In today's episode of #ThePathwaystoPeakPeformance, we touch on all 5-Steps with Samantha Tradelius.
The co-host of InspiHER'd podcast and Executive Director of The Sparkle Foundation, Inc. talks about how she is involved in many moving parts but they all align with her passions and talents.
We talk about how you can build a practice and generate revenue which can allow you to fold in other projects that connect to the heart and overall mission and purpose of your life. You can bring your business and family along for the ride and do this all together.
The evolution of pathways is really fun to see play out in others' lives as well as my own. If you want to feel inspired to find ways for you to bring your own evolution to life, please check out the episode and develop your own pathways to success in business and philanthropy.
How to find out more about Samantha and her projects?
For more about Sparkle:
Follow on IG: @sparkle_foundation #SparkleNow
You can find her podcast on Apple or find her here:
#TheAmberStittShow #FocusonTalents #PathwaystoPeakPerformance #FocusonCommunity
Amber Stitt 0:09
Hello, and welcome to the Amber Stitt Show. Today we welcome my new friend, Samantha Tradelius to the show today. Welcome, Samantha!
Samantha Tradelius 0:16
Hello, thanks for having me,
Amber Stitt 0:18
I'm pretty excited because I feel like not only will you inspire people, but I'm a little selfishly excited, because after reading some of what you put on your blog, I feel like you carry a lot of energy, you might be told you're potentially full of energy, and maybe a little overwhelming at times. And I've been told that myself too. So I feel like we kind of bring it to the party constantly, like you said, in your blog, having really a proactive productive day, every day. So I feel like that's the energy you're gonna bring today, which is why you are perfect for the pathways of peak performance. So thank you for being here.
Samantha Tradelius 0:53
I'm excited. Let's go, I'm ready. Okay,
Amber Stitt 0:55
so I'm going to take you all the way through the pathways of peak performance, I feel like you embody every category. So what I like, is to not only have the conversation, but some applications, some takeaways for people. And so with the pathways, we talk about focusing on talents as being the foundation of life, and then everything kind of trickle on down from there. So really focus on talents can be anything from Personal Development, Health, Wellness. And so really, with all the things that you do, and we're going to dive into more of that, because I can't just say you do one thing, it's just impossible. So really, in a nutshell, for you, what has really been something instrumental, maybe something that you share with not only your foundation and your business, but for you what sticks out is like the go to the thing that's kind of changed it for you.
Samantha Tradelius 2 1:43
I mean, I think there's a way that one moves through life with whatever they're doing. And one of my big Undertows in life is just leading with purpose. And it's, you know, it's not one of those, like cliche types of saying, It's like walking the walk and talking the talk. So I really just kind of drive home every single day with waking up, and how can I have a purpose, whether it's selling insurance, whether it's interviewing great women on my podcast, whether it's, you know, sparkling, all those different things, I think that's like my driver, and like, what really, you know, the moment I realized, like, the impact that you can have on a day to day basis and feel good about it, that's, you know, what was kind of an eye opener for me.
Amber Stitt 2:19
Yeah. And so we didn't kick it off with a bio on you. But we're gonna talk about that as we go. But really, you do have this podcast, you do have an insurance business, you do have a foundation. So we're going to tap into that a little bit more. But I agree, it's just having that daily push of just like, how are we going to change the world, essentially, with just big things, or even just little pieces, as we talked about previously, on other episodes, atomic habits, like just little things can be such a big thing for us. And so leading with purpose, I love that. I know that's one of your mission statements. Yes. The second category is focusing on money. And so if you're really leading with the purpose, this is not just like financial planning, I'm talking about focusing on being Money Smart, our goals, and how do you comprehend money? If you're leading with the purpose, is there anything that's really shaped within your household, it could be even down to your children, your girls, but like in business, that you want others to know whether it's a client or a friend, when we focus on money, so any takeaways there that you'd like the audience to know about? Oh,
Samantha Tradelius 3:22
well, I think like going back to like business parts, is just kind of knowing what you're good at, and knowing what you're not good at. And knowing that it's okay, sometimes to put money in different ways to kind of fill holes or plug holes that you need some assistance with, whether that's, you know, web design, or marketing or, you know, whatever it may be. So I think being open and being real, that you can't, even though we think we can't do it all. And the moment that you're like, Okay, if I allocate, you know, X amount of dollars over here, will it yield bigger dividends, because I can open up my time and do more selling or do more of what I enjoy doing that I'm doing?
Amber Stitt 3:56
Yeah, so the delegation as a solopreneur, a lot of people can be that when they first start out, it's like, okay, we're doing everything part of that is though, you can learn the process. So if you are delegating and hiring out, then you know how to do it in case it breaks, or you have to cross train, but then we'll put you in your flow, and then what's exhausting to you. We want to give those things away that are exhausting, because we're not going to be perfect in everything, nor should we be in everything. So focusing on what you're talented in. That's really the driver of then, like you said, like the business. And so when we talk about money goals, it's not just like, how do I save? Am I able to save a certain percentage of my check per month? It's not about that. It's just like the overall the entity of the whole thing. We're like, how are you going to address it and make things happen going back to if we treat your purpose as the foundation of this episode, really staying within where you're talented, so then that can speak for itself? But let's since I jumped over a little bit of a bio on you, let's kind of focus in focusing on risk management and risk management can be this thing. It's not very glamorous and sexy. Yours might actually be a little more fun I get to talk with people about what if they're going to be disabled. Or if they pass away. So my world is not very sexy, but I guess lawsuits might not be either. So with where you've been, how did you know insurance was your thing? And how did you land and commercial insurance.
Samantha Tradelius 5:16
So my family owns a licensing school for insurance. So I kind of grew up in that environment of knowing about insurance. And I actually started teaching insurance when I was a senior in high school. So it's kind of what I did, putting myself through college learning a lot about, you know, the process of the back end code and ethics, if you will. And yeah, so, you know, when I graduated school, I decided it was time to like, get a job, and my parents were ready to retire. So I opened up an agency with my father selling small personal lines, home and auto. And I would buy leads off the internet and smile and dial and sell $100 renters policies. And, you know, slowly learned that like commercial was obviously something that was a little more exciting, and also going to yield a little bit of a higher premium. So I started dabbling in that and then met my husband who ended up being an insurance as well, no way. Yeah, his focus was property. And so when I ended up getting married, and moving to San Francisco, I joined forces with him, and we have grown commercial coverage to what it is today.
Amber Stitt 6:16
That's amazing. My husband's recently joined. I mean, he was always in operations. But he got an insurance license not too long ago. And he's just perfect for a different variation of what I do. So it's a perfect add-on. So when you can collaborate. And I know some people might say, it's really kind of crazy to work with a spouse. But I think going back to a purpose, if you have alignment with goals, and you are all working within where you're talented, again, that's just another reason why that's so important. Because you put people where they need to be and you won't overstep and you won't exhaust each other. It's not like that every day, of course, I can save it and it can be fixed up.
Samantha Tradelius 6:53
I grew up in a family business. So working with, you know, see my parents worked together was like it was all hands on deck all the time, my husband was a little different because he didn't come from that environment. But the moment I think we really understood our strengths and our weaknesses, and how, you know, he's a phenomenal sales guy walks in a room, and you're just like, yeah, magnetic, and I'm really good. With people back end, I can also stand toe to toe with him and close the deal. But the moment I think we realized where our stronger suits were, and how we can complement each other was like a game changer for both of us.
Amber Stitt 7:25
I didn't know that you were in the family business. I have a family of entrepreneurs. But it was actually part of the reason why I skipped being in it for about a decade was because I didn't think I was as far as my grades went accounting and some of the mathematical like the mathematic grades weren't the strongest for me. So I just thought, Oh, I can't do that. And I'm watching my dad present and draw the buckets on the whiteboard and do all these amazing things. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, it was intimidating. But then fast forward, they've pulled me back in eventually, after my 20s, early 30s is when I finally jumped in. And I think that's what's important for I'm jumping ahead a little bit, there's a few things I want to talk to you about with community. But what I would like to the younger generation, the next generation or the career changers, you can be in financial services, so many ways you can really build it out to be whatever you want. I have a friend of mine, she does recruitment for moving people from broker dealers. I know that's not really what we do. But she's like, I have a lot of fun, I make great money. And I'm actually working with multiple parties, and I'm a recruiter in financial services, tell the girls that we're at a conference, she's like, let them know, there's so many ways you just don't have to be an insurance nerd. But like there could be another way to do it.
Samantha Tradelius 8:37
Well, there are so many different areas. And that's one of the greatest things when I'm hiring people is like finding their best, you know, best path. So certain people are born salespeople, and that's what they need to do. Others are more concierge-based individuals. And some of them just you know, like to do the back end and so everybody's kind of got a place and I think being a successful employer is finding where those places are for people so that they can succeed.
Amber Stitt 9:02
We haven't talked a lot about this but my one of my big goals is to kind of shake up this traditional financial firm style. The old antiquated way of doing things even down to potentially how people are paid because some people can be production only a lot of my clients are physicians, some of them love the W to employment health system model some of their specialties. That's just where they would go work. Some people love to go fast let's go action. Let's just get paid as we earn and build business and so some people like the safety net, some people don't they actually love the thrill of just the high production so I've even heard about firms not many that will build out almost like starter for their employees, a way to kind of get their training wheels off but some people just want to go right in like you said, you dabbled with a couple things as far as auto and home and then you changed it a bit. So just there's not just one way to do it, find the niche and then just don't apologize for it and just go for it and then find your strategic part. donors, maybe it is a spouse, maybe not. So I'm curious to know, are there any little fun things that you're installing for financial literacy with the girls? Have you done anything interesting?
Samantha Tradelius 10:11
Yeah, I mean, my girls are in every part, I have a 10 and a 12 year old so they walk with me all day long in anything I'm doing. So when I'm doing insurance stuff at night, you know, my daughter can boy you doing well filling out an application. And the hardest thing is to like, explain insurance to a kid.
Amber Stitt 10:30
Because you are an adult, let's be real.
Samantha Tradelius 10:34
The kids because they really have no idea about what it is you're trying to explain it. So I mean, they're very much involved. And then also just in my efforts with my nonprofit stuff. I mean, they're always around and they see they're seeing
Amber Stitt 10:45
you. Oh, yeah, they're right next to me, you know, how's that a conference last year, I was sitting among all the people that do the same thing. We all talk about our kids and the kids. Mom, Dad, I want to be in the business. I was even as I said, No, can't be in the business. And I thought, what if there was a way to get all the kids together and build some sort of conference where it's just cool, like Google, like a fintech? Like all the different things that they think is just not fun sitting at a desk doing applications? Oh, my gosh. But what if we can let them see the other side? So without having to build out a conference or whatever, if we can literally bring them with us and make it fun? The thing I want my daughter to see is to see multiple things. Like you said, your husband can walk in the room and just light it up? Well as she doesn't want to sit behind a desk doing some data fill part of that, you know, you might have to do that when you're learning. But what if that's her thing? And it's more about arranging and being more transactional? What if the person needs to be out having conversations they don't know unless you take them along. So my daughter's four and a half. So eventually, she'll be coming to different coffee meetups, and then some of the nonprofit work too, that we do outside of the office so she can see but so far, she's just shredding paper for her. You gotta start somewhere. Yeah, yeah. So outside of me printing coloring pages for her for her different things, where you know, but she does like seeing me in here. And I think we gotta get her. I don't know if your girls get on the mic, but I'm excited to get her on the podcast, Mike eventually
Samantha Tradelius 12:09
won the mic yet. I'm terrified of what they say but no, they interviewed some teens
that were going graduating seniors that were going out into, you know, looking for college, and like, what it's like to be an 18-year-old woman embarking on life. And it was incredibly inspiring. I mean, the girls that we, you know, see, and that are in our life as far as like sparkle stuff. I mean, they're incredible young women. And I think it's so important for them to be involved in big girl activities, even at a young age, because when they get out there in the big world, it'll be like checked on that.
Amber Stitt 12:44
Yep. Well, that's what I've been doing something. So you're in California, and I'm in Arizona, but Junior Achievement is I've also toured their business town here in Tempe because it's, they're putting it to work. And so when we did a tour the other day, the person giving us the tour, he goes, it looks like they are running around crazy. But they've been trained 16 hours, they know what they're doing. They're running businesses, just go and watch them. And it was so cool. Because what if we could just be put into this over time and not just be dropped in? I mean, you know, sometimes those experiences are good for us, too. But if it's not, if you're just used to it, you just keep enhancing it and evolving it. I mean, that would be a lot more fun than just, you know, jumping in and just being scared. I remember making those calls very early.
Samantha Tradelius 13:27
Is is hard enough, right? And life as a young woman, you know, with everything that's coming at them sideways, it's hard enough. So if there are a few key things that we can teach them now, that you know, are just some fundamental foundations for that it's going to be so like paying forward for them in years to come.
Amber Stitt 13:46
Yeah. And that's really what the baseline, the pathos of peak performance came at the beginning of 2020. It was just an idea for a workshop but having resilience, because like you said, things are going to happen. So we know that's going to happen. Do we have all the pieces you have a mission? Do you have a purpose, if you know that within yourself, when life is hard, you're having a rough day, hopefully, that just keeps you chugging along, because you know, there's more. And then money management can be one of those things. If you have kind of dialed in, then there's less stress when there's less money or something happens. And then this piece of just that risk management, we kind of applied it to business, but really just looking at it as a whole and not being scared of risk. But how do we take care of it and be proactive with it, which then leads me to marketing and technology being it could be so different for so many people? So it's not about like, what are you using in your business to be effective with marketing and technology? I mean, we can even talk about your podcast, what are you using that you just love? And that's just shaped you in the last few years when it comes to anything that you're doing from marketing and tech, what would you like to share with the audience about that?
Samantha Tradelius 14:54
So marketing I have found women do business much differently. We're more connected and the way that we operate. And so for myself when I was whenever I'm marketing, you know, whatever I'm doing, I tend to go base that pursuit on a relationship based approach, right? So whether that's attending, you know, events, meetings, etc, or just connecting with people that are like-minded that are, you know, seeking what I'm doing, or in the same space, I mean, that, to me, is my best marketing, I could never spend enough, there's no dollar amount that whatever yield those grants, right, when it comes to, you know, nonprofit stuff, like Sparkle is a very grassroots organization. And so all of our marketing is also like, it's social media, it's word of mouth, it's basically pounding the pavement to get people to know, hey, here's what we're doing. And here's how we need to fund it. So that I use a lot of social media. And that's been very good, but not so much for insurance, because the people that are buying things of that nature, they're not on Facebook, they don't know, they're not, they're not doing that LinkedIn a little bit, but not, you know, you're getting your name out there, but you're not like involved with the right people, and a lot of ways that are gonna pay back, you know, the leads that you need. And with the podcast, you know, a lot of it is people like you and me, that are entrepreneurs that are interviewed, and then they, you know, send it out to their networks. And it's a great way to get our story and your story out into different worlds and different dynamics that we wouldn't really have access to otherwise. So, you know, I think there's, it's, it's not like a one fits all box and
Amber Stitt 16:25
play everything into
Samantha Tradelius 16:26
and a little bit of everything kind of it's a consistency, you've got to be consistent.
Amber Stitt 16:31
Yeah, consistency. I know, there's a quote about Tony Robbins, I don't have it written down, but he talks about something to the tune of it's like, it's not the smartest people. It's like the most consistent people can get things done. It's not about IQ, essentially. So I want to step back a little bit. I don't think I caught how you and your friend that your co-host met on your episodes. So how did you two meet? How did it work out?
Samantha Tradelius 16:53
Stacy, I call her fleece because there are two stickers for friends. So everyone gets a lesson. There are two Stacy's to Michelle's and a SAM, we met. So it's kind of an interesting networking-like business, the kind of story so when I moved to San Francisco, I was a complete fish out of water and knew no one except my husband. And met a woman who had a networking group called skirts and skirts was sharing knowledge, and information resources together the acronym. And it was all female entrepreneurs that would meet once a month. And the idea was a relationship-based networking group. And so we grew up together this group of 15 women, I mean, for 20 years, and you met religion. And we were still all very close. But Stacey was one of the first women I met within maybe a month of moving to San Francisco. And she was, you know, had a little bit older kids, she was managing a hedge fund at the time, like just a total like magical creature. And so she and I, of course, just hit it off. And you know, I've never looked back. She's my life partner. We do everything together. We travel, we work together, and we podcast together. And it's like, we have a good yin yang, which is fun. And she is absolutely hysterical.
Amber Stitt 18:04
Good. No, I caught that. I like the vibe. So that's, that's really cool that you can do that with each other. But you know, I think with all the things that you do, some people do they ever ask, Oh, how do you get it all done? Like, how do you do this or that with the marketing, I think if you love what you do, doesn't feel like work, you just have to figure out what you can allocate for time. I know that with marketing, often, as you said, with insurance, it's like if we're not really seeing metrics that say this or that works. Sometimes I feel like when I talk to my male counterparts, they want that metric. They want that direct number to like, what conditions did this earn you, but I just don't think that's the way it is. With this approach. You just have to be present and show the world what you're capable of and what you'd like to do and how you can help shake it up. And just finding your way, there are so many ways to do business. And so there are so many resources out there too. I mean, you can learn it on YouTube, or you can figure it out through a friend or like your network like you're talking about. So there's really no excuse. But sometimes you're not going to see that dollar amount, but it should be fun, or you're delegating it out. But like the whole picture is just kind of figuring out what you like to do. And it should be easy to implement. I mean, not always easy, but easy enough to kind of add it to the arsenal, if it's important to you then should be fun. And so it sounds like that's what you're doing. I tend to do that to the blog, the podcast, the work, and the networking, which is focusing on community. So originally, when I was interviewing people for more of the idea of pathways of peak performance, it was along the lines of businesses being shut down. How do you still look present online and not show that just the consistency part is really what you talked about, but it became more than that? And so when I meet people that might be not new in the business, but maybe they're just trying to expand like LinkedIn for example. I think that's originally where we met it was an Instagram but I'm meeting a lot of friends through the online platforms like LinkedIn. And I'm finding a lot of really close friends if you could say that because we're sharing the same my Instead of how do we change things? It's really there's a lot of nonprofit extra hours going in pro bono, but you're aligning with these people, because then a lot of my female colleagues now I mean, we're always brainstorming, how do we do this? Or that? How do we create an event? How do we help people, it's just becoming this powerful thing. But originally, it was like focusing on the community can help you. Maybe if you have an illness, it was more of that COVID mindset at the time. But like, if you have to shut down, how do you send a client somewhere else if you need to go on maternity take some time having a trusted network? But as I keep evolving that and then I as I get more involved with things like for me women and insurance and financial services, and then some other insurance organizations, plus a couple of nonprofits here in Phoenix that are female-focused, it becomes more than that. It's a sisterhood that I never thought I would have had. But we can choose it. What's nice about online is like even that friendships through the network, we can choose the time we devote to it, and then go back to our work or family, whatever else it is. So LinkedIn has become a game changer for that. I bring this up only because some people think, oh, LinkedIn, it's kind of annoying gal, the spammers are trying to sell you something. But if you can shut up the noise and just see who's kind of shining, and who's leading the pack, and like, you know, inspiring you. I think LinkedIn has been interesting. But then Instagram, too, not so much for an insurance business. But it's fun to put a creative, beautiful aesthetic, you know, communication out there, but focusing on community. I could go all over the place. But I want to give a little time for your sparkle foundation. I want to know a little bit more. Is it specifically local in your cities? Or is it expanding? What's the latest on the news of sparkle Foundation,
Samantha Tradelius 21:38
there's a lot we're ramping up. But going back, I want to touch on the community part and putting yourself in environments where the people that you want to be around are is I think the best lesson that I was ever taught or somebody sent it to me like if you want to meet with property managers, or you want to meet with successful business women know to find them and plug it right because goodness loves other goodness, and you will find each other, then, you know, the silver lining of COVID was we got to really embrace and our generation, we've been always kind of cool with the tech, but we're not as cool as like the younger my kids are. But we were never hip with online relationships. I mean, it was always kind of weird. And now it's the norm like we're you and I are able to connect and you know, form a relationship. And you can be in 15 different places that once because you don't have to drive or get on a plane. So I think there is some awesomeness about the online community and finding one that works, right, because not everything works. But you do need to show up and try different things. And you know, plug in with what makes sense. So that's my two cents on that. Thank you. All are so smart. ramping up. We're in our year seven now
Amber Stitt 22:47
we just congratulations!
Samantha Tradelius 22:49
Thank you. Big, big year. We just had our board meeting last week. So we've got a lot going on. We've got backpacks coming up in the fall, which will be August, which we start working on now. Because it's such a big thing. We're gonna do 5000 backpacks this year, which is baloney.
Amber Stitt 23:05
Okay, stopping there, like literal backpacks not like stuffing a backpack like you are. Can you elaborate on that? Yeah. So what we do is we work
Samantha Tradelius 23:12
with community partners, and you would ask where we are. So we're in the Bay Area, anywhere from Sonoma to San Jose and the East Bay, then we are in Sacramento. So that whole area, and then also Los Angeles right now. So we've got California pretty much covered. What we do is we work with local law enforcement, first responders, and also school districts, we reached out we say, hey, you know, because they know where the families are that need back night, literally a backpack filled with school supplies, because if you imagine being a single mom and like trying to pay rent and put food on the table, and now I got a list of stuff, I gotta buy my kid to go to school and a backpack. Honestly, it's like 100 bucks a kid, right? It's expensive and
Amber Stitt 23:52
so should be exciting and not a stressful thing.
Samantha Tradelius 23:55
You go to Target and you're just like, holy moly, I just spent 200 bucks on two bags and Krantz, this is bananas. So what we do is we find out what the need is, we then fundraise and we buy them. And we get all the school supplies and then we stuffed them in our different locations, my locations here at the house. So I'll have two 300 people show up to get them to the community partners and then we go distribute them at different events, like the week before school starts. So last year we did 3800 This year we're doing 5000
Amber Stitt 24:26
Wow. Okay, so, so I will know that there are links but I'll get some links to link up in the description boxes for this information. So people want to help that would be $1
Samantha Tradelius 24:38
I've got it down. So business me right. I have ground it down and I can fill a bag 19-inch backpack filled with 36 school supplies for $8
Amber Stitt 24:47
Wow. No, I'm picturing No way.
Samantha Tradelius 24:51
$8 means a kid gets a backpack. So we've got that going on. We've got multiple different fundraising activities to make that happen. And then we're going We need to have our sparkle event. Usually, we have a night to sparkle, which is where we feature, you know, 50 local entrepreneurs, and women selling their wares. And then we have, you know, a fashion show and all that. And this year, we're switching up, we're gonna have a brunch, a jazz brunch, hunting keynote speaker, it's gonna like, I feel like we're grown up, now we can do it.
Amber Stitt 25:21
I ended up save the date on this one, please.
Samantha Tradelius 25:24
It'll be here in a great area. And then after that, we've got Christmas rolls right around. So have October 1, we'll launch our nomination form. And then December, November, and December is all about single moms and providing Christmas. So last year, we did 70 I think we'll do 70 families again because it's an approachable amount we can manage. And then the other thing is we're ready to fund Round Two for our microloan program, which we are in right now we're accepting applications through the middle of May. And we will be funding one or two businesses this year. So we're ramping up for that, which is exciting and terrifying because it's a huge deal. But it's one of my favorite parts about what we're doing.
Amber Stitt 26:04
Oh my gosh, that is so much and so amazing. There's a lot more than I thought there was
Samantha Tradelius 26:08
going on, it's like, My desk is nuts. And then it's I have insurance and like all the other things, too. So it's like I'm spinning. But again,
Amber Stitt 26:14
driving back to the purpose, you know, you're doing amazing things feels good. When you're helping others. Is there anything like as far as the women that you're helping, or anything you'd want people to know that no one really knew or knows, like a statistic or something that you're just like, this is really shocking? But the $8 supplies, that's shocking. But is there anything else that you're just you run into that you're just like, people don't know this?
Samantha Tradelius 26:39
What's the waste of single moms? So that's our mission, our focus, and we're very firm on that. So single moms, you know, many times in many of our communities, they're everywhere, whether it was your mom, your sister, your best friend, and they are the hardest, most underserved community out there because they really take on so much. And, you know, I live in Marin County, here, it's a very affluent County in California, and you would have no idea the amount of hardship and it's not just here, it's everywhere.
Amber Stitt 27:10
Yeah, that's the thing, like palm trees are beautiful. That's one thing about California, that can be tricky. It's beautiful. But it doesn't mean right next door, there's some stuff going on. That's just
Samantha Tradelius 27:20
and you may have a woman who's making enough to pay rent, and she can put food on the table. But there's literally 20 extra dollars a month. And you know, what we do is we're not here to serve a lifestyle. So we're here for the woman who can provide, but there aren't any extras, and she needs a whole plot. That's where we're most effective and impactful. And the other thing that's kind of cool about us is that we only help one time. So we're not you don't come back to continually come back. We are basically just that trampoline that can get you to go in most human thoughts. And we've been very successful. And then over the years, we've served over 10,000 lives with the various things that we've done, and it's 100% volunteer 100% of every dollar that we get goes right back out, which is kind of why I started this in the first place. And this year, I think year-to-year growth. I think I haven't got my tax returns just back yet. But I'm thinking it's about $1.8 million. We've raised and given back out.
Amber Stitt 28:15
Oh my gosh, yeah, I I know, I saw that million-dollar number. And I wanted to ask, so I'm glad you brought it up. So I didn't have to go there. But that is amazing. I mean, when did this start in your head as a dream? So before seven years, so congrats seven-year anniversary. But before that, when was the original? Like, we need to do this? Do you remember what year or where you were? Well, I
Samantha Tradelius 28:36
remember well, it was I was 23 at the time was 2003. And I wanted to do something, I wanted to do something in this world. I just didn't know what so I started researching charities, and you would find that most of the charities are as transparent with the money that they spent. And everyone's like, you can't say that on my blood, it affects $100 And it's gonna go to pay lunch and admin, and maybe 20 bucks goes to like serve the cause, which for me, like I didn't have a lot of money. But with the money I did have, I wanted to make sure it was like
Amber Stitt 29:07
serving accounted for. And really, I remember around even when Florida had some issues, I remember listening to some people with a lot of money that was donating they go, be careful. You need to know where you're giving your money the water to the water bottles that people that are funding to build things back up. Be careful because there are a lot of scams and different things. And I know that's not where you're trying to go down that rabbit hole today. But yes, just making sure the dollars are really legit helping people and not funding something else like a padded layer of something that a nonprofit would notice.
Samantha Tradelius 29:39
And when you're you are transparent. I think people can really resonate with it. And so year after year, the program grew and grew. And I just did Christmas first year to two families that it was three, five, and then by 2015. I had 17 families that we were hosting out of my house. And by hosting I mean we would get to know them. I raised the money I went and bought with what they needed and then we wrap it and we go deliver it. So there's actually that end result, which another thing that was important to me is a lot of organizations you don't you write an attack, and
Amber Stitt 30:08
then you don't really know. Yeah, can't feel that.
Samantha Tradelius 30:10
And we are very much involved with the community as well as our students and all the different, you know, people that want to get involved, so they can actually hand off backpack stuff and go give it to a kid, which I think really gets that, you know, hard tug, that, you know, you're making a difference. And for those people that don't, aren't in a position to donate money, they can donate their time, or, you know, being involved in the process. And it is one of the most magical things, it's not only this ability to help the recipient but also to be able to provide an opportunity for people to have the ability to get involved in something that's bigger than themselves.
Amber Stitt 30:47
There's also something I mean, donations are great handmade downs are great. But there's something different. I remember being a kid just loving the school supply, shopping all of that there's something about getting something new. That's there's this different. And that's just something that I think kids can appreciate, too. I mean, in general, having it but the fact that you're doing it that way is amazing. Well, there's more to come, we're going to dig in more with you, I know in a future episode or two. So I think that's a perfect place to close for today. I think that people have to be inspired after hearing all the things that they're doing. And if they wanted to be affiliated with you, we'll be able to connect them with you, and the multiple ways that you're helping. So thanks so much for being on the show today. So thanks for having me.
Samantha Tradelius 31:30
It's great to be able to share stories of women doing things, you know, because there's not I think a lot of times many of our stories don't get to get told and so it's great that you're providing a space that does that. So thank you.
Amber Stitt 31:43
Yeah, you're providing the voice, but then the action behind it in so many different ways. So I love when I meet someone and do the good work. So I really appreciate it and there's more to come. So Thanks, Samantha. Have a great day you too. Thank you for joining us on today's episode of the amber Stitt show. For more information about podcasts, books, articles, and more, please visit me at Amber stitt.com. Until next week, enjoy your journey at home and at work. Thank you for listening
Transcribed by https://otter.ai