What is the Pin Project?

Who are we?

The Pin Project is a collective of bartenders and service industry professionals based in the Bay Area looking to create a movement of healing and understanding for those among us caught up in the often dangerous context that comes from working within close proximity of alcohol. Naturally, the idea developed over a multitude of hung over breakfasts.

The Pin Project was funded by the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Grant in 2018, with a lot of help from a lot of people.

Who are we looking to help?

This project exists because we ourselves have struggled with our relationship with alcohol at various points throughout our careers in the liquor industry. We want to let our friends in this industry know it is okay and completely normal to sometimes struggle with the tough job of balancing health and ‘having a good time’ in situations that don’t always encourage us to say ‘No.’ It can be a truly brave act to make a decision against the social norms for the health of yourself! The pin project was created with the intention of helping industry folks, but anyone that could use a hand in curating safe space to uphold their intentions not to drink are welcomed to utilize it in any of the contexts they themselves struggle within.

How do we help?

Sobriety is a spectrum. The main variables for sobriety in the day to day are amount of use and context, or simply put; how much and when. There are many ways to have a healthy, happy and safe relationship with alcohol without being sober. There are many ways to have a dangerous, concerning and unhealthy relationship with substances and yet not consume alcohol at all. The Pin helps control these variables by limiting use (no drinks!) during a commonly occurring context (a shift at a bar.) By being aware of our goals for our own personalized ideal of a relationship with alcohol, as well as being focused on where we stand in relation to that goal, we can take back the power to choose and operate with intention. Sobriety, be it momentarily, periodically, or even aspiringly permanent, is always a place of constant assessment and decision; it is likely even with the pin on their person that well intentioned folks with still ask you to drink with them. We hope the pin can be a tool to help with those moment to moment decisions that add up to being the person you want to be in this industry and beyond.

How can you help?

The best method of starting a cultural happening is to get a strong, passionate, localized group of individuals to champion the cause and take pride and ownership over the movement. The pin is useless without trust and belief in what it stands for. The most important way to help the pin project is to champion those in our community’s intention to not drink. Lead by example and be the change you want to see in our community, right here and right now!  Help people help themselves by supporting these decisions with encouragement, understanding and love. Of course, purchases of the pin and your donations help us get finances and a platform to those who can truly help in their unique and tangible way, but all we ask is to take this seriously and respect those who choose to utilize it. Saying ‘No’ to alcohol, even for a shift, can be a brave and difficult decision, and those that make it deserve support and admiration for doing so. If the pin project resonates with you, helps you, or reminds you of a loved one who could use a tool such as this, please reach out and spread the word.

What is the Pin Foundation?

The proceeds for the pin sales will be allocated to a non-profit organization called The Pin Foundation, a community driven charity focused on improving the wellness, health and, most importantly, love and understanding in regards to sobriety in the working life. The Pin Foundation’s main focus is to connect mental health and substance abuse counselors with those in need, as well as financially sponsoring treatment. We also aim to shed light on those in our communities already doing beautiful things for the general wellness of our industry. The Pin Foundation operates as almost a wellness service liaison, or a concierge for the beautiful, working infrastructure of helpers and professionals to those in need. In short, we connect people who want to help with people who want help.

How can you reach us?

You can reach us at info@thep.in