“He’s coming home tomorrow afternoon; now’s my chance to get out. Will you help me?”
Telephone pleas like that 20 years ago prompted Meathead Movers to help women move — literally — out of abusive relationships. After a move in Morro Bay turned into a confrontational situation because the abuser showed up, brothers Aaron and Evan Steed approached the Women’s Shelter of San Luis Obispo County to set up the moves for them, so that they could continue to offer their free services more safely.
Today the San Luis Obispo-based company offers unlimited moving services to seven domestic violence shelters throughout Central and Southern California.
“We’ve done hundreds of these moves, and it’s a wonderful thing, I think, for our employees to feel,” Aaron Steed said. “We believe it saves lives, and it hopefully sets a trajectory for the young men and women to incorporate philanthropy into their life and to feel empowered that they can do something even if you’re just a mover.”
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Meathead Movers’ efforts garnered worldwide attention when an LA Weekly story about its relationship with a Los Angeles shelter went viral in 2015. Suddenly, the company found itself featured on CNN, the “Today” show, Huffington Post, The Telegraph in London and more.
“People from all over the world contacted us,” he said — landscapers, bankers, internet service providers, hair stylists and more — asking how they could help. So did people who didn’t own a business.
As a result, the company set up a nonprofit called “MovetoendDV” through The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County. And it partnered with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, where individuals who sign up to become ambassadors are trained to conduct needs assessments of their local shelters and meet with community business owners and leaders to solicit needed products and services, Steed said.
We believe it saves lives, and it hopefully sets a trajectory for the young men and women to incorporate philanthropy into their life and to feel empowered that they can do something even if you’re just a mover.
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, who used to play in the NFL and is co-host for “American Ninja Warrior,” is the celebrity ambassador.
So far, 203 businesses in seven countries have pledged their products and services. Meathead Movers’ goal is to get 10,000 pledges.
Spurred by its #MovetoEndDV movement, Meathead Movers donated 1.4 percent of its revenue to charitable causes last year, the company said.
For more information, go to movetoendDV.org.