She is a Wife, Mother, Businesswoman, Humanitarian, & Philanthropist. Meet Bridgitte Hatfield, President of Refuse To Do Nothing Nonprofit.
Q: Tell us about Refuse to Do Nothing Nonprofit and what do you all do?
BH: Refuse to Do Nothing (RTDN) was created to not just serve one need, but what we see as the five basic human rights: clean water, clothes, shoes, food, and shelter globally. One of the things I wanted to create with this organization was not just to be limited to certain causes, but if we saw or heard of a cause that needed help, we would be flexible enough to adjust our resources to help those causes as well.
Q: Why did you start this organization? How has it grown or changed over time?
BH: It’s really interesting how RTDN was started and changed over time. How I was raised was to always give back and ‘do good’ for others, and I’ve raised my six bio children to be the same way. We were always involved in lots of charities and donations and all sorts of events, but I felt the calling and the need to do something more – to take it up a notch.
So, when I asked myself what I could do, this was the answer. I was using social media to my advantage by sharing my experiences, blogging about my life and passions, and putting it ‘out there’ to see if others felt the same and wanted to help those in need.
The support and encouragement I received was outstanding, which made me realize there was a need for a local organization for those who want to help but weren’t sure how to do so.
RDTN gives them the vehicle to support the organization not just financially, but volunteering, sharing, supporting in so many ways – small or large – that makes a major difference.
When it started, it was basically just my family and myself. As my connections on social media saw what we were doing, the “how can I help” messages were overwhelming! So now we have a board to help drive the direction of the organization, and lots of members around the country who dedicate their time and expertise to take RTDN to the next level.
Q: What do you love most about the work you all do?
BH: Yes, it’s totally a cliché, but it’s not ‘work’ for me. It’s time that I spend talking to and hanging out with amazing women and men, families, etc. to give back to others. One of our events is “Party with a Purpose” which sums up most of our events: a great get-together while fulfilling a need for others. We make Pillowcase dresses, shoes made of jeans for Sole Hope, a gala for food allergy awareness, and so, so much more. There’s always something new and exciting and different to be a part of!
Q: How has the nonprofit made a difference and what impact do you still wish to see it make?
BH: When we started, the difference was like taking small chips out of a mountain. Now when we look back at what we’ve done in such a short time, we’re thrilled with all the accomplishments! To name a few:
Clean water: over 1,950 weeks of clean water provided in four countries (several wells built, funded exclusively by RTDN and the Hatfield Family)
Pillowcase Dresses: over 2,800 dresses hand-delivered to 9 countries
Shelters, Meals and Allergy Awareness: 30,000 meals provided
Homes, Shelters, Churches & Blankets: 40 shelters, churches and schools built in four countries
Shoes: 1,500 shoe patterns hand delivered to Uganda
Q: What are your goals for the next five years?
BH: Great question! To put it simply, to do more. More donations, add more volunteers, assist more charities, help more people. That’s it.
Q: What do you, personally, spend most of your time on?
BH: Probably planning for the next event and working with volunteers to answer questions on how they can help and what else we need. It’s amazing how many details are involved in organizing events, even virtually!
Q: Tell us about the programs you offer and how people can be a part of Refuse to Do Nothing and how they can make a difference?
BH: We have such a variety of causes and events, there’s something that speaks to everyone. As we always say, if there are any other causes that need help, we are always flexible to use our resources to help those causes as well.
Q: What is it you like to say to potential donors and volunteers?
BH: Just reach out to me or anyone on our team of board members. We’re always looking for help so if you or your family are looking for fun events that also give back to the community, we may be a great fit! There’s no commitment in time or money or anything, just a great opportunity to meet others and do a bit of good at the same time.
Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance?
BH: As with any working parent, it’s a constant struggle. I’m blessed that my kids are wanting to be a part of RTDN which gives us great times together, but it’s still tough to balance RTDN, my family, my other work responsibilities and still make time to take care of myself. If anyone has the answer to it all, please let me know.
Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?
BH: Take care of yourself! We’re always very focused on taking care of others, our children, our work – but it’s critical to take the time to take care of yourself, spend time with your friends, and fill your soul with those who make you better. If you don’t take time for yourself, you have nothing left for the other priorities in your life.
Q: What advice can you share for those women who may want to pursue a career in the Nonprofit sector?
BH: Follow your passion. Have faith, believe in yourself, pray for guidance, and listen to your instincts. Take every opportunity to learn and grow! Life isn’t a direct path but a steppingstone to the next adventure.
Five Things About Bridgitte Hatfield
1. What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?
Wow. Really good question! My first reaction would be to say Jennifer Garner - she is so real and raw and has a great outlook on life, and I just feel like she would be amazing to know in person. I also have to say Oprah. Her experiences, wisdom, and her very spirit and presence is powerful, and I’d love to spend time getting to know her and getting her insight on her passions and perspectives.
2. What app can’t you live without?
Not an app per se, but my planner! I’m old school with keeping track of all appointments written down. It’s just easier for me to see where I need to be, when, and with who. It’s worked so far!
3. If you were a superhero, what would your special powers be?
Actually, cloning myself would be very helpful to say the least. There are so many additional things I want do to but with 6 bio kids, foster kids and businesses in addition to RTDN, it’s tough! So, I’d like a few clones to share the workload.
4. Favorite dessert?
Easy – scoop of either chocolate or mint chocolate chip.
5. What would your perfect Saturday be like?
Big breakfast with my kids, afternoon nap (oh to dream!), walk with the family and puppies and then dinner and a movie with the fam.