Philanthropy Friday: O is for Opportunity

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

Disclosure: I received four bottles of wine to aid in the writing of this post. I may or may not have done a happy dance with the UPS man when they arrived. As per usual, all words and opinions expressed are my own.

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Stacy Lill and her brother were the first of their family to go to college. When she graduated from University of Washington, she worked in corporate sales and marketing for 20 years. During that time, she was also heavily involved with philanthropy work through the Junior League.

As the wife of the owner of a top winery in Washington, DeLille Cellars, Stacy observed how charities would often ask for donations of wine. She would also throw client appreciation events with high end wines in the corporate world. She came up with the idea of creating a wine that gave back to the community. But she didn’t want it to be just another label at her husband’s winery that donated proceeds to charity. She wanted to create her own brand.

Stacy researched what it would take to create her wine that would also give back. She learned that 72% of wine is purchased by women and that the most popular wine women bought was chardonnay. From her research, she decided to create wine for women that also helped women. Working with so many causes over the years, Stacy chose to support education because she felt it is the foundation for everything. If she could provide education to young women who might not otherwise have the chance to go to college, what could they do?

O Wines was established in 2006 with a mission to fund college scholarships for low income, capable young women so they can achieve their greatest potential through education. Each purchase helps send young women to college through the O Wines Opportunity for Success Scholarship program.

Since the introduction of the wines to the Pacific Northwest in 2008 followed by a nationwide launch in 2013, more than $300,000 has been raised to support 52 college scholarships. Beginning in 2013 each scholarship is $20,000 given in $5,000 increments annually over 4 years.  Most of the scholarship recipients are the first members of their families to attend college.

Over the phone, Stacy told me about Angel, the first recipient in the scholarship program. Angel had a very tough life and, like many of the scholarship recipients, had low income but high potential. Angel graduated with academic and leadership honors and is getting her master’s degree.

As for the wine, I can tell you it’s quite good. I’m a red wine drinker. I tend to prefer a nice full-bodied, dry wine. The red varietal didn’t disappoint. Stacy shared with me that her goal was to not only create a wine that gives back but that also has a flavor profile. I’d say she accomplished this goal. The wine is also quite affordable at $12 – $16 per bottle.

More on the red and white varietals:

OWN_Chard_NV_RGBOWN_Red_NV_RGBO Wines Chardonnay

  • O Wines 2011 Columbia Valley Chardonnay is a fresh and lively, lightly oaked style; its aromas of pear and baking spice pair well with grilled fish and mango salsa, and kale salad

O Wines Red Wine

  • O Wines 2010 Columbia Valley Red Blend is a delicious Washington fruit forward blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah; its aromas and flavors of blueberry jam, baking spice, cocoa and cherry, pair well with pizza, grilled burgers, or meat and veggie skewers

O Wines can be purchased at www.owines.com. You can also request O Wines wherever you purchase your wine.

Are you a wine drinker? Red or white?

Philanthropy Friday: Pioneers for Change

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

This following article is a guest post from Alanna Ford

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The world is full of pressing challenges that increasingly demand our attention.

From global hunger, to climate change, to inequitable education, there are so many places and ways in which to direct our efforts, it is hard to know where to begin.

If we are to create significant and sustainable change in our increasingly inter-connected and inter-dependent global society, how do we nurture a culture of open-minded, pioneering ideas and innovation as a necessary means to bridging the gap?

How can we select the issues where our experience and skill sets will create the biggest impact? How do we know that the charities we support are the most effective with our money? How can we engage with the causes we care about beyond simply writing a check? And what are the new, innovative ways of approaching these age-old problems?

These are the questions the team and I from Adessy Associates were grappling with when we decided to launch a new fellowship program for world-changers. Pioneers for Change has been born out of a desire to gather together an international cohort of remarkable people to examine how they can create and progress their social impact; to creatively explore, problem solve and harness their energy and influence to make the world a better place.

Pioneers for Change is a 6-month fellowship that will kick off in November with a 2-day residential in London followed by 6 months of individual, virtual executive coaching and mentoring. The highly interactive program combines the latest thinking, dynamic dialogue, and storytelling from renowned expert contributors. The small cohort of selected fellows will gain new perspective; a network of brilliant, likeminded people; tangible tools; and insight from international leaders on the forefront of their fields. In essence, Pioneers for Change will act as a catalyst for change, by inspiring and empowering those who want to do more than just write a check, to help address the greatest issues of our time.

Pioneers for Change is currently accepting applications for fellows. If it sounds like a program you would like to be apart of, please reach out to me at alanna@pioneers-for-change.com to arrange a chat or request an application.

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Alanna Ford works at the intersection of women’s empowerment, international development and social entrepreneurship. She’s lived in three countries in the last three years. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

Philanthropy Friday: Shake the World and Provide Life-Saving Water in Ethiopia

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

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My good friends over at B1G1, a social enterprise initiative in Singapore, recently gave me the opportunity to check out their brand new app called Shake the World. It’s a simple and fun app that allows you to provide clean, safe, life-saving water to people in need in Ethiopia for a day. (Note: If you missed my post on B1G1, you can read it HERE.)

Like B1G1′s work with businesses and individuals, the Shake the World app provides another way to give back by completing a simple action. When you open up the free app, you shake your phone until the glass that appears fills with water. Once it’s filled, and your kids are entertained by the sounds it makes in the process, you can share what you’ve done with the in-app share buttons that then appear. From there, you’ll need to enlist a friend to help keep the “water shaking” going. You can create a “friendship ID” and send it along via email or text. And the process keeps repeating until more people shake and provide life-saving water!

Sharon Chan, Shake the World Project Leader, tells me the water is provided through the WellWishers Trust, one of the 48 Worthy Cause Partners at B1G1. Being a Worthy Cause Partner at B1G1 already means that WellWishers has met a series of stringent criteria, which includes having a transparent accounting and reporting system, as well as an efficient way of using their funds to benefit those who really need it most. 100% of the contributions from the app are channeled to WellWishers Trust for the construction of wells in Ethiopia.

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In addition, the app allows you to ‘make wishes’ — a wish that, in and of itself, is consistent with the B1G1 philosophy. It might be something like ‘Every time I dine out, I wish that a child in need could have a nutritious meal’, or ‘every time I jump in my car, I wish that a child in need had access to a bicycle to get to school’.

You might wonder how the water is actually provided to those in Ethiopia via the WellWishers Trust. Each “water shake” is sponsored by a host of B1G1’s small business clients around the world.

To date, those clients using the B1G1 platform have made possible 44,700,000 giving impacts around the world. The Shake The World App will add many more.

Here’s a quick video that explains the app.

Find out more at shaketheworld.me.

Are you ready to Shake the World?

 

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