A Time to Give

By Myron Mariano / September 12, 2011


It’s not only important to donate to organizations that help pay for the treatment of those afflicted with life-threatening ailments like breast cancer and AIDS (incidentally, December 1st is World AIDS Day), but you should also help fund research that may one day lead to a cure.

What companies are doing:

The Susan G. Komen For The Cure (www.komen.org) movement is one of most recognized faces dedicated to the fight against breast cancer, with its Race for the Cure a prolific event every year. Beauty companies such as Canus, BasqNYC, and Lavera have contributed to the movement.

Amrit Organic, Mambino Organics and Patch Me Up Organics focus on health issues of the little ones, through donations to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude. org). The Tennessee-based hospital functions both as a hospital and research facility to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

What you can do:

The American Cancer Society has a multitude of activities you may participate in to raise money for research and treatment. They conduct golf tournaments, galas, and marathons. Head to www.cancer.org for schedules.


Access to potable water is an often-overlooked privilege. Perhaps it’s because we know that the earth is 70 percent water that we think we’re not going to run out; or simply because it flows so freely from our faucets.

What companies are doing:

April Rain’s founder, April Zangl, founded the “Beauty for Pure Water Foundation.” Percentage of proceeds from every sale of April Rain Skin Science products go to charity: water, a non-profit that funds projects and drills wells in communities in desperate need of clean drinking water.

The company behind the magazine in your hands also supports three organizations: The Clean Water Fund (dedicated to educating Americans to be more mindful of how we use our water), Oceana (conducts campaigns aimed at preserving the earth’s many oceans), and Ocean Champions (works with the U.S. Congress to ensure the ocean’s long-term health through electoral and legislative action).

What you can do:

According to Oceana (www.oceana.org), Americans use up 300 to 700 plastic bags every year—that’s a lot of unnecessary pollution that, more often than not, end up in the North Pacific gyre. Work towards reducing how much you use—from shopping bags that carry your groceries, to water bottles whenever you work out.


Whether you’re pro or against the war, it’s undeniable that people involved in it—the soldiers, their families, those caught in the crossfire—need your support.

What companies are doing:

Akabi donates a portion of their sales to The Mercy Corps, a global network of 3,700 professionals working to bring change in areas of crisis.

What you can do:

On top of donations of food, clothing, and day-to-day necessities, you can also purchase Mercy Kits from The Mercy Corps’s website, www. mercycorps.org. The kits start at $18, and contain everything the recipient needs to get them started in various livelihoods.


Though they were first to walk on this earth, many wildlife species are on the verge of getting wiped out due to human interference to the natural order.

What companies are doing:

Derma E regularly donates to The World Wildlife Fund (WWF). WWF is at the forefront of cultivating a world where humans and animals peacefully exist together, through the 1,300 conservation projects they have around the world.

What you can do:

The best way to appreciate WWF’s efforts in preservation is by experiencing it yourself. In your next out-ofcountry trip, make a pit stop to a WWF-assisted sanctuary. Not only will you get to see the beauty of the animals up close, the local town benefits as well: Many sanctuaries employ townspeople as a way to introduce them to sustainable livelihoods.

You can also head to www.wwf.org and adopt an animal that’s in great danger of getting wiped out. By adopting (donation amounts start at $25), you help fight threats such as habitat loss and poaching.

But perhaps the simplest way you can do your part in making sure wildlife endure is by following the saying “Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints” wherever you are.


These groups work hard to provide one of the three basic human needs: shelter.

What companies are doing:

Habitat for Humanity organizes builds around the world. Here, through donations of money, materials, even man-power, the non-profit erects houses to be sold at no profit to low-income families. Elayne’s and Burt’s Bees are two of many green companies that have lent not only financial aid to Habitat for Humanity, but also have asked employees to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand at build sites.

What you can do:

Volunteering remains the core of Habitat for Humanity—people are needed whenever they have a build. Search for a local affiliate at www.habitat.org and see which departments need an extra set of hands.


The future belongs not to us, but to our children. By addressing their most pressing concerns now—health and literacy among others—we ensure that we’re arming them with the tools necessary to continue on in this world.

What companies are doing:

Zendals has a very unique program wherein every reflexology massaging sandals that have been returned for recycling are sent to a firm in New Jersey to be ground up and reproduced to child-sized flipflops.

CA Botana recently gave spa products to Angel Faces, a non-profit that help—through healing retreats—adolescent girls see beyond their facial disfigurements and empower them to reach their full potential.

Ten percent of the profits from Jamu Asian Spa’s Blessing Baths collection go to UNICEF (www.unicef.org). This globally recognized company works tirelessly to ensure that every child has access to quality education. On the local front, Gilden Tree supports Los Angeles-based Write Girl. This organization gives high school girls techniques, insights, and tips on how they can express themselves through writing.

What you can do:

Book drives happen frequently in the United States, with recipients coming from local children’s hospitals to Latin America, to Africa. Ask your school district if any of the schools in your area are doing one soon. (Usually, these drives happen during the summer time, as students discard last year’s books.) You can also head to www.developafrica.org and www.worldfund.org. These two sites accept book donations year-round.

Myron Mariano
Myron Mariano

Latest posts by Myron Mariano (see all)