Corporate giving isn’t a new trend or anything like that, but a number of businesses from smaller ma-and-pa's to international successes are committed to giving back to the community as an integral part of their operations.
Giving back is not only good for business, but non-profits and charities depend on these donations in order to move the needle in their ability to support their do-good-missions. We don’t know about you, but we certainly feel good about our purchasing decision if we know we are supporting others around the world and giving someone else a better quality of life. Be it by education, environment, access to healthy meals, clothing or social programs, there is no shortage of ways to make your dollar go further than just the corporate coffers.
Here is our list of 7 local businesses who provide quality products/services and make giving back a part of their bottom line.
Merging fashion with philanthropy to give poverty the boot, to date, Roma Boots has donated boots to children in more than 25 countries, across five continents. This list includes countries like Nepal, Philippines, China, Romania, Guatamala, Haiti, Kenya… just to name a few.
Roma Boots is a proud partner of World Vision Canada and together with their buy one, give one boot program, thousands of children have received high quality footwear to keep them safe and warm.
Photo credit: Roma Boots
The7dayringproject has an incredibly inspirational story in how they came to their existence today and we encourage you to read all about it on their website. More or less, The7dayringprject sources beautifully symbolic rings from Salem, a fempreneur in Ethiopia; paying her retail pricing which allows her to grow her business and philanthropic work in her local community. After covering administrative costs and growing The7dayringproject, the rest of the profits are donated to HOPE International Development Agency who then reinvests the money into Ethiopian women by funding skills-training and microcredit loans.
By purchasing a handmade and one-of-a-kind ring, you make a pledge to live each day fully AND you are directly making a difference for women across Ethiopia. Win / win!
Photo credit: the7dayringproject
Did you know that one in four kids are malnourished? Crazy right?! As Mealshare tells us, 15 years ago, this statistic was one in three! Mealshare exists to make sure youth hunger is ended within our lifetime.
So how does it work? Mealshare partners with restaurants and places their logo next to a few menu items; keep your eyes peeled next time you're dining out! When a customer orders a ‘Mealshare Item’, they get their meal, just like normal. And, Mealshare also provides one simple, healthy meal to a youth in need! Buy one, give one – it’s that simple!
For each meal sold, restaurants contribute $1.00 to Mealshare, who then forwards along most of those funds to one of their partner charities, to go out and purchase the groceries and ingredients needed for a meal.
But wait - that's not all! Mealshare also works with other charities that don’t stop at providing meals; their partners provide shelter, education, counseling and/or opportunities for youth in need to access life-changing services. Partner includes WE Movement, Save The Children, Breakfast Club of Canada, just to name a few.
The next time you decide to go out for a meal, why not take this initiative one step further by dining out at a Mealshare partner restaurant? Find one near you here.
Photo credit: Mealshare
One Thing is a social enterprise that was inspired by the documentary film, Living on One Dollar. As their website touts:
One Thing's mission is to help you connect with people by showing them one thing you bring. Think of all the people in the world who already share your one thing but are underprivileged, marginalized, or disconnected from you in some way. One Thing wants to bring everyone's message forward so that you can see their value and they can see yours. You'll find that our lockets already have One Thing messages in them from someone you haven't met yet. These people had the opportunity to tell you what they bring to this world and now you can too. Pass it on. Connect with someone. Tell them one thing you bring or one thing you love about what they bring. One thing connects us.
There are places in our world where people live on one dollar a day. If you join these people in the pursuit for life and happiness, you'll see that the fundamental things we all care about are quite similar. We are all driven to thrive because of a special 'one thing' that empowers us - like our children, our value system, or our ability to overcome. This makes us human!
One Thing likes to support various programs that help prevent isolation but are lesser known and need more help than they are getting otherwise. Some of the charities that One Thing is giving back to include Pacific Post Partum Support Society, Living on One, and Battered Women's Support Services.
Photo credit: One Thing Lockets
Save On Meats (SOM) is a classic diner, full service butcher, catering department, and a community commissary kitchen. It’s a lively, socially motivated venue, representative of the the Vancouver Downtown Eastside neighborhood. Since 2012, SOM has served up to 88,000 delicious meals to residents.
SOM is considered a social enterprise and is well known in the North American business community for its cutting-edge employment models and focus on local food security. They work with many community groups, educational institutions, non-profits and corporations to continuously improve and build on their best practices. They keep their prices affordable for the community, and focus on training to build a stronger local workforce.
Their award winning Token Program is always a hot topic of conversation. Redeemable for a breakfast sandwich either at the front take-out window or inside the diner, tokens are purchased for $2.25 and handed out to those in need. The act of giving a token to someone is meant to be a conversation-starter, a front-line personal interaction with neighbours in Vancouver.
Supporters of the token program can choose to distribute them directly, or have SOM give them to one of its dozens of community partners to share amongst their organization.
Photo credit: Save on Meats
Eminence believes in providing the best skin care products possible. You'll find their wide variety of products are proudly free of parabens, animal by-products, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, harmful colorants and fragrances, mineral oils, petroleum, and other harsh cosmetic chemicals.
Eminence is committed to giving back to the community and those in need through charitable contributions and support. They have planted over 9 million trees to date through their Forests for the Future Program in partnership with the non-profit organization Trees for the Future, which helps train farmers in developing countries on how to build productive and sustainable Forest Gardens. A tree is planted for every product sold, enabling the development of the Forest Gardens in rural communities, empowering local people to restore their environment, grow their own food and build a sustainable income and future for themselves, their families and their communities.
Eminence also believes that providing organic, locally-sourced and nutrient-rich foods for seriously ill children to eat is an essential part of their treatment, healing and long-lasting health. The Eminence Kids Foundation donates organic fruits, vegetables and foods to sick children around the world.
It doesn't stop there, though. Eminence also supports breast cancer research and has contributed more than $100,000 towards research efforts since 2007. For every Sweet Red Rose Whip Moisturizer they sell, they donate $5 to the Canadian and American Breast Cancer Foundation.
Photo Credit: Eminence Organics
Vitruvi makes essential oils that elevate simple moments, so you can turn any time into "you time". Their belief goes beyond essential oils, though, as they create products with the intention of helping women take moments for themselves. Moments that let them recharge and take on the world with even more energy and passion.
As part of their giving back initiative, they are working with One Girl Can — a Canadian charity based in Vancouver that works collaboratively with schools and communities in Kenya and Uganda. One Girl Can supports the growth, education, advancement and empowerment of women and girls. Their donations go directly to supporting and educating the girls in the program, and each girl has a beautiful story and has worked very hard to be there. One Girl Can’s administration costs are fully funded through sales from founder Lotte’s for-profit business, AG Hair. This model, along with their give-back program is one of the more unique development models in Africa. Also, every education that is pursued must be in the sciences or focused on business, which helps to break the cycle of poverty.
It's our last day visiting Ganze Secondary School, where we're building 3 new classrooms. When we started work here in 2010 there were 110 students, and next year there'll be 880! This is great sign that more parents are beginning to see the value of sending their girls to school rather than having them stay home to perform servant duties. These girls now have their sights set on a new future, and want to contribute their unique talents to society. Don't forget to watch our story for more from today!
Which companies do you like to support, knowing that your dollar is going just a little bit further in the world? Let us know in the comments below!