It’s Time to Be Thankful for Large Corporations and Brands

During the month of November, it is important to remember everything in our lives that we are thankful for. The obvious things include being thankful for being a member of our family and for loved ones. However, among the vast number of things we are grateful for, many people may overlook all the big name businesses and companies that give back to our society. A very large number of brand name organizations contribute millions to great causes and are often overlooked. In regard to their great services, these companies deserve a “thank you” for the effort they put back into our community.

Mary Kay Ash, who was committed to enriching women’s lives, founded renowned cosmetics company Mary Kay. In fact, as part of that commitment, the company has contributed more than $18 million to domestic violence shelters and programs across the country. Mary Kay is also a strong advocate against teen dating abuse, which is evident by the company’s partnering with the nonprofit organization “Break the Cycle” to sponsor the “Ending Violence” classroom DVD. During the past few years, the company has helped launch a national online campaign encouraging lawmakers to regulate domestic violence prevention education in public schools.

Another brand that has been giving back throughout the years is Trident. The gum brand donated $1.5 million over three years to “Smiles Across America”, a nonprofit that provides dental care to children in underserved communities. Trident’s donation also helped fund dental clinics around the country. The company’s ultimate goal is to give the 16.3 million children in the U.S. who are not receiving essential dental care the “healthy smiles they deserve.”

In America, the average school teacher spends over $1,500 of his or her own money to purchase necessary classroom supplies. Taking into consideration all of the extra time and effort teachers already put into to their low-income jobs, they shouldn’t feel pressured to pay for the materials essential to the success of their students. The fast-food chain restaurant Sonic has recognized this as an issue, and in return has partnered with DonorsChoose.org to work together to help teachers that are in need of funding for their classrooms all over the nation. Since 2009, Sonic and DonorsChoose.org have already donated more than $2.7 million to various school teachers’ projects to improve the education of children. Sonic’s “Limeades for Learning” Program has been Sonic’s biggest charitable campaign yet. This past September, Sonic customers who purchased any type of Limeade got the opportunity to go online and vote for the teacher’s classroom project of choice. There were 1,457 willing teacher’s classroom projects all over the United States; Sonic donated over $500,000 to fund these winners. “We want schools to have the resources they need in order to help children reach their full potential,” Nancy Robertson, Sonic’s Senior Vice President explained in an interview.
Brands that give back to their community not only establish positive credibility with their customers, but they gain a sense of pride knowing their product is giving and not just receiving. The widely-know, bath and body production company, Burt’s Bees, has been giving back ever since their first product was created. Each and every Burt’s Bees product is, and “always will be” Eco-friendly.   “We’re committed to protecting the planet and also to improving our community,” Yola Carlough, the company’s director of sustainability stated. Burt’s Bees has a long-term commitment to both preserving the environment and to the “Habitat for Humanity” Charity in Durham, North Carolina. Many of Burt’s Bees employees have dedicated much time and effort to improving the lives of many Durham residents by building numerous houses over the years through Habitat for Humanity. Burt’s Bees has also held fund-raisers at various Restaurants in Durham, where 20% of all proceeds made were donated to the charity.

While it is important for people to humble themselves during the holiday season and recognize how thankful they are for their family, support system etc., it is also important to recognize the positive things that many large companies add to the community.  In today’s society, companies are out to get every penny from the consumer.  It is satisfying for many consumers to see these large companies be selfless and willingly give back to the community, especially when there is no obligation to do so.  Companies such as Mary Kay, Trident, Sonic and Burt’s Bees are great examples of what amazing things larger companies can do with just a small percentage of their profits.

Sasha De Vecchi, Lindsay Gallagher, Jay Reilly, Cary Welborn

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