Samir Hussein/WireImage Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle continues to advocate for paid leave in the United States while helping others.
The Duchess of Sussex, 40, provided $25 Starbucks gift cards for employees of the nonprofit PL+US, which is working to win paid family and medical leave for all in the U.S. by 2022. The gift cards were supplied through her and Prince Harry’s nonprofit, the Archewell Foundation.
Neil Sroka, communications director for PL+US, posted a screenshot of his gift card to Twitter, expressing his gratitude for the mother of two. “The Duchess of Sussex (aka #MeghanMarkle) bought everyone at @PaidLeaveUS a few cups of coffee while we’re working overtime to #SavePaidLeave. Unbelievably classy… and necessary. Truly honored to know she has our backs in the fight to win #PaidLeaveForAll,” he wrote.
“I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician. I am, like many, an engaged citizen and a parent,” she wrote. “And because you and your congressional colleagues have a role in shaping family outcomes for generations to come, that’s why I’m writing to you at this deeply important time—as a mom—to advocate for paid leave.
“Over the past 20 months, the pandemic has exposed long-existing fault lines in our communities. At an alarming rate, millions of women dropped out of the workforce, staying home with their kids as schools and daycares were closed, and looking after loved ones full-time. The working mom or parent is facing the conflict of being present or being paid. The sacrifice of either comes at a great cost,” she continued.
Meghan recalled growing up “on the $4.99 salad bar at Sizzler” as it was all her family could afford, as well as when she entered the workforce herself and struggled to make “enough to pay my rent and put gas in my car.”
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“Paid leave should be a national right, rather than a patchwork option limited to those whose employers have policies in place, or those who live in one of the few states where a leave program exists,” Meghan added. “If we’re going to create a new era of family first policies, let’s make sure that includes a strong paid leave program for every American that’s guaranteed, accessible, and encouraged without stigma or penalty.”
Her fight for paid leave comes as part of her 40×40 challenge, “a global effort encouraging people around the world to commit to giving 40 minutes of their time to support women going back to work,” which she launched on her 40th birthday in August.