There is something very simple and it’s the same for all of the above. The same advice applies, whether it’s to a community, to a society, or to politicians. Make the commitment to being a “givefluencer”. A “givefluencer” influences others by giving and understanding that in order to make the world a better place, one must give back to it. People must hold themselves accountable.
As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing John David Snyder & Niki Shadrow Snyder.
John David Snyder and Niki Shadrow Snyder are the creators of The Givefluencer Network. They are the owners of Platinum International Products and Services, an office supply company that sponsors their foundation, Project Pop Drop — for which they were recently honored by the White House with a gold medal and The President’s Volunteer Service Award.
The couple has always had a passion for philanthropy. They are grateful to have the opportunity to be giving while making a living and empowering others to do the same. It brings joy to their lives that a product they sell every day is helping to fight hunger and homelessness 365 days a year. The pair believes in the Project Pop Drop motto: Give And Receive. Every day, they are committed to help eradicate hunger and homelessness through the distribution of their products and services. #GIVEANDRECEIVE
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
After I had been working for years in the glamorous world of fashion and entertainment as a contributing editor to multiple magazines, styling celebrities for red carpet events, magazine covers, and TV appearances, I had what can only be explained as an out-of-body experience after reading the book “Gods Way of Life”. I realized that even though I loved being creative, it was not enough. I was not fulfilled just working in these industries because I knew that in the depths of my soul, I had a bigger purpose in my life than just being a part of a “glam squad” or talking about fashion on TV. I knew the world was facing some serious challenges, especially here in Los Angeles. Sometimes, on my way to some of the biggest events in Hollywood, in a car filled with millions of dollars in merchandise, I would pass through neighborhoods where people were on the street with nothing and that never did sit well with me. I knew I needed to be a part of the solution and get into the conversations about solving the problems. I knew I could use my ability to create and connect for a bigger purpose than booking and styling magazine covers. When I made the commitment to start serving more, I attracted a person in my life who was “like minded” and had the same vision that I had. When I met my husband and partner, my life went from what I thought was good, to something truly extraordinary. I instantly connected with the man who was to become my husband, John David Snyder. John, like me, was on a different path, before embarking on the career he is in now. John was working for a very well-known celebrity dentist. After climbing to the top of the company ladder as the top sales rep of his sales team, John decided that he wanted to create his own business. John’s dream was as to create a company that could help him sustain himself as well as serve. He then started Platinum International Products And Services, which is now known as the only office supply company in the world that is helping to eradicate homelessness and fighting hunger every day. This essential business enables us to be giving while making a living 365 days a year, and also enables our customers to also give back simply by purchasing our products.
When John and I met, we literally spent our first date talking about forming what is now known as The Project Pop Drop Foundation. We now have four amazing children together. Our older daughter Chloe and our natural fraternal triplets, Ava, Dylan & Levi. John and I have been giving back together for over a decade, ever since we met on our first date. The best part is that we also teach our children to give back as well. We empower our children, as well as other children to give back. We empower other children by collaborating with Middle Schools, High Schools, and the Girl Scouts to do collection drives of food, new clothing, toiletries, and other life-saving supplies that people who live on the street or in shelters desperately need. This adds a lot to the enormous amounts of these items that we purchase each month, which makes our efforts even bigger. We’re firm believers that whatever you put out in the universe, you will receive back.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?
The most interesting thing had been when we were invited to take a private tour of the United States Pentagon. The staff at the Pentagon expressed how much they truly loved what we were doing with our small business and, at the time, our philanthropy organization, which is now an official 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation. However, we had no idea what was about to hit us as something even more interesting happened years later. We wanted just one sibling for our older daughter, but instead we ended up having natural fraternal triplets.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Two words come to mind. Miss America! We were attending an event that Miss America and all the runners up were attending. We brought our product with us. It was one of our Platinum Pop Drop Series compatible toner cartridges. We marched into the event with a random toner cartridge. The event was at an IHOP on Hollywood Blvd. It was on “National Pancake Day” and we arrived with our product hoping to get a shot of Miss America with our American made compatible toner cartridge. This is the same toner cartridge that helps contribute to feeding over 90,000 meals per month to those less fortunate. When we went in for our photo op, we were huddling up by the grill with all the contestants and Miss America. We got caught up in the moment and did not realize the grill was turned on. Smoke started to fill the area a little while we were “posing” next to Miss America. What we learned was to always be present, no matter what, and “safety first” before plugging our brand! This was not the way we wanted to say we’re “on fire”.
Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?
Our non-profit foundation and the launch of The Givefluencer Network was born out of our philanthropy organization, Project Pop Drop, in which we have built “giving” into our business model with our office supply company, which sells an essential product of private label ink and toner cartridges for printers. Our printing supply company is the only one in the world that is not just feeding printers, but also feeding human beings and helping to eradicate homelessness (#printwithapurpose). Every month of the year, we host a Project Pop Drop event, in which we, along with our entire Project Pop Drop team, and all the local businesses, schools, and girl scout troops we partner with, bring food, new clothing, new blankets, toiletries, and many lifesaving supplies to local homeless shelters and to organizations that assist people who are experiencing hunger and homelessness. We don’t just do this on Thanksgiving and Christmas. We found a way to give back 365 days a year. It’s as simple as this. The last Saturday of the month, our company gives back. Step by step, we made the commitment, reserved a portion of our sales, and locked ourselves into a pattern of monthly giving that happens automatically. And we don’t just do it in-house. We partner with our customers, local schools, and other businesses as well. We call it the “social responsibility system.” This all evolved into The Givefluencer Network, which is a movement designed to transform lives. A movement of givers and receivers, through giving. We are working with the world’s biggest givers, and every day givers, to ignite this fire across the world. This is how we are making a significant social impact. We lead by example, which leads others to do the same.
Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?
This is a challenging question. The reason we feel this question is challenging is because so many have been impacted over the course of our first ten years of giving, with events all over the country with multiple partners. There have been so many touching stories. Several years ago, we created an event called “Dadtopia”. We created this event for dads who are experiencing homelessness, so they can have a day dedicated to them, to enjoy with their kids. Supporting this effort was our friend Dan Levy, owner of Flip It Gymnastics in West Los Angeles, who graciously let us host this event at his children’s gymnastics studio. We also partnered with Claudine Halabi, the president of Baron Tours in Washington DC. Claudine sponsored a motorcoach bus out of her own pocket to transport all the dads and their children, who were all experiencing homeless, from the Union Rescue Mission homeless shelter in Downtown Los Angeles to this special event. We made this event special for the dads and their children, who enjoyed a fun day together. At the end of the day, one of the dads came up to us with tears in his eyes and thanked us from the bottom of his heart for showing his son a great day filled with fun. He said there was nothing more he could have asked for as a father on Father’s Day. He elaborated and said that even though the day would pass, the memory he built with his son that day would last forever. This deeply touched our souls and reminded us of our “why”. It reminded us of why we get up every day and commit to this work, and why we work even harder so we can be able to give more.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
There is something very simple and it’s the same for all of the above. The same advice applies, whether it’s to a community, to a society, or to politicians. Make the commitment to being a “givefluencer”. A “givefluencer” influences others by giving and understanding that in order to make the world a better place, one must give back to it. People must hold themselves accountable. These are the three things that can be done immediately:
- Learn it
- Live it
- Give it
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Leadership starts with a leader who has a vision. Not only do they have a vision, but they share that vision. Effective leadership is essential to any organization. Leaders can help build strong teams within a business and ensure that all of their project’s initiatives or other work functions are performed successfully. Good leaders have strong interpersonal and communication skills and anyone can become one by learning how to exercise and hone leadership abilities. We have all seen the results of both effective and ineffective leaders on the job. Good leaders increase engagement, support a positive environment, and help remove obstacles for their team. Good leadership is also contagious, inspiring colleagues as well as team members, to apply positive leadership traits in their own work.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Adapt a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) program from Day One
- Create a digital course
- Get used to not sleeping as much and working more
- Kids are the best closers
- Think bigger
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
It’s not a matter of IF a movement can be inspired. A movement is being created right now as we speak. In real time. It’s called the Givefluencer Network movement. The best is yet to come.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
This one really resonates: “How you do anything is how you do everything”. This is how it is relevant in our life. The only thing we love more than giving is learning because we discover new ways to give. What we gain from giving is not based on the Law of Attraction, it is based on The Law of Creation. What is “created” through giving is an Emotional Currency of Love. Love is as important to the creation and growth of human beings as carbon. People are carbon-based loving beings, but the spark for love is giving. Becoming a “givefluencer” is simply embracing and becoming a “full” human being.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
It would be with the current leadership in the White House. The current administration could help Project Pop Drop empower other business owners to implement our Customer Cause Marketing initiatives and social responsibility system into their business models. The current administration at the White House could help bring worldwide attention to our mission that everyone is capable of becoming a “givefluencer”.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
@thegivefluencernetwork (Coming Soon)
The trifecta of the “givefluencer” book, digital course, and documentary is coming soon.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!
It was a pleasure. Thank you for thinking of us and thank you for the beautiful content you put out in the universe. We are grateful to be a part of it.