“I am large; I contain multitudes,” Walt Whitman sings. We are, indeed, large. Our actions and our energy extend well beyond us, linking us to every other living being on this planet.
One of our greatest and most dangerous illusions is the illusion of our separateness, our separateness from each other and from the earth. We are one.
I believe that it is our responsibility not only to understand our impact on the earth and our neighbors, but to support and serve them as our rent for living on the planet. Giving back is an inextinguishable part of my mission.
Through my creations at ASHLEY ASTI, I celebrate and donate a portion of my earnings to these nonprofits:
I stand with Exhale to Inhale, a nonprofit that empowers domestic violence and sexual assault survivors through yoga, because we cannot be well without peace, without compassion and kindness toward all living beings and the earth.
I want everyone who seeks the support and community of Exhale to Inhale to know that she deserves more than violence; her body is worth more, her spirit is too precious. And I want her to know that she is not alone.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that 1 in 3 women in the US have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Every 9 seconds in the USA, a woman is assaulted or beaten.
Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.
More than 3 women are murdered each day by their husbands or boyfriends.
1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.
And domestic violence is the 3rd leading cause of homelessness for families.
We must end this cycle.
To every woman who has experienced violence, know that every sister who has walked this earth and faced mountains before her is standing there with you, holding your hand, guiding your spirit. For every man who has experienced violence, know that we are there with you, too.
I thank Exhale to Inhale for bringing this violence into the light and allowing survivors to feel connected, supported, heard, and safe in their bodies, again.
*When you use code exhaletoinhale10 at checkout on ashleyasti.com, not only do you save 10% on your ASHLEY ASTI order, but I donate 20% of the sale to Exhale to Inhale.
Adopt an Inmate is a nonprofit centered around letter writing, between those who are incarcerated and those who believe that no one deserves to be excluded from friendship, love, and care. Their mission is:
- To remind the world and those caught in the grip of the justice system that both accused and adjudicated are human.
- To provide relief, comfort, and hope to those facing judgement, and to help those sentenced emerge from prison whole, knowing they are part of a larger family that loves and cares for them.
- And, ultimately, to change prison itself from an arbitrary system of cruelty and punishment to one which internally recognizes the humanity of its charges and treats them accordingly such that recidivism is rare, rather than a feature of our current system’s design.
I stand with Adopt an Inmate as an adoptee, meaning a letter-writer. Here’s why:
I set out to write women who are incarcerated because I wanted them to know that they are not alone. I wanted them to know that they are loved and supported and that their stories and lives matter because, the truth is, we heal with love, not isolation. But what I’ve gotten in return is a gift far greater and far more precious than any I can offer.
The letters these women, these now friends, send me are lessons in life. I am moved by the strength they hold, the endurance they convey, the powerful rumblings of faith that seem to lift themselves up off the page. These women are my sisters in spirit, guiding me.
I stand with Adopt an Inmate because caring about and respecting all living beings matters, no matter who we are or what we’ve done. Because, in truth, we are destined to bring ourselves down until we know that dehumanizing one dehumanizes all. Bars, isolation, and violence are no longer the answer. We must find better ways to heal and co-create justice.
I stand with Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, a nonprofit that rescues and cares for abused and neglected farm animals, because I believe that all beings deserve love and safety. Animals are our companion creatures on this earth; we are meant to share with them.
Factory farming is a global crisis, an epidemic of violence in which we poison the creatures of the earth and the earth itself.
Every time I visit Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, I feel loved. The energy of the sanctuary caretakers and volunteers is peaceful, healing, and welcoming.
When my family and I drive up to the gates of the sanctuary on our visits, the caretakers remind us to drive slow and with care because of the many chipmunks and squirrels who make the sanctuary their home. I’ve loved meeting cows, like Johnny, who respond to their names (Johnny jogs over, even from quite some distances, when his name is called), and goats who give kisses. I’ve seen the gallantry of roosters, who stand by their hens as they lay an egg, and heard about pigs who deeply mourn the passing of a friend.
All creatures deserve love and kindness. Animals are friends, not food.
And we partner with:
I serve on the board of this nonprofit founded by my friend, Brittany Schiavone. Brittany is a 28-year-old woman thriving with Down syndrome who seeks to spread resources, guidance, and love to families who have newly welcomed a baby with Down syndrome into their lives.
I stand with Brittany because she reminds me that true friendship is supportive and joyful, and because I believe that every baby—and every being—deserves to be celebrated no matter who they are or how they’re born.
Please join Brittany on her journey of sharing hope and love to families of new bundles of joy with Down syndrome.