Subsidy Shades: A Fashionable Cause for Adoption

Raising money to fund adoption.

Jenny Jerkins December 31, 2014
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Being a part of the adoption community on social media has allowed me to meet so many amazing people and read so many inspiring stories. One of those is Melissa Mugar, owner and founder of Subsidy Shades. Melissa has a huge heart for adoption and has been passionate about helping others offset the costs that are often associated with adoption. In 2013, she and her husband Robert adopted their daughter Jacqueline through domestic infant adoption.

Along with their little bundle of joy came tremendous costs. Jacquie’s precious birth mother is a single mother to four children and had major health complications during her pregnancy. Due to those complications and because they are the adoptive parents, they were responsible for all of her costs during that time. What they anticipated to be a $30,000 adoption wound up costing them nearly $60,000 due to unexpected medical bills. Melissa and Robert continue to have a warm and open relationship with Jacquie’s birth mother. Last summer Jacquie’s birth family became homeless on the streets of Detroit. With the help of their family and friends, Melissa and Robert flew them to their home to live with them while they raised funds to purchase them a residence. They were able to get the family a forever home, but again were put into another tight financial situation.

But one thing that you will never hear Melissa say is anything negative about their adoption because of the unexpected. Instead she and Robert got creative and researched ways to cover their costs. And thus inspiration struck one night and they started an online business called Subsidy Shades to help raise money. Subsidy Shades sells sunglasses and other accessories online for a flat fee with the profit from each purchase helping to fund Jacquie’s adoption.

News of Subsidy Shades caught on so fast that Melissa could hardly keep up. And within months, Subsidy Shades even had its own gifting suite at the MTV Movie Awards in Hollywood! They are now known throughout the country to be the most stylish, affordable designer sunglasses around. And they even offer the ultimate protection from the UVA/UVB rays.

It has been so successful that Melissa and Robert are using Subsidy Shades to fund their second adoption and Melissa now helps other hopeful adopting parents raise funds for their adoptions. “I tell people that affordable adoption is out there. Make sure you fully understand what you’re signing up for and think outside the box. Get creative!”

Melissa and Robert are now expecting a beautiful baby boy to join their family this December.

Mugar Family

To learn more about Melissa and Subsidy Shades, or better yet to purchase a pair, visit the website at You can also follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Jenny Jerkins

Jenny Jerkins is a Staff Storyteller for and resides in Augusta, GA. She is a wife and former engineer-turned-stay-at-home mom of an energetic, smart, and hilarious little boy. Grateful for infertility, she became a mom through adoption, which has opened her heart in ways she never knew were possible and also brought them the blessing of open adoption. She is an active member of several adoption communities and loves uniting and educating others. You can read all about her adoption story over at Our Not So Engineered Life where she has her own blog about infertility, adoption, motherhood, and life.

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