with a great team that shares my passion for creativity, originality, and free-thinking. The team and I have helped bring women together to volunteer, socialize and build life-long friendships and partnerships. I am proud to lead an organization that empowers, motivates and inspires women through education, dedication, and sisterhood, I look forward to future growth and opportunity because I know that by extending our reach, CLS will be able to impact more families.
CLS is the parent company to eight other brands that range from a socially conscious lipstick line to a digital magazine that gives back. Our company offerings are as follows:
LEGACY FOR CHANGE
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
One of the very first goals of CLS was to become an innovative organization of excellence that would stand out among others of its kind. Making that happen posed a few obstacles and challenges; one of the biggest challenges was a lack of funding from outside sources. The founding sisters and I wanted to bring CLS to the desired level of notoriety and popularity, and in order to do so, personal funding had to take the place of any outside funding there was to be had.
In addition, other sizable and prominent women’s organizations around the Atlanta area were similar to CLS but were more well-known. With the help of a novice group of marketers and visibility in the community, CLS’ membership rolls grew, and so did its popularity in the Atlanta area. Despite these obstacles, CLS continues to grow and thrive into the national premier women’s community service organization proudly supporting communities in 12 U.S. states, Nigeria, Croatia, Dubai and reaching over 200,000 subscribers through our many media platforms.
We’d love to hear more about your organization.
Classy Living Society was founded in 2013 as a women’s community service organization with a commitment to change the world! CLS endeavors to inspire and cultivate genuine friendships through a membership-driven private social club. As a hands-on community partner for local charities and nonprofit organizations, CLS members volunteer their time and resources to enrich the lives and futures of those in the community and to bringing awareness to those causes CLS is passionate about. CLS also provides a superior platform that allows women to connect with other like-minded women, by hosting high-end, exciting and premier events, galas and social functions throughout the year. Among many communities and national recognitions and accolades, CLS is a proud recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award issued by President Barack Obama in 2016.
CLS is on a mission to give back to local and global communities by partnering with charities to further mutual causes as well as promote the entrepreneurial spirit of its member businesses and encourage empowerment in women, young and old. We promote and envision a positive environment that sets sisterhood bonding, mentoring the next generation and caring for those in need as high priorities.
Here’s a snapshot of a few of our successes.
*Organized over 400 volunteer efforts and worked with over 200+ community partners.
*Received 2016 Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama for volunteering over 300,000+ hours.
*Recognized by the Atlanta City Council via Proclamation in 2019.
*Expanded membership rolls nationwide and globally with chapters in 12 U.S. states, and three countries.
*Reached over 200,000 subscribers through various media platforms.
*Published a digital magazine, the Classy Chronicles, with over 90,000 subscribers.
*Published the Chronicles Too!, an online magazine that features amazing nonprofit organizations, awesome businesses, business owners, community leaders and more.
*Tripled attendance to its annual fundraiser – the Red Dress Gala and is renowned in the community for hosting high end, exciting premier events, galas, and social functions that bring awareness to the nonprofits we serve.
*Adopted a block or road in various U.S. cities in conjunction with the city, county, and other municipal entities, to encourage volunteers to undertake periodic maintenance of the adopted portion; keeping it clean and litter-free.
*Maintained its socially conscious leadership and awareness through CLS Cares which is committed to preserving the environment by providing resources for carpooling/ridesharing to member events, recycling, adopting local roads, gardening, and urban sustainability. CLS ensures that member events are eco-friendly and makes “going green” a priority.
*Developed a socially conscious line of lipsticks, Shade by CLS, to bring awareness to causes affecting the world — $2.00 from each lipstick purchase will be donated to a number of non-profit organizations that are making a difference in the lives of people who need it most.
*Launched Legacy for Change, the Classy Living Society 501(c)(3) organization for young girls ages 9-17.
*Developed a membership level for college students to foster relationships and mentorships with young women in college called Class Is In.
*Developed innovative and unique programs to assist businesses and business owners achieve sustainable growth and development.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to listen to the voices in my heart and head earlier. The world needs community organizations like the Classy Living Society. We could have accomplished so much more in the communities we serve.
- Website: cls-volunteer.org
- Phone: 404-490-3768
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/classylivingsociety/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClassyLivingSociety/
Jason Brydsell at Enphocus Photography