Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hear the World Foundation & Celebrity Calendar Edition

What is Hear the World? Hear the World, a global initiative by hearing system manufacturer Phonak to raise awareness about the importance of hearing, has created a poster-size limited edition 2010 calendar featuring the world-renowned photographs of Hear the World celebrity ambassadors, including Jude Law, Annie Lennox, Lenny Kravitz and Elle McPherson (sample pages attached).

- What makes this a perfect gift? All proceeds go to the Hear the World Foundation which is dedicated to supporting individuals and groups around the world whose lives are affected by hearing loss with technology and financial assistance.

- How much does it cost? $29.90

- Where can I get it? (order now to make sure your copy arrives by the holidays)

While hearing loss is one of the world’s most preventable disabilities, it is also one of the most common. 800 million people worldwide, more than 16 percent of the world’s population, have hearing loss and the number is expected to increase to 1.1 billion by the year 2015. Help make a difference through one simple purchase.

Submitted by:

Stephanie Long

Fleishman-Hillard International Communications

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Robert Redford & Sundance Film Festival

So, this is off the beat-n-path of my regular posts. See, last week I received a call from Conspirator, LLC, the casting company for the movie, The Conspirator, directed and produced by Robert Redford. The movie is to be released sometime in late 2010 and it was filmed in my hometown, Savannah, Georgia.

The call I got was, "Hi! Maggie are you available next Thursday to be 'On Set' for the movie The Conspirator? You've be selected as 1 of 15 other people to be in this scene." "Sure," I replied. As if there was any other response! An-on-the-whim submission by me to be considered as an 'extra', which I had forgotten about became a reality. Can you say, Wowza!

That Thursday, I arrived early in the morning. Wardrobe, hair, makeup were in that order. I was a "theatre patron" as in the Ford Theatre the evening President Lincoln got shot. The entire day was an amazing experience! I had a chance to meet the other 15 men and women called for this scene and met the Marshell Canney, a local business woman, who had the part of Mary Todd Lincoln. Dang, Marshell was great. OK- she rocks. And, apparently Robert Redford loved her acting skills. We hit it off (she is a hoot) and I was super excited for her, giving her a continuous Hi-Five! We laughed out load (LOL) all day.

This day, I had a chance to not only be a part of a big Hollywood motion picture movie, but also got to be in the same room as Mr. Redford, who was a soft-spoken, humorous, and had a rather laid back demeanor to his 'directing' of our scene. I know this for sure because I couldn't wear my glasses, and with no contacts one can only go on voice as everything else is a total blur.

Throughout the rehearsal of the scene and shooting of it, I actually got an extra-extra bit part. This was all surreal. All I can say is, see the movie when it hits the box office to see my extra-extra part and all. I am the one who stands up exasperated and tries to make my way out of the theatre (in a hoop wire skirt through a 18 inch aisle-HA!) and have too much respect for Mr. Redford to spill the beans.

Then, after a very long day, I realized the dedication to film production and got to thinking of Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival, the big annual festival of the Sundance Institute. The Festival supports aspiring artists in their film making endeavors. I find it amazing and very humble as you visit the Festival's website, that you are hard pressed to find a page with Robert Redford's name on it. Humbling. But know this: The Sundance Film Festival’s longstanding commitment to documentary has been driven by the personal connection Founder and President Robert Redford feels for the form. Leading up to the premiere of Chicago 10, the second doc to ever open the Festival, The Insider talked to Redford about the past, present, and possible future of documentaries.

"The Sundance Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences. Individual donations to Sundance Institute support theatre, film, and music artists as they receive guidance and resources at critical points in the creative process. The community of supporters help these artists navigate the challenges of creating new work and see their projects succeed."

To support the Sundance Film Festival and Institute, individual donors can support the Institute by making general contributions, providing program specific support, purchasing tables and tickets to the annual Gala in New York, or by joining the Patron Circle. This is a very large event and huge undertaking all to make the dreams of film makers a reality. Inspiration at its pinnacle.

I do think a sustainable source of funding for the Festival would be advantageous. There are several organizations which support the arts through an ongoing stream of revenue. One in particular is MicroFundedArts ( This model is brilliant and founded by William Keith. I am proud to be affiliated with him and supporting his vision to supporting the arts. I always say to William, "Dang, boy! Only wish I thunk of it first!"

From philanthropy, to the arts, to meeting Robert Redford, to the Sundance Institute, this is what I know for sure: as business woman who gets the importance of sustainable funding for nonprofits, having a commitment to the arts, and having the opportunity to be an 'extra' in a big motion picture film, I am thrilled!

I wish The Sundance Institute and aspiring film artists and documentaries only the very best of success. And to you, Mr. Robert "Bob" Redford (you are so not a Bob in my book, you don't even look like a Bob) many years of continued success!

PS: Here's to hoping you bring the Premier of The Conspirator to Savannah, GA. (Just Saying!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Gift Giving Advice (Gifts for a Good Cause)

There is so much going on at this time of the year, so many distractions and obligations that it can be hard to focus on the meaning of the holiday season all around. But I came across a wonderful post by Tasha Lopez and just had to share. She compiled quite an extensive list of gift giving resources that 'give back'. Here it is below. Enjoy it and may it be a good resource for you as you begin gift shopping for family and friends.

"I typically prefer to give gifts that help make the world a better place in some way. In addition to the wonderful ways to make donations in lieu of a gift, there are options to give a tangible gift that still goes to a good cause. I created this list a few years ago and check/update it annually. If you have updates or additions, please let me know!Below you’ll find greeting cards, office gifts, food baskets, flowers, baked goods, wine, gift baskets, jewelry, clothing, accessories, purses, housewares, and much much more. Feel free to pass this along to anyone who might like to see it. Thanks!

1. Unique ways to give through online retailers and search engines,, and let you shop for personal and business needs with hundreds of brand name retailers, and a portion of each online purchase is donated to your favorite cause and are search engines that donate a portion of their revenue to the charities and schools designated by its user helps holiday shoppers find great gifts that do not have forced or child labor in their production

2. Donation cards and gift cards in lieu of an actual gift,,, (Food for the Hungry),,,,,,,, and others offer great options if you want to buy a cool gift in someone’s name offers “Create a Job” gift cards, each featuring a photo and story about a Five Talents entrepreneur – after 6 months your microloan will be given out again to another deserving entrepreneur is funded and managed by Opportunity International, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending global poverty by selling gift cards to grant microloans to entrepreneurs in some of the poorest parts of the world offers gift certificates for microfinancing that the recipient can use to loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world ( is a similar org but doesn’t appear to offer gift certificates yet) is a nonprofit that sells charity gift certificates that can be redeemed by the recipient at their choice of nearly 1.5 million local and national nonprofit organizations, and JustGive deducts 3% from all donations to cover the transaction costs sells plastic charity gift cards (rather than just online certificates) that can be redeemed to make a contribution to one of over 100 major charitable causes (organized into a dozen categories) – an 8% administrative and credit card processing fee plus $0.50 per card is deducted from the funds prior to allocation sells email charity gift cards that allow the recipient to support a charity of their choice (over 250 carefully chosen and responsible nonprofits are listed) – the charity receives the amount of the Gift Card, less a $1.95 transaction fee and 3% that goes to the credit card company – and you can upload your own image for the card is a nonprofit that connects donors with community-based projects that need support, and they sell biodegradable gift cards to allow the recipient to select one of hundreds of grassroots social and economic development projects and environmental causes around the world

3. Greeting Cards,,, and list a variety of places where you can buy greeting cards that donate a portion of the proceeds to charity

4. Baked goods, food gifts, confections, and wine has a Hearts & Flour Bakery that provides jobs for developmentally challenged adults, and a friend tells me that their baked goods are wonderful has a program called “The Sweet Home Project” and 35% of the price of the “Sweet Home” cake and cookie gifts go to education, job training, child care and housing through One Family Inc. ( in an effort to help families move permanently out of poverty, a nationwide gourmet birthday and special occasion cake delivery service, will donate 5-30% of all online cake sales to the various rotating causes (including soldiers serving overseas and US-based nonprofits) was founded for the sole purpose of using the net proceeds from sales of artisan chocolates and gourmet confections to support global humanitarian projects that would contribute to the well being of all of our communities offers “For a Cause” gift baskets, where a percentage of each basket sold will be donated to the indicated charitable organization (and a card is enclosed with the basket advising the recipient) works with women, giving hard-to-employ folks a new start in life, and they offer lovely gift baskets with delicious bean soups – they have also added jewelry this year so I’ve listed them again in that section is a nonprofit Christian ministry providing work, job training, and fellowship for women in poverty through production and sales of food gift baskets creates good quality California wines and donates 50% of their profits to charities that support the fight against Breast Cancer, AIDS, and Autism, and causes that help the environment and help military families – each varietal is paired with a certain cause, and they’ll release more varietals that donate towards additional causes as Hope Wine grows

5. Flowers offers “Flowers For Good” where proceeds from the sale of each flower bouquet are used to support nonprofit organizations dedicated to social justice, wildlife conservation, animal rights, environmental protection, and other causes is a nonprofit organization that is a full-service florist dedicated to providing vocational training to individuals in their recovery journey from mental illness (local delivery in Chicago, national/international fulfillment provided by Bloom Net and FTD)

6. Jewelry sells handmade jewelry, cards, and stationary made by women who were formerly trapped in Thailand’s sex industry sells hand-beaded jewelry, wood carvings, and stationary to generate income for rural South African women (30% of each purchase goes directly to the beader) and to fund a non-profit organization (62% of each purchase) that support orphans and other vulnerable children at the Thanda After-School Project is a nonprofit that eradicates extreme poverty by selling beautiful beaded jewelry handcrafted by Ugandan women (they turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads) and using the profits to invest in community development projects (including food, medicine, school fees) sells beautiful handmade jewelry and accessories to raise funds to assist women and children (through educational and alternative employment opportunities via a registered nonprofit organization) who are being exploited in the bars of Bangkok, Thailand sells fashion dog-tag necklaces inscribed with words of peace, and in the process supports several non-profits by raising funds and raising awareness about their missions works with women, giving hard-to-employ folks a new start in life, and they offer lovely handmade jewelry A little bit different: is the website for Designs By Lucinda, a cause-related business dedicated to creating affordable jewelry of the highest quality for the purpose of bringing much needed financial help and awareness to non-profit organizations and their causes – the main purpose is to allow nonprofits to fundraise with these designer pins

7. Soap and spa products is a nonprofit social enterprise that manufactures natural soaps and spa products to provide workforce development and support services to women who are working toward self-sufficiency and economic independence sells personal care products (soap, shampoo, etc.) made with organic ingredients and then uses the proceeds from the products to save an acre of rainforest for one year (one acre for one year per $25 purchase)

8. Fair Trade Handmade Products is a nonprofit dedicated to alleviating poverty and promoting social justice by strengthening women-led development initiatives and creating access to the US market for marginalized communities in Asia, Africa, and the Americas – their online store is extensive and allows you to search for hundreds of gifts by category, country, or producer is a nonprofit alternative trade and development organization that promotes the social and economic progress of people in developing regions of the world by marketing their gifts in a just and direct manner sells high-quality Fair Trade home fashion, jewelry, women's accessory products, and other gifts and items made by fair trade artisans from around the world (you can shop by product or by artisan) distributes Fair Trade products (accessories made from recycled plastic bags, saris, and tote bags) made by people who have been given a chance to rise above their circumstances and take back their humanity (i.e., Free Set bags made by former Calcutta prostitutes, Saris made by training and employing families out of the slum districts in Calcutta, and accessories made by the urban poor in Delhi, India, who are paid a fair wage for their work) sells handbags and blankets that have been made from Indian saris by women living in a safe home that has restored their dignity after they have been exploited in the sex trade; each product is marked with a woman's name, a woman who now has the opportunity to make a choice for freedom and new life sells beautiful Fair Trade handicrafts (bags, jewelry, stationary, and clothing) made by survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery at shelters and prevention programs all over the world (in association with National Geographic) offers handmade home décor, jewelry, apparel, paintings, and more by talented artists and artisans in Asia, Africa and Latin America who set their own prices so they earn more and customers pay less is a nonprofit that uses human rights to advance social justice by partnering with women in communities worldwide to meet urgent, local needs and create long-term solutions to the problems that women face – their online store sells unique items (jewelry, textiles, household items, and clothing) that were hand-crafted by women from around the world, which helps build sustainable sources of income in those communities is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting self-sufficiency and the dignity of work in rural Africa – the sales of the handcrafted baskets, jewelry, pins, textiles, tableware, bags, and purses go back to the African artisan groups and are reinvested in community development, training, and job creation in the regions is the online shopping site for World of Good, which aims to eliminate poverty and structurally improve the quality of life for artisans in very low income craft producing communities around the world by selling Fair Trade and handcrafted bags, purses, home decor, housewares, jewelry, desk accessories, notebooks & journals, scarves, and more sells Fair Trade products (garden supplies, housewares, accessories, jewelry, kitchen items, stationary, bags, and children’s toys) that not only provide income, dignity and hope to people in developing regions, but the products also help sustain the communities by promoting community development, healthcare and childcare, education and literacy training

9. So much variety, it’s tough to categorize helps holiday shoppers find great gifts that do not have forced or child labor in their production creates socially responsible & sustainable designs for corporate gifts, and 100% of the profits from every purchase fund programs for homeless youth operated by the Reciprocity Foundation and the enterprise provides employment and design opportunities for homeless youth offers a wide variety of gifts and gift baskets, and 10% of every purchase goes back to a charity of the giver’s choice is the world’s first online marketplace to convene thousands of People Positive and Eco Positive sellers and products all in one place, empowering you to shop in ways that align with your personal values: you can search for a vast array of products that are People Positive, Eco Positive, Animal Friendly, and/or Support a Cause sells well-designed, high quality products (jewelry, baskets, candles, purses, and more) created by physically disabled artisans and women who are victims of war, genocide, civil strife, pandemics, and natural disasters – the founder is a former Ugandan refugee and she works with her team to create sustainable, market-driven relationships that result in poverty alleviation, economic opportunity and shared prosperity 10 sites that offer Gifts that Give More™, where 5-100% of the purchase price of jewelry, apparel, and gifts is given to the charity (helping people, animals, or the planet) has an online store as part of its nonprofit mission, where they sell a wide variety of gift items (jewelry, clothing, home accessories, and more – including many items that are not pink) whose proceeds benefit breast cancer research and fund mammograms for women who can’t afford them has an online store (jewelry, clothing, accessories) where 100% of the proceeds fund Multiple Sclerosis research through Center Without Walls is a nonprofit that provides art programs for homeless and other vulnerable children in an environment that fosters their sense of joy, creativity and exuberance – their online shop sells greeting cards, clothing, tote bags, and posters designed with the kids’ artwork (located in downtown Los Angeles and recognized as the largest gang intervention program in the county) includes five nonprofit economic development enterprises (two of which can be accessed online if you don’t live in the LA area) whose proceeds help support their services for at-risk and formerly gang-involved youth: Homeboy Bakery, Homeboy Silkscreen (custom shirts, pens and more with silkscreen or embroidery of your logo), Homeboy Maintenance, Homeboy/Homegirl Merchandise (casual wear, backpacks, totes, and other products emblazoned with the popular Homeboy and Homegirl logos), and Homegirl Café lists several sites that sell gifts, bags, accessories, jewelry, home accents, stationary, children’s toys, baby goods, photo books, handcrafted artisan truffles & confections, clothing, and music and donate a portion of their sales to the Global Fund for Women (a nonprofit international grantmaking foundation that advances women's human rights worldwide)"

Source: Tasha Lopez Blog at