October 19th, 2020

Duet has three core values that support the way we operate; Choice, Connection and Community. Choice refers to the process of providing those in need with a voice to decide what items would benefit them most. Connection outlines the way that donors and refugees are able to have a direct connection to one another that replaces the idea of a “faceless charity” system. Community is defined by the spreading benefits from a Duet donation. By sourcing these items through the local economy, the impact of the donation creates a larger, and more communal benefit. This week we focus on Choice. The value of choice flows into every aspect of how Duet functions, which is why it holds such a key role in the soul and integrity of our work. Below are the ways in which we enable Choice!

Choice is the most important value to enable before providing philanthropic aid. The strength needed to build a new life starts with enabling a plan of how they want to rebuild it. Rather than being handed the tools to rebuild, a refugee can decide what tools are needed and how to prioritize based on their own personal needs. A family with young children can choose which toy will make their child the happiest. A refugee man or woman, with style preferences just like every other human being, can choose the exact size and color of the clothes they receive. Rather than receiving a donation of items that might end up being inherently useless, refugees have a way to  influence the system on their end as well making their lives more productive and more autonomous. The need for philanthropy continues as new families and new refugees come to the island of Lesvos with insufficient public aid, but we use the implementation of choice to help keep this influx of aid as useful and maximally beneficial as possible. 

As a donor, understanding the idea of choice is crucial to understanding Duet’s way of giving. Donation is a way of giving goods, services, or aid to someone who likely needs it more than yourself. It is a selfless act that boosts the lives of those who get to leverage the benefits from your contributions. In it’s best form, when aid is tailored and personal, donations can help an individual transform their life. 

Many corporations and aid foundations are unfortunately unable to tailor their donations to the specific needs of people like refugees. By compiling a pool of money to donate mass amounts of goods, they leave out the thought of what a beneficiary might need most. Maybe instead of a winter coat that is two sizes too big, a family truly needs a small electric kettle to make them tea to remind them of their home country. There is no choosing a size, or a color, or a type of product that suits them best. Duet gives the donor that option to choose what they want to donate, and we then provide them the transparency of who is requesting and receiving the item they choose. 

"When I go to donate an item on the site, I feel like I am able to connect with the recipient family on a deeper level. By seeing all of the specific items they need, I can easily visualize how they might benefit from it in the future. I also get to envision the reaction they might have when they are finally able to pick up the item they've been waiting for!"

– Kate Lepry (Denver, CO)

Choice has played an essential part in shaping the way people give through Duet. We have maintained the personal touch on transparency by giving our donors and our beneficiaries the ability to choose. Autonomy is a freedom that is too-often overlooked. As a refugee in a new and unfamiliar home, it is unfortunately uncommon to be able to choose what is right for them while they work their way through a unforgiving system in order to seek asylum and rebuild their lives. Choice, connection, and community are what we value most here at Duet, and I hope you enjoy this week's focus on choice! Look out for our upcoming pieces to read about connection and community, and follow our Instagram (@giveduet) to see more content about our Duet core values.