The brand generated $3 million in sales by 2000 and had plans to publicize its brand through radio advertisements. However, the company's plans changed when the brothers began receiving letters from people who had been moved by their products. One letter came from twin brothers who had suffered medical complications due to their premature birth but had remained optimistic with the help of stick-figure Jake.
"What do you do when you get a letter like that?" Bert Jacobs asked. The brothers pulled out of the radio contract and used their advertising budget to sponsor a pumpkin festival in Maine. The company raised over $100,000 dollars for camps for children with life-threatening conditions.
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After the success of their pumpkin festival, Bert and John created Life is Good Playmakers, an accredited public chairty, as a way to further its vision of "spreading good vibes." Its mission is to aid children who face poverty, illness and violence to focus on opportunities rather than obstacles.
The charity is funded in part by donations, but the majority of funding comes from product sales. Life is Good donates a minimum of 10 percent of all sales to their nonprofit agenda.
"The profitability of the for-profit side should always feed the nonprofit side. ... You don't have to choose between for profit and nonprofit. You can integrate these things," Bert Jacobs said. "It is important to our customer base. They react positively to it."