Two California brothers who own a moving company are leading the way when it comes to businesses making a difference within their communities.
Evan and Aaron Steed founded Meathead Movers in 1997, when they were just looking for a way to earn cash as high school student athletes.
A full 23 years on and the business has flourished into something much bigger, and it is now a vital lifeline for those looking to escape abusive relationships.
Now a successful for-profit business employing student athletes working their way through college, Meathead Movers offers free emergency moves for those looking to flee domestic abuse.
Speaking with CNN, Aaron explained how they were driven to take action after responding to an emergency move where the woman’s husband turned violent:
He accused us of stealing his items. He screamed for us to put things down. A toaster oven was thrown.
The police were called, and the two kind-hearted brothers soon realised they wanted to use their skills to help those trapped in similar situations.
Nowadays, Meathead Movers works alongside eight shelters and organisations across central and southern California.
In 2019, they were able to move 60 families in domestic abuse situations in partnership with the Marjaree Mason Center, a Fresno County-based provider of domestic violence shelter and support services.
Marjaree Mason’s executive director, Nicole Linder, told CNN:
It takes partners like Meathead Movers to step up. What I appreciate is that they challenged others to lead the way.
It is imperative that businesses donate part of their time and resources so that survivors can lead a successful life.
CNN spoke with Dulce Flores, one of the many domestic abuse survivors Meathead Movers has helped get a new start in life over the years.
After fleeing from her partner last year with her two children, Dulce has since studied to become a certified tax preparer, and has now earned her notary license.
Dulce told CNN how the men helped get her family into a new home of their own, and wouldn’t let her lift a thing:
If I stayed, we would have fought. I didn’t want it to get physical. I was afraid I might fight back, and I didn’t want my kids to lose both of us.
[…] They wouldn’t let me lift a thing! Not even light stuff. They said, ‘No, it’s an honour to be here.’
Aaron told CNN a little about the company’s special business ethos:
If you are able to find a way to express purpose, to make a change, there will be so much purpose in your life. It brings way more purpose and passion to a business than just moving around some boxes.
The company now employs and mentors more than 700 people, with yearly revenue exceeding $20 million. Most importantly, it has become a shining example of what business owners can achieve when they take philanthropy seriously.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Do not suffer in silence.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.